It's a little difficult to let go. Ask any writer. Characters get under your skin. You spend so much time with them. Writers believe their characters are real people. I can tell you the entire backstory of my main characters, Leo and Harper. Secondary characters who don't get the same amount of screen time also have character sketches.
For instance, Leo from The Beauty of Lies is a writer and blogger. The following backstory is NOT in the book. Leo was the scrawny kid who knew he wanted to be a writer, even in grade school. Excellent student. That guy who stretched the grading curve at school. He also had a core group of friends who knew he could be trusted with a secret. Guys who went to him for advice because he was more than book smart. He was people smart. Girls who took one look into his dreamy eyes and decided to pursue him. They thought they could play Juliet to his Romeo.
But his childhood and teen years are all backstory that didn't make it into the book. They were important for my character sketch so I'd know what makes him tick. I'd know how loyal he is to the ones he loves.
Let's fast forward to the present and his writing life. He has a couple of political thriller manuscripts he can't sell and one he's rewriting for the third time. Been there, done that. Not the political thriller part. There's no way I could write one of those. My characters would be thinking about kissing more than international espionage. Are Leo and I alike since we're both writers? In a few ways. But honestly, we're more different than we're alike.
Leo's sort of a detective in the way he studies people. He's a people watcher and mystery solver. He likes to follow the bread crumbs and analyze why the bread crumb dropper used wheat instead of pumpernickel.
For example, take this passage from The Beauty of Lies where you see Leo analyzing:
The postcards on my desk pull at my attention. I pick up the top one. It’s a plain, white postcard with a picture of a crow on the front. I flip the card over to study the back. The sender’s handwriting tells me that he or she was in a hurry. The connective strokes between each letter are broken and thready. Barely there. The breaks between the letters indicate the person is impatient.
Handwriting analysis experts say our writing is like a fingerprint. The lines and curlicues can reveal the personality of the sender—whether they are open and honest or if they’re hiding something.
I took a class on graphology, because writers are like that. We like to know what makes people tick.
Some people don’t like my requirement for a postcard submission. They say my rule is archaic. That an online columnist shouldn’t act like a Luddite. The requirement does stop most impulsive people who would send an electronic submission in the same way they post a Facebook status—without taking time to think about repercussions.
The world is full of crazies.
Case in point. My cursor hovers over a new email in a thread of messages from one particular woman over the course of the past month. Even though I should delete these as quickly as I do the other spammy emails in my box, I don’t. I can’t help myself. Sometimes, it’s good to read one or two to remind myself of the reason I stay anonymous.
Yesterday, I published my seventh full novel. I also have two novellas and a short story in other collections. The excitement doesn't wane. I hope you like The Beauty of Lies.
Author: Brinda Berry
Release Date: October 6, 2015
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Secrets are exposed, trust is betrayed and two people face the beauty of lies.
Leo Jensen has a secret—he is Mr. Expose, a blogger that reveals the truth about liars and frauds. It’s a way to make a living, and he’s had a motherlode of experience with liars. Cheaters. Women who live for drama and carry more hidden baggage than a Boeing 747. Even his twin sister can’t seem to admit the truth about her relationships, so finding an honest woman is about as likely as finding a unicorn in the middle of Nashville.
Harper Wade wishes life had a do-over button. She’d press that sucker and reset the last four years. Now, she has the chance to start fresh and make things right, but first she has to retrieve the damning evidence of her past from an annoying blogger. She’s doing all the things she knows she shouldn’t–breaking and entering, lying by omission, falling for the hot guy next door. Too bad he holds the key to her clean slate.