Anita's Haven

books, thoughts, stories, poetry, interviews, writing

Why authors ♡ their characters – by Wanda Luthman

Wanda Luthman is the auhor or wonderful children’s books I’ve had the pleasure of reading. One of the cutest is certainly Tad.

Why I Love Tad, The Turtle
I love Tad, the turtle, in A Turtle’s Magical Adventure. I love this little guy because he’s cute and sweet. But, he struggles with a part of himself that he doesn’t like—his shell because it makes him too slow. We can all relate to Tad because we each struggle with things about ourselves that we don’t like. He goes on an adventure and meets other characters that struggle with being slow but have somehow accepted it. Through a series of conversations with them, he begins to consider that maybe it’s not so bad being slow. But, of course, he just can’t settle into it. He’s not ready. Just like us, others may tell us we are fine or even better than fine, but we still struggle with accepting ourselves. Not until he has an experience with almost losing his shell does he begin to realize how much he needs it. He then faces more danger and a new friend comes to his aid. He realizes that his worth isn’t in how fast he can be, it’s in accepting himself and others just as they are.
Wanda on Amazon

www.wandaluthman.wordpress.com 


Thank you, Wanda! Keep writing positive and educational children’s books!

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Why authors ♡ their characters – by Molly Gambiza

Author Molly Gambiza writes about real life problems of women and families, balancing tradition and modern society for better or worse. Have a look at her favourite character.

Why I like Oliver (from I KNOW by Molly Gambiza)

His name Oliver, a fifteen year old boy whose life changed after meeting three homeless people  Duncan, Mitch, Dorothy and their dog Casper. 

      Dorothy is a young African woman living on the streets of London in the middle of winter and that’s someone who left her homeland Uganda for a better life in England. She had a good job, a happy life but she lost all that  because of one thing…..  It’s something that affect a lot of African people living abroad . When that happens the colour of their skin comes to mind, they blame the system  but not Dorothy, she knew the reason for her downfall. She narrated her story to Oliver, the story that changed his life.

A sneak peek of Oliver’s life before he met Dorothy and her group, the homeless. 
     The police officers took their seats opposite Oliver and his mother Natalia. 

    “This interview will be recorded.” The policeman who arrested Oliver announced himself. They introduced themselves as they took their seats.

    “Can you confirm your names?”

     “Oliver Muganzi.” He replied. 

     “The address?”

      Oliver fidgeted in his seat. “You went to fetch my mother, right? That’s the right address.”

       “Answer the officer!” Natalia’s nostrils flared.

    Oliver gritted his teeth. “You are sitting in the wrong seat mother. Why don’t you swap with the officers.”

    “Don’t go lippy with me Oliver and if you think I will not slap you in front of these officers think again. “Don’t touch me I will call police on you.” She mimicked his voice. ” Well, you don’t have to make the call. They are here.” She whacked him. “You will answer all the questions without getting lippy.  Have I made myself clear?”

    Oliver looked at his mother in disbelief. She had never slapped him in his life.

     The officers made notes without intrupting mother and son.

     Natalia wasn’t done. “Omutwe gwawe gurimu ekyinyogori ninga noresta ejayi?”

    The officers connected the dots and got the meaning. 

    Oliver refused to answer any questions without his solicitor…..
Available on amazon, CreateSpace, Barnes and Noble 

Twitter- @GambizaMolly

Instagram- @Mollygambiza

Thank you, Molly! Keep writing.

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Why authors ♡ their characters by Geoff Nelder

The extravagantly unique and quirky SF/thriller author Geoff Nelder, as usual, has a more than unusual way of showing us his favourite character. Relish in his wit and humour. Adults only, please.

The exuberance of Megan Wagstaff

Character from the ARIA Trilogy by Geoff Nelder

“Think not that seven billion people died on Earth in the ARIA Trilogy, but that a few thousand survive. Traumatized, yes, terrified that someone with infectious amnesia might get too close, but in spite of that, basic personality traits of each individual show through. I’ve been a judge—”
“Hey, granddad, what gives with the speech?”
Her ferociously red hair threw sparks as she drew a hand through it. Wafts of chewing gum aroma entertained my nose driving out the coffee I’d spilt earlier. 
“Megan, meet this Dictaphone, I’m doing a character piece for a blog and, hey, I’m not old enough to be your granddad!”
She laughs, punches me on the shoulder and instead of taking the chair opposite me, she perches on the desk corner. “I think you might have that ARIA infectious amnesia thing, “she says, “if you think you’re young enough for me. Is that ginger marmalade on your toast? I’m ‘aving it.”
I reach out but fail to defend my breakfast and I mock frown. As if I’d make a play for her. She’s always a teen tease. 
“Megan, in ARIA you’re an obstreperous girl with attitude against everyone against the mad Doctor Antonio. What was it about him that appealed to you?” I push the Dictaphone towards her.
“He wasn’t mad!”  Crumbs spluttered at me. “He was misunderstood.”
“But he killed—”
“Not his fault, obvs.” She took a long breath as if consulting her database of ideas. “You ogling my tits? Again?”
“You’ve spilt marmalade on your erm…basque. What do you mean, again? Anyway, I’m giving the blog readers tips I give out when judging writing comps.”
At last she smiles, uneven but realistic teeth. “You’re a judge? Cool. Go ahead.”
I take the Dictaphone and alternately glance at her and my notes.
“Competition judges often use these points when assessing characterisation in stories:

“One. Are characters distinct in their behaviour, voice, appearance?

“Two. Especially in a novel, the character should undergo a change in the course of the story.

“Three. The character should be interesting – think OTT like TV soap characters.”
Megan snorts, blowing more crumbs at me. “They’re not in Frasier re-runs mum watches. All boring.” She pulls a savage smile.
I point in the air. “Filmed years ago when viewers appreciated dialogue more. Anyway, which character in Frasier do you like most?”
“Bulldog, of course.”
I spread my arms in glee. “Exactly, he’s the most over-the-top person on the show. Now, if you don’t mind.
“Four: If the character is ‘nice’ does the writer go the extra mile necessary to make him or her convincing and worthy of the story?”
Megan pouts and frowns. “I’m not nice, so are you saying I’m unworthy?”
“Stop putting words in my mouth, Megan.”
“But it’s you, the writer, who puts words in my mouth, so if you’re saying—”
“Yes, yes. Let me finish this blog piece…before I delete you.”
“Five: Do all the characters have a role in the story in that each moves the plot on?

“Six: If a character is a cliché (and many may have to be) is there some quirk or trait to lift him or her off the page? Hah, I’m just remembering, Megan, when you snared Ryder in Book Two and kept demanding ‘naked cuddles’ with him to embarrass him in front of his ex-fiancée and others.

“Seven: It isn’t always necessary to describe a character but if so is it well done? 

“Finally, eight: Do I care what happens to the main character?”
She brushes at invisible toast detritus on her mauve velvet dress. “And who, in all fiction, is your fave character, Geoff Nelder?”
“Well, it could be Lazarus Long, or Ellen Ripley…” Her eyes widen so much I see myself in them. “But, of course, it’s you.”
“Right answer, Mr Author, now let’s clear this table and get it on Naked cuddles.”
“No, Megan, stop kissing me. This is inappropriate. Delete, delete!


Links

ARIA (medical mystery, apocalyptic)

 http://geoffnelder.com/project/left-luggage-arial-trilogy-part-1/

A half hour read “of pure genius” The Chaos of Mokii at http://mybook.to/ChaosOM

Geoff’s Website: http://geoffnelder.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AriaTrilogy

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/geoffnelder

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Why authors ♡ their characters – by Anita Kovacevic

Why I love Priscilla Parker

To start off the series of posts by guest authors I admire, let me share one of my own favourite characters from my books. Mind you, as every author will say, choosing your favourite character is sort of like picking a favourite child, but this will do for now. Apologies to all my other, well-loved characters who wil get their turn.

Priscilla Parker is an average young woman from my light-hearted chicklit, romantic comedy Average Daydreamer. She is a smart, funny, kind, silly, self-sufficient romantic; all in all, a contradiction in terms just like most of us.

She came to me one summer, after I had just finished writing a very difficult novel (which is still cooling on my shelf), and she was the complete opposite to what I had been writing by then. She kept whispering in my ear, saying: “I know I am just an ordinary girl, but give me a chance, relax, smile, let me fall in love, let me live, and I promise I won’t haunt you.” And then she kept haunting me till I started writing her out of my head. The first ten chapters were on paper in ten days, believe it or not. She was relaxing, made me smile, laugh and find the charming feeling of falling in love again.

Priscilla is funny, clumsy, ambitious, insecure, charming and slightly self-delusional, but she knows the true value of friendship, family and love. She made me feel good about myself and the world, which is so difficult in these times. And I love her for it.

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Everyday fighter

This is an excerpt from my book The Threshold. Sally Jenkins is a character who won the sympathies of many of my readers. Life hasn’t been easy on her, but she is a fighter. Self-pity is just not her cup of espresso.

Sally Jenkins was a 32-year-old divorced mum and ambitious producer. She didn’t mind being divorced at all. She had entered her marriage too immature, a complete mess of a person, a work in progress. During the marriage, she felt like moist washing powder tossed carelessly into the washing machine shaft, and sucked into the fast and noisy tumble-dryer. By the end of the marriage, she felt like leftover traces of that powder mash, splattered undissolved all over clothes like a proper nuisance, not really having done what it was supposed to have done, but still sort of there. Her 6-year-old son was her only secret treasure, bounced around on the rollercoaster of her love, her own mum’s care, the kindergarten and the occasional glimpses of the boy’s father, her distant ex-husband, passing through town. She had been working as a producer for a couple of years, but this reality show was her first really big break. Providing ratings were good, Sally was promised a nice bonus and even a considerable steady raise, and it would be so nice not to have to blush in the principal’s office because her ex failed to pay another monthly fee for their son’s preschool.
Her own life’s mediocre reality had long before ushered her easily into the insensitive world of reality shows, where she learned so much about the infinite universe of human stupidity, yet also became aware of the unbelievable knack some people had for survival. So if these five people were going to do whatever it was they were going to do, and were willing to sign a waver for it, then it was no skin off her back. They had their dreams, and she had dreams of her own. Securing her son’s education, buying a house of her own, getting her mum that new TV oven she kept talking about, and maybe even travelling some… so many dreams, so little money.
Sally was not particularly vane, but her job made her aware of how much attention people paid to a person’s outside image, so, before leaving the van, she quickly checked her figure in the mirror attached to the door. It encompassed her full figure, from head to toe, not that there was much to reflect. She was unusually petite, pale and extremely thin, borderline anorexic, and as flat-chested as no girl ever wanted to be, but she knew how to wrap herself into richly draped blouses, and she was wearing a white one just like that for this occasion. Giving birth had provided her with the only attribute she had going for her physically – her wide hips. No wonder she loved her tube-like, knee-long, tight red velvet skirt which showed off those hips. Her black hair was always in a pixie cut, really short and practical to maintain, with any cheap black dye brand, which she could apply herself whenever her grays started betraying her already bountiful life experience. She pinched her strong cheekbones for a natural blush. Making sure everything was in place, she stepped outside.

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