Want to Know a Secret?
Posted by Caren Crane Aug 21 2013, 8:12 am
I am thrilled to have my dear friend, The Incomparable Claudia Dain back with us in the Lair today. Not only is Claudia back, she is here to share a juicy secret. So come, pull up an armchair and prepare to be delighted! Without further ado, here is Claudia…
Writers really do write what they know.
It’s an old adage: write what you know. Lots of times, people assume (rightly) what that means is to write about medical stuff if you’re a MD or about Egypt if you’re an Egyptologist or about murder mysteries if you’re a serial killer.
Kidding on that last one. Or am I? Hmm.
Writers do write what they know in that they write from their world view and belief system and experiences. They breathe life into every character, and the breath of life comes from them, from their own lungs and heart and mind to bring the characters to life for you, the reader.
In short, writers write the books they’d love to read peopled with characters they can identify with in some way. Even serial killers.
That’s not as scary as it sounds.
What this means is that a devoted fan of a particular author’s work will know that author in a very intimate way.
I am a fan of lively conversation; zippy, fun, witty dialogue. This is true for me as a person and as an author. Therefore, my books are very dialogue heavy.
I am not a fan of road trips and so there is no traveling in my books. If a character needs to be someplace else, I magically put them there. I only wish that could happen to me in real life!
I am not a fan of food. I don’t like grocery shopping or cooking, and I’m not a gourmet by any stretch of the imagination. Therefore, no one ever eats in my books. They may take a sip of a drink or be seated at a dining table, but I don’t describe the eating experience. I once read a book where the food on the table took almost a full page of description. I still bear the scars of that.
I don’t write shy heroines because I am not shy. I don’t write “how can he love me” heroines because I can believe that he would love me. (What’s not to love?) I write heroines who choose the wrong guy to fixate on because I have. I write heroines who feel insecure about something because who hasn’t felt insecure? I write about good friends, about frenemies, and about acquaintances that may or may not turn into something more. I write about making instant assumptions and having that assumption be wrong. And also having another instant assumption be right. Because that’s how it is in my life.
Which brings me to Sophia, the central character in The Courtesan Chronicles. Sophia is the courtesan in question, actually, a courtesan who married out of the life and is very happily helping other women improve their lives and achieve their very deserved happiness (because all women deserve happiness).
You’ve got know by now that I am like Sophia. How could I not be? Some part of me, even the tiniest part, is in every character I write, but Sophia, she is the most like me. Or rather, she is the best, most exaggerated version of me. My husband says that Sophia is Claudia on steroids. He laughed joyously when he said that—good man. Sophia is complex, layered, mysterious. But she doesn’t have any secrets from me. She is me. Sort of. I only wish I were as wise, as tough, as resilient, as beautiful as she is.
I’m going to guess that you’re like me; you like to read books that are peopled with characters you can relate to and that focus on the stuff you find interesting. Seems obvious, stated that way, doesn’t it? But isn’t it liberating to realize why you like what you like?
What kind of heroines do you like best? What kind of heroes? Does your heroic type match your dream man?
Caren, here. Claudia has offered one lucky commenter a signed copy of her Courtesan book, Daring a Duke. And I am also thrilled to announce that Claudia’s much-anticipated Courtesan book, Much Ado About Dutton, will be out August 26!!
Posted in Caren Crane, Claudia Dain, hero types, heroes, Heroines, Much Ado About Dutton, Regency romance