We are very proud to have author Lauren Dane here today. Her new book Insatiable, book 3 in her Federation series, will be released next Monday (July 5th) and she is here today to talk about how her characters come to life and how they grow into what they are. Be sure to check out Lauren’s question at the end and answer it to get entered into the giveaway. You can find all the info at the end. Please give Lauren a warm welcome.
Thank you so much for having me guest with you today! I’m thrilled to be invited and I hope I don’t bore you all too much.
Over the years I’ve written all sorts of characters. At the end of each book I love them all, usually for different reasons. Some of them are easy to write. Polly Chase for instance. She pretty much writes the scene herself. Other characters take me a while to warm up to and figure out.
I can write a synopsis or outline for my characters, and I do write book synopses to plot the basic outline of the story. I can say to my editor that the characters are—for instance—a rabble rousing attorney and the leader of the Federated Universes. I can tell her the book will be about two seemingly opposite people finding they’re not so different after all. I can tell her the story is about a former principal ballet dancer and a tattoo artist, but what I won’t know for some time after I start writing is just why and who these characters are and how that intersects with what makes them do what they do.
So when I began writing INSATIABLE I knew who Daniel was because I’d began to write him in RELENTLESS. But I didn’t know all that motivated him. That came as I wrote the book. But he was easier for me because I’d had time with him on the page before.
The other end of the spectrum is Carina. I’d originally imagined her as a cool, icy bitch. But as I wrote her, I realized she wasn’t that at all. Each page I wrote, she came to life for me more.
She’s unlike most other characters I write in that she’s an incredibly sheltered woman. So much so that she’s a virgin and I’ve only written one other virgin before back in A TOUCH OF FAE. But Carina isn’t silly or naïve at all. She understands the world, understands the particular suffering of her people in a way Daniel can’t though he’s exposed to it as well.
So I had to write a virgin princess and give her an edge. What would she mean to Daniel and how could I create that spark and tension between them to make it real for readers?
In the end, she revealed herself to me slowly, almost shyly, but persistently. She is not fragile, though she’s leaving everything she’s ever known behind. She is tough. She is intelligent and she never gives up on what she wants, which, over time, includes Daniel.
She’s resilient and steadfast and she loves Daniel and won’t be separated from him. He’s totally taken off guard by her, she keeps him off balance and he doesn’t know what to make of her, but he knows enough to admire and respect and as the time passes, to love. She isn’t what he expected at all, but they click because they’re right for each other, no matter how unexpected each was to the other.
In the end, when I sent it to my editor I loved them both. I love Daniel’s courage and his strength and I loved Carina’s energy and wit. I loved them together and I truly hope you all do as well!
What kinds of characters are your favorites?