Skip to content

The Romance in Realism

When my editor was reading my first draft of The Starling and the Hatter, she made this comment:

It’s important to note that I did not start writing that particular scene with the objective to make sewing manly and heroic. It’s just what the scene called for. I didn’t give my hero sewing skills in an attempt to subvert expectation and challenge gender norms. That’s just the way the story went.

Over my career, I’ve become more and more convinced of the importance of allowing my characters to be people, instead of assigning my characters specific character traits, and having their personalities form around those traits.

Rhys Fallon from Missing Lily is a little bit broody, but I didn’t assign broodiness to his character from the outset. That’s just what leaked through as I introduced him. If I had assigned him broodiness, I have to wonder if I would have been so preoccupied with conveying his broodiness that he would have become two dimensional. Why did he do such and such? Oh, because he’s a brooding and tortured soul. I don’t like putting my characters into boxes because that will necessarily limit their range of emotion and movement.

But when we do allow characters to be fully rounded, it’s easier to discover unique opportunities to show attraction between couples, support in friendship, depth, etc… Because the chance of me planning out a story and going, “You know what this tense moment needs? Some SEWING!” are practically none, and I think that would have been a missed opportunity.

And now that I’ve pontificated about that, I’m going to switch to business owner mode: *Takes off confident author mask to reveal a quivering mass of insecurity*

Marketing indie books is hard, which means I have to use all the tools in my belt, and that includes asking y’all to help me out. So, if you enjoy my books, will you do me a massive favor and tell someone about them? It could be telling one person in a friendly conversation, or it could be reviewing it on Amazon or Goodreads, or Bookbub. Or it could be taking one of these convenient graphics *does Vanna White impression to show them off* and sharing them on whatever social media platform you frequent along with the Amazon link.

Please and thank you and many kisses blown your way!

Published inCharacterizationIndie AuthoringPublishing ProcessStarling and HatterTales of WinbergWriting Process

One Comment

  1. Gareth Ellzey Gareth Ellzey

    I’ve truly enjoyed all Annette Larsen’s Dalthia and Winfield books. The ambiance, world building and real characters make each of them amazing. I think my favorite is SAVING MARILEE, followed by PAINTING RAIN. The first, with its protagonist recovering from horrific emotional abuse, and the second with the heroine’s painful voyage of self-discovery touched me. All the books are wonderfully well crafted. THE STARLING AND THE HATTER is a worthy continuation of the series and a delightful reimagining of ALICE IN WONDERLAND. There are so many delightful touches giving a nod to the original, but it’s a real story of a real person overcoming obstacles and not just surviving, but thriving. I like that the heroes and heroines of these books are very individual, not just the identical characters with different names and clothing. There is real depth to each of them.

Leave a Reply