Blog-Versary Author Post: My Characters and Me + Giveaway, H L Day
I’ve always been honest and admitted that the majority of my writing comes from the characters. Yes, it might be triggered by something else, like a place. Edge of Living came from a visit to Eastbourne, and my upcoming Christmas book (release date November 15th) sparked into life after taking a self-guided walk around Richmond in London and falling in love with the (very expensive) place. Or it can sometimes be something completely random. Taking Love’s Lead bizarrely came from a personal shopping task featured on the UK version of The Apprentice, which is not something I ever expected to get a story idea from. But then its always becomes about what characters would fit into that scenario, and the rest of the story stems from that. I also have stories that I don’t have a clue where they came from—A Temporary Situation and Refuge to name two.
Anyway, back to the characters. A lot of them get called quirky, which is not something I ever set out to make them. So I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m probably pretty quirky myself. Oh well, there’s worse things to be. I do love my opposites attract characters though so I often have one poor character who has to suffer because he needs to be a foil for the other ‘sunshine’ character. I should probably take this opportunity to apologize to Dominic from A Temporary Situation, Paul from Temporary Insanity, and Michael from my first ever book, Time for a Change who sometimes got it in the neck from reviewers for this reason, while their cheery other halves get all the love. I’m not apologizing to Valentin from A Dance too Far though because he seems to get away with all of his diva-like behavior and bluntness without criticism, simply because he’s Valentin.
There are two questions I’m often asked by readers about characters. Which one is most like you? And which is your favorite? The first question is easy to answer. Dominic and Tristan from A Temporary Situation are the most like me, but split into two parts. Tristan is the part of me which finds it difficult to take things too seriously and loves a good joke. Whereas Dominic is my more cynical, sarcastic side who escapes rather too often. The favorite character question is harder and one I usually manage to skirt around, which is what I’m going to do here. What I will say though, is that there are definitely characters who are easier to write and I’ll definitely always return to, even if it’s just bonus stories for my FB group. Dom and Tristan are two of them for the reasons mentioned above. And I can’t imagine ever getting bored of writing Valentin because he’s just such a delight to write and I don’t need to be well-behaved about anything he says because he doesn’t hold back.
And who knows what characters might pop up in the future. I’m looking forward to finding out. There’s already a knife-wielding one lurking in the back of my mind who keeps insisting on having his story told. I doubt I’ll be able to hold him back for too long.
Simply leave a comment below for a chance to win an e-book back catalogue H L Day book. Giveaway closes Midnight, Sunday October 27th (US EST). Winner will be contacted within 24 hours of being drawn and will need to contact us within 48 or we will redraw. Cheers for popping by and good luck!
H.L Day grew up in the North of England. As a child she was an avid reader, spending lots of time at the local library or escaping into the imaginary worlds created by the books she read. Her grandmother first introduced her to the genre of romance novels, as a teenager, and all the steamy sex they entailed. Naughty Grandma! Romance novels were forgotten for a while when real life got in the way: university, clubbing, work, moving to London, and more work.
When life settled down (slightly) H.L Day stumbled upon the world of m/m romance. She remained content to read other people’s books for a while, before deciding to give it a go herself.
Now, she’s a teacher by day and a writer by night. Actually, that’s not quite true—she’s a teacher by day, procrastinates about writing at night and writes in the school holidays, when she’s not continuing to procrastinate. After all, there’s books to read, places to go, people to see, the gym to visit, films to watch. So many things to do—so few hours to do it in. Every now and again, she musters enough self-discipline to actually get some words onto paper—sometimes they even make sense and are in the right order.
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Karen October 16, 2019 at 12:03 pm
It’s hard not to leave something of yourself in the things you do – your behaviour, your experiences, what’s familiar. I see some authors only write about one area and that’s the one they live in, so there is that…
I read everything from cover to cover – author’s notes, editors, forwards, afterwords, cover artist. I like anything that is pertinent to the story. So I hear you on finding even the ordinary as something interesting to the story, Gabriella.
Gabriella October 16, 2019 at 12:50 pm
I remember I once picked up a book, because of the origin-story. I read on the author’s website, what made them write the story, and I was so very intrigued I had to read it. I don’t remember now what was it though.
Cindi October 16, 2019 at 11:58 am
Where I’m from, quirky is a compliment. 🙂 Like Gabriella, I feel that most authors put at least a fraction of themselves in each of their characters. I think it would be hard not to. One of my favorite authors has mentioned many times over the years how almost all of his characters are a part of him in some way, and I’m not referring to the fact that he created them.
I will be eagerly awaiting the knife-wielding character, as that’s right up my alley. 🙂
Thank you for helping us celebrate our 7th year and for the great giveaway!
Selena October 16, 2019 at 1:00 pm
I find that the best books come from some sort of personal attachment from the author and that’s why they are able to make you feel/connect with the MC in some way.
Karen October 16, 2019 at 1:05 pm
That’s very true, Selena. I know there is that saying ‘write what you know’.
Kim October 16, 2019 at 1:11 pm
I enjoyed reading your blog post. It’s nice when an author brings readers into his/her thought processes and gives us a view of his/her characters and how they come about. Sometimes they just are, and other times they derive from a place. My fave characters are sweet, cite and quirky, but I also prefer strong characters who can keep the quirky ones on track.
Mandy Shields October 16, 2019 at 6:00 pm
Hummm Tristan and Dom are my favorite characters and they definitely need their wedding story as promised…..
Will you be doing any book events next year?
Roz October 16, 2019 at 6:19 pm
Enjoyed reading your post. Love Valentin! ❤️
Deb October 18, 2019 at 4:16 am
The main covers *fans self* I’ve sometimes wondered if picking a fave character is like choosing one child over another? I love Valentin too. He’s had enough and calls it for what it is. What’s not to love? 😉
amanda October 20, 2019 at 8:57 am
I don’t know anyone who’s not quirky so that says to me your characters will be lovable or fit in to my tastes. 🙂 Some books everything’s gotta be BIG but the ordinary is all of us and we live ordinary lives. Thanks for the post and chance to win!
MMorgan October 25, 2019 at 3:33 pm
These books look good and the covers are to die for. 🙂
Karen November 3, 2019 at 1:29 pm
Thank you to everyone who popped by H L Day’s author post for our 7th blog anniversary.
This giveaway is now over. Congratulations to Roz 🙂
Asa January 22, 2020 at 9:06 pm
I totes enjoyed reading this post. Thnx.
I think most authors put at least a fraction of themselves in each of their characters (even the villain). That’s only natural in my opinion. Or if not themselves, then a friend, a family member or an acquaintance. Inspiration is everywhere.
I always loved the author’s note at the beginning of the book, where they explain what sparked the idea of the book. I find that really interesting. Especially if it turns out to be a totally ordinary event. lol 😀