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Welcome!! I am so thrilled you stopped by and agreed to this short Q&A!!
How do you develop your plots and your characters? Do you use any set formula?
Developing characters is my favorite part of writing. Many of my stories have started with a character then their story. I do a character study for each one, and can include everything from mannerisms to physical features to the car he drives. Most of the studies include a background story, too. How detailed I get depends on how much time the character gets in my story. Unfortunately, not all of the information is included in the final novel. As for the formula I use for developing a plot, it’s loosey goosey. I have beginning and an ending. Then I do an outline in narrative style with what I think will be the major plot points. I adjust it during the whole writing process.
Have any of your characters been modeled after yourself?
Honestly, I think every character I write has a bit of me in them. It might be as small as the kind of coffee they like or as deep as their attachments to someone. Every character I write has a piece of me, but might also have a piece of someone close to me.
Tell us about your current release.
Post-War Dreams definitely has pieces of people very close to me in the heroine and hero. This novel takes place in 1945. My mom and dad grew up in the 30s and 40s. I grew up listening to stories of those times. My mother was raised by her crop worker father without a mother. As a young girl, she hopped freight trains and slept in hobo jungles. My father was raised by his mother after my grandfather abandoned the family. Their lives inspired Post-War Dreams. Of course I had to add a few events that are purely imagination, but the tone of the characters is right in line with what I know of my parents as young people.
I don’t have a release date yet, but A Legacy of Love and Murder is the third book in the series. The setting is Austria. The heroine, August Myer has gone to Austria to meet her great grandfather and check out her inheritance. As the tagline states: Inheriting an Austrian Castle is an Alpine fairytale for August, until someone begins killing the heirs.
Has someone been instrumental in inspiring you as a writer?
There have been several. My mom, of course, since she inspired Post-War Dreams. The first Maeve Benchy book I read, Circle of Friends, moved me and made me want to write about characters as compelling as the ones in the book.
Do you have critique partners or beta readers?
Oh yes!!! I’d dry up and blow away if it wasn’t for my CPs. They are honest and supportive. They tell me when I’m off base or missing the mark, but they always let me know what’s working, too. And I am so very lucky to have CPs that have varied talents when it comes to critiquing. All six of them will see different things in my story. And you can believe, if several of them see the same thing, I need to do a rewrite. I keep fingers and toes crossed that I never lose even one of them.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Post War Dreams by Brenda Whiteside
10 digit ISBN
Benjamin Russell has been working since he was fifteen to support his mother and siblings. What he most wants in life is to own a construction business and take care of the family his father abandoned. The last thing he expects is to fall for his younger sister’s best friend.
MEET THE AUTHOR
Brenda spends most of her time writing stories of discovery and love. The rest of her time is spent tending vegetables on the small family farm she shares with her husband, son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter. Together, they’ve embraced an age-old lifestyle that has been mostly lost in the United States - multiple generations living under one roof, who share the workload, follow their individual dreams, and reap the benefits of combined talents.
Although she didn’t start out to write romance, she’s found all good stories involve complicated human relationships. And love is the most complicated of all. She’s also found no matter a person’s age, a new discovery is right around every corner. Whether humorous or serious, historical or suspense, all her books revolve around those two facts.
Visit Brenda at www.brendawhiteside.com.
Or on FaceBook: www.facebook.com/BrendaWhitesideAuthor
She blogs on the 9th and 24th of every month at http://rosesofprose.blogspot.com
She blogs about writing and prairie life at http://brendawhiteside.blogspot.com/