GIVEAWAY!!! Read below and leave a comment!
- Ebook giveaways at each stop. Random commenter’s choice from my backlist (Tarnished Gold excluded)
- Signed 8×10 glossies of Jack Abadie
Grand Prize is a Kindle, along with the winner’s choice of five (5) of my backlist titles, sent to them by email.
Easy. Leave a comment at one or all the stops. At each stop, a random commenter will be selected to win their choice of backlist book (Tarnished Gold excluded.) This selection will be made daily throughout the tour, except where blog owners wish to extend the eligibility. Be sure to leave an email address in your comment.
All names of commenters and their email addresses will be put into the drawing for the Kindle, even if they have won the daily drawing. The more comments you make the more chances you have to win.
Other prizes include five (5) 8×10 glossies of Jack Abadie, signed. The winners will be selected on April 10, from all the commenters at all the stops, and notified by email.
The Grand Prize winner will be selected on April 10th and notified by email. Once I have heard from the winner and obtained a shipping address, I will order the Kindle and have it shipped directly to the winner. They will also be eligible to select five (5) of my backlist titles and I will email them to the winner.
Contest valid in the United States.
Full schedule for the Tarnished Gold Virtual Book Tour
How to make characters believable
In writing any book, the creation of characters is one of the first things a writer does.
We’ve all read reviews where the reader says that some characters were cardboard. What is a cardboard character? I’d best describe them superficial. No substance. They walk through the story, unusually calm or quiet, with nothing much to say and little to do. All is well, or not, but their actions and reactions are unbelievable.
Often they have no history, as though they were born the moment the book started, with no parents, siblings, or past. Now while on a conscious level, we know this is true, we do like our characters to appear as though we have just dropped in on a limited moment in their lives.
Writing cardboard characters can happen almost without us knowing it.To give my characters some meat on their bones, I begin by creating a story card for each character. On this card, I write all the traits they possess. Do they smile easily? Eye and hair color. Attitude. A sketch of the person, as though I jotted down a description as I saw them. The card here is for a major secondary character in Tarnished Gold. His presence in the story is pivotal to Jack’s early attitudes and feelings. Eric could have easily been the main character, yet his secondary status helps to shape the man that Jack becomes. Hmm, prequel perhaps?
I also tap my knowledge of people, having known quite a few in my life. I ponder favorable attributes, as well as the negative, and apply as needed, much as you would piece a puzzle together. You must always have your characters act, um, within their character. Readers will notice if a usually stoic guy suddenly bursts into tears at the drop of a hat.
However, I have always admired a man who can cry when something touches him deeply or when aggrieved. By crying I don’t mean head slamming, convulsive spells. A few tears and I’m sold, hook, line, and sinker. The guy is real, he can be touched and moved by events. Something is important enough to him to forego the machismo.
Situations, plot twists, and other characters always change how your characters act and react. The writer has to assure his or herself that those actions and reactions are logical and in keeping with the character’s established personality.
Are they stoic in the face of grief, or do they unashamedly express their anguish? A young man might cry at the death of a loved one, where years later, he might accept the loss with seeming dispassion. Maturity would have taught him that death is a part of living. Conversely, he may take each passing extremely hard, experiencing past losses all over again as a new one happens. Or he may take action to cover for the pain he feels. He may succumb to anger, which could result in activism of some sort.
A girl might be quite silly while young, but with the experience of marriage or having to fend for herself, she will grow up, armed to better decipher what is most important and what isn’t. With that, she becomes a character with purpose, with substance. Less selfish and more likely to make a good match for the hero.
People connect with characters through empathy. They want to cheer them on, fall in love with them. The last thing a writer wants to do is create a disconnect between the reader and the main characters. Even a rogue has redemptive qualities, if written properly. That kind hearted rascal might disgust his parents with his antics, but he can also make the reader giggle when he’s climbed an old statue in the town square and has painted the horse’s genitals purple (I recently read that and I did giggle.)
One way of creating such a character is to place him in situations that readers can identify with. No matter what era, love, hate, anger, sorrow, disappointment, and shock are all the same. They tear us apart, some in a good way, others not so much. We understand this as readers and can easily place ourselves in the characters shoes. That creates a bond between reader and characters, one that hopefully can be maintained throughout the piece and long after they close the cover.
I don’t read paranormal because there isn’t anything in the paradigm that I understand. The phenomenon is beyond my comprehension. The appeal for shapeshifters and werewolves confounds. Possibly my early interest in reality reading prevents me from “getting it.” I actually read a blurb for a squirrel shifter and that totally has me scratching my head, still.
I have written a vampire story, but it is vampire-light and concentrates on the lead character’s hatred for his vampirism, as it has cost his dearly. He’s not all angsty about it, but he conducts his life far differently than the vamps of his acquaintance. I’m rewriting it now and I’ll submit it as Mysterious Moonlight. Vampires I enjoy watching. Go figure.
As a reader, I want characters that possess attributes I understand, along with the human frailties I see in myself and others. Those are characters that I take into my heart and remember, long after I’ve finish reading the book.
What about you? What fires you up about a character? What do you like to see? What do you hate?
I hope you will like Tarnished Gold. Set in the Golden Age of Hollywood, it taps a world of plenty at a time when there were no limits.
Here’s the blurb for Tarnished Gold:
After years of hard work and a chance invitation to a gay gentlemen’s club, Jack is discovered. Soon, his talent, matinee idol good looks, and affable personality propel him to the height of stardom. But fame breeds distrust.
Meeting Wyatt Maitland turns Jack’s life upside down. He wants to be worthy of his good fortune, but old demons haunt him. Only through Wyatt’s strength can Jack face that which keeps him from being the man he wants to be. Love without trust is empty.
As the 1920s roar, scandals rock the movie industry. Public tolerance of Hollywood’s decadence has reached its limit. Under pressure to clean up its act, Jack’s studio issues an ultimatum. Either forsake the man he loves and remain a box office darling, or follow his heart and let his shining star fade to tarnished gold.
I also have For Men Like Us, which takes place during the Regency era in England. You can find it at Dreamspinner Press. Just click the title to be magically transported.
Blurb for For Men Like Us:
After Preston Meacham’s lover dies trying to lend him aid at Salamanca, hopelessness becomes his only way of life. Despite his best efforts at starting again, he has no pride left, which leads him to sell himself for a pittance at a molly house. The mindless sex affords him his only respite from the horrors he witnessed.
The Napoleonic War left Benedict Wilmot haunted by the acts he was forced to commit and the torture he endured at the hands of a superior, a man who used the threat of a gruesome death to force Ben to do his bidding. Even sleep gives Ben no reprieve, for he can’t escape the destruction he caused.
When their paths cross, Ben feels an overwhelming need to protect Preston from his dangerous profession. As he explains, “The streets are dangerous for men like us.”
About Brita Addams:
Born in Upstate New York, Brita Addams has made her home in the sultry south for many years. Brita’s home is a happy place, where she lives with her real-life hero, her husband, and a fat cat named Stormee.
She writes, for the most part, erotic historical romance, both het and m/m, which is an ideal fit, given her love of British and American history. Setting the tone for each historical is important. Research plays an indispensible part in the writing of any historical work, romance or otherwise. A great deal of reading and study goes into each work, to give the story the authenticity it deserves.
As a reader, Brita prefers historical works, romances and otherwise. She believes herself born in the wrong century, though she says she would find it difficult to live without air conditioning.
Brita and her husband love to travel, particularly cruises and long road trips. They completed a Civil War battlefield tour a couple of years ago, and have visited many places involved in the American Revolutionary War.
In May, 2013, they are going to England for two weeks, to visit the places Brita writes about in her books, including the estate that inspired the setting for her Sapphire Club series. Not the activities, just the floor plan.
A bit of trivia – Brita pronounces her name, B-Rita, like the woman’s name, and oddly, not like the famous water filter.
Please visit me at any of these online locations: