Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Listening - to readers and characters

I had some kind words about What's in a Name? from a reader. She said, "You didn't miss a beat and you kept the tension high right to the end."

She also requested the chicken recipe Kelli cooked for Blake in the book. I'd wanted to add it to the manuscript, but things were too far along in the publishing process to go back and do it. However, the request reminded me about it, and I've posted the recipe in the Free Reads section of my website.

I also added what happened when Randy Detweiler came to me with a request while I was writing Finding Sarah.

Here's a snip -- the rest is on my site.

"Come in, Randy," I say. We've been working together for a couple of months now, but I still can't get used to how tall he is. I've written him as six-six, but I have a hunch he's even taller. But he's comfortable with his height, walks with an easy grace across my office and settles himself on the couch.

I remember his awkwardness at our initial interview. Like he was afraid it was a stereotypical casting couch and he might have to 'buy' his way into the job, or I was going to make sure he could handle the sex scenes.

"What can I do for you?" I ask.

His lips curve up in a shy smile and he shoves a lock of hair off his forehead. "I…um…I had a suggestion. For my character."

I give him my full attention now. He's never demanded—heck, he's never even suggested anything. Maybe he's nervous. We're about to get into his first real sex scene with Sarah. It's not like he's na├»ve or anything, but I know how characters can get self-conscious when they're actually asked to perform on cue. At least he's not one of the cocky ones, no pun intended, who thinks he can take over the scene.

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