Characters and Q & As

As a change from my usual short stories, I thought it might be interesting to do something slightly different this week.

FAQ 21.10.19

Many authors are introverts, preferring to sit tapping at a keyboard instead of shouting ‘Buy my book.’ Fortunately, book bloggers are supportive in helping to spread the word, and one way of doing this is by having authors as guests on their blog for a question and answer session. Here are some typical examples:

How do you create your characters, and do you imagine how they will look?
My characters take on a life of their own, and tell me what they want to say. When I was proofreading a friend’s book, I imagined the main character as a small, sassy blonde, only to discover she was written as a Grace Jones lookalike.
I co-wrote a collection of short stories with fellow author, Paula Harmon, and I’m sure we both have very different visions of the creatures involved.
www.amazon.com/Weird-Peculiar-Tales-Val-Portelli-ebook/dp/B07D6W7V4Q
www.amazon.co.uk/Weird-Peculiar-Tales-Val-Portelli-ebook/dp/B07D6W7V4Q

How do you choose their names?
A character in one of my books was born in 1898 so I googled the most popular names for that period. He ended up as Lee, which was quite a revelation as I’d always assumed it was a modern name.
www.amazon.com/Spirit-Technology-Val-Portelli-ebook/dp/B0711K2LKG
www.amazon.co.uk/Spirit-Technology-Val-Portelli-ebook/dp/B0711K2LKG

 When I started writing ‘ABC Destiny’ I realised the chapters were running in alphabetical sequence, so the girls were called Abigail, Beatrice, and Cecelia to fit. At the time I thought I had invented the name Delphine, but a few weeks later I met a lady with that name, which was quite spooky.
www.amazon.com/ABC-Destiny-Val-Portelli/dp/1719901848
www.amazon.co.uk/ABC-Destiny-Val-Portelli-ebook/dp/B07GH4FHTH

Which is your favourite character.
Difficult question this. I like Gina in my not yet published book ‘Murder of Changes.’ When things go wrong with the man in her life, she grits her teeth and gets on with it. There’s another side to her which is the twist at the end of the story but that would be a spoiler.
I’m also very fond of Reno, from ‘Summer kisses.’ It has nothing to do with the fact he’s tall, dark and handsome, and a bit of a bad boy.

Which character was the hardest to write?
Probably ‘TJ’ from ‘Story of Country Boy.’ He’s a strange mixture of caring and bravado, so I wanted to get across the reasons why he’s not immediately likable.
www.amazon.com/dp/B07NJGXVMT
www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1797672886

Do you base your characters on real-life people, or are they purely imagination?
Reno, from my first book ‘Changes’ wasn’t deliberately based on anyone, but various friends noticed a strong resemblance to a real person who was very important in my life.
TJ’s story is based on a few people I once knew, but is more a reflection of the times. I did wonder if anyone would recognise themselves, but as it is set in the 1960s, many of them are no longer with us.

Do you ever get writer’s block? Where do you get the inspiration for your books and short stories?
Thankfully, it’s something that’s never been a problem for me. Ideas come from posts on Facebook, the news, overheard throw-away comments, and even the animals in the garden. ‘Spirit of Technology’ was born when my publisher mentioned an email her secretary had sent me ‘must have got lost in the ether.’
www.amazon.com/Spirit-Technology-Val-Portelli-ebook/dp/B0711K2LKG www.amazon.co.uk/Spirit-Technology-Val-Portelli/dp/1521262101

My first book ‘Changes’ is in the course of being republished, and should be available shortly under the title ‘Summer Changes, Winter Tears.’

I hope you find these responses interesting, and I’d be delighted if they encourage you to check out my books which are all available in both eBook and paperback formats.

You can also find a free short story to read every week on my Facebook Author page:
www.facebook.com/Voinks.

Thanks for reading.

© Voinks October 2019

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