post

Characters on the brain

Today’s Daily Post topic hits close to my heart. Or more accurately my soul, which I believe hangs out in my brain. (And there’s a topic for another day).

What character from a book can’t you stop thinking about?

Answer: Lots of them.

Having characters competing for attention inside my head is the reason I started writing. It goes back to when I was a kid acting out adventures from some of my favorite shows. (I know the question was about books, but I’m getting there–hang on).

My best friend used to act out Star Trek and Man from U.N.C.L.E. with me. Even after I moved away and we seldom saw each other we would do this over the phone. I see this as a pre-cursor to the internet fan fic adventures my daughter spent time on when she was the same age. Only the technology changed.

Later, I actually wrote some fan fic–before ever hearing the term. I wrote a few episodes of Eight Is Enough. I realize I’m not only dating myself here, but also revealing a lot about my taste. Hmm. What do Man from U.N.C.L.E. and Eight is Enough have in common? I dunno. You can blog about that.

I’m moving on to my writing career. After Eight is Enough was cancelled, I ended up in law school and I put away my fiction in exchange for briefs and memos. They might make boring reading, but the experience did sharpen my writing skills.

A number of years passed during which I changed many diapers and fell gratefully into bed where I continued to dream about characters from stories I’d read, movies and TV shows. But I didn’t have the time or inclination to write these stories down. I admire the many writers I know who manage to write while raising young kids–I never even dreamed of doing that.

Then I took my daughters to see the movie, “Ever After.” We all loved it and those characters stuck in my head. So, I decided to write an epilogue that grew into a full-fledged sequel. That did it. I got the writing bug.

A good friend read that sequel and told me I should be writing romance. And that was all it took. I started dreaming up my own characters and writing about them.

But I still have characters from other people’s books that stick in my head. Here’s a list of a few:

Jane Eyre

Several Susan Elizabeth Phillips heroines, including Honey from Honey Moon, Susannah Faulconer from Hot Shot and Sugar Beth Carey from Ain’t She Sweet.

The hero and heroine from Susan WiggsThe Winter Lodge (Jenny and Rourke) and Sophie Belamy and Noah Shepard from Snowfall at Willow Lake.

And my favorite Susan Wiggs book–Just Breathe features Sarah Moon who spends a lot of time hanging out in my brain.

The list could go on. Some days I wake up with a character hanging out inside my head from a book I read many years ago. That’s okay. They are all welcome. I’m always happy to spend time remembering how those old friends overcame obstacles to find their happy ending. I don’t need to wonder what came next in their lives because my brain happily supplies the information.

How about you? What characters come to visit your brain?

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