Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Ten Inspirations for My Characters by JA Reynolds


1. Family. Let’s face it, everyone has a crazy person in their family they want to write about. Or a normal person they want the world to see. My book, Stolen Horse Dreams, as envisioned and requested written by my daughter, has a main character who is very much like her.

2. Those scary people in your memory. Doctors with pointy objects. The school principal. All those formidable people who are intimidating and creepy. They always have a place in my books. A good example would be Ikea, one of the characters in Peaceful Genocide. She’s not a main character, but I bet you’ll remember her!

3. Those random people you see every day. Like the elderly man in the grocery store by himself. Or the teenager screaming at their friend on the street. And that woman in the vet’s office talking to her dog.

4. Speaking of dogs. PETS! Animals are instinctual and they are very perceptive. If you watch them long enough, and close enough, you can get a good idea of “who” they are, and create a character after them. And I’m not just talking about dogs here. There are horses, pigs, mice, deer, fish, bears, birds, you name it. Watch and learn and create!

5. Personal experiences. Big things happen, small things happen and all those things can be twisted into a story. If you have family and friends, the same can be applied to them.

6. Seeing a random act, anywhere at any time. Seriously. I’ll be sitting somewhere (anywhere) and see something or hear something and then BAMN, a story wraps itself inside my head. It only takes a sentence or a look from someone and the story forms in my mind.

7. People giving me suggestions. “Hey, you should write about this.” I get that a lot. Sometimes I take the suggestions and sometimes I don’t. And some people (like family) are more persistent. It’s easy for me to take a very small part of something and turn it into something much bigger.

8. Uh, I’ve run out of things.  So, how about for the last two, I give you random facts about me! Okay, so here goes:

·       I’m terrified of heights, flying, sharks (and therefore the ocean), and tornadoes. It’s a short list, but just thinking about these things gives me panic attacks.
·       I’ve lived in the same town all my life and dream of living somewhere else.

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