This week on our Tour, I am joined by the amazing Peggy Brown as she tells us how her Title and Character came about for her book/s. This gives us a deeper look inside the mind of an author, so let's see what she has to say.
Guest Peggy Browning:
Our assignment this week is to explain our process of choosing the title and characters in our book.
Hmmm…. this may be difficult! There is some method to this madness, but it was not what I anticipated.
I thought it would be a more orderly process to find the personalities of my characters. I never expected the characters would lead me to them, rather than following my lead.
I had contemplated writing a book for many years, but could never come up with enough substance to fill one. I had titles, beginnings, endings, a character or two, but…nothing to splice all that stuff together.
Somewhere along the way, I decided to write about the frustrations and insecurities of being fifty + and female. I listened to my friends talk about ageing and their changing ideas and attitudes. Then I did some academic research about the ageing boomer population.
One thing that we all had in common was that our lives were changing and we were evolving into another life phase. I thought I could give a voice to our collective concerns…. and apply a little humour and mystery to the acts of ageing and reinventing our lives.
I believe that after a certain time…50 or so... women come of age again. I believe that with the passing of time we develop fully (sort of like a perennial plant that comes back each Spring) having already established our roots. I believe that we bloom again and that the blooming grows more beautiful each year.
I chose The Big 5-0 for my book’s title because turning 50 was a huge catalyst for change in my own life. After I chose the title, I saw those words used to describe changes in the lives of celebrities. It seemed everyone was having their 50th birthday and it was a big deal. When George Clooney celebrated his 50th birthday and it was announced as The Big 5-0 for him, I felt my title was validated.
When I developed my characters, I made a list of the main ones I planned to use in the story. I wrote a description of each of them: their physical, emotional and spiritual features as well as their dreams, desires, frustrations, flaws and talents. Their characteristics are in line with my own, my friend’s and those of people I have known or observed.
The main character of The Big 5-0 is Mattie Mason, a woman who has just had her 50th birthday and is just trying to muddle through her ordinary life in search of the extraordinary. She has a best friend, a husband, a daughter, a mother, co-workers and colleagues. They all play a part in her story because our own lives are comprised of our interactions with the people around us.
The characters have taken on a life of their own as the story has progressed. I’ve added a few characters when the story needed to be expanded. I may do away with a few of the characters when I do my final editing and re-writes, but for right now…everyone is safe!
I am trying to stay in control of my characters, but right now I am trusting them to tell me their role in this tale. They reveal their own part in Mattie’s life as we go along together, moving through our world, trying to get to the end of the story.
Do I sound as if I am a little bit off centre and suffer from Multiple Personality Disorder? That, my friend, may certainly be the case.
I prefer to think that I have a Multiple Personality Order, rather than a Disorder. I just hope it will be entertaining, cohesive and believable when I have every one of the personalities in their proper place!
Bio and Contact Info
Peggy Browning is a writer who views her life after age 50 through rose-colored bifocals. She writes about issues facing the boomer crowd with humor and wit. She has reinvented herself many times through life’s exciting adventures, varied jobs and diverse careers. She’s been a special education teacher, social worker, waitress, newspaper carrier, newspaper correspondent, fruit stand owner, nurse’s aide, janitor and writer/entrepreneur. And that’s just a few of the jobs she’s been paid to do during her first 5 decades…Catch her musings about life after 50 on her blog at her website, http://fiftyodd.com, her opinion column and feature news stories at http://pioneer-sentinel.com, and blogs at http://galtime.com and http://zestnow.com. Visit her Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fifty-Odd/327132190645107.