Monday, January 12, 2015

Where Do Story Characters Come From? by Ann Gimpel, Author of Dark Prophecy (Soul Storm, Book 1)

Hi Ann!!  Welcome back to Sapphyria's Book Blog!  I'm so happy to have your here.

Thanks so much for inviting me back to your blog, Saph. It’s always such a pleasure to be here.

Where Do Story Characters Come From?

Once people know I’m a writer, their first question is frequently, “Are your characters based on people you know?” The short answer to that question is sort of. My characters are composites of people I know. Maybe one’s gutsiness married to another’s compassion. That’s the beauty of fiction, my characters can be whomever I want them to. I’m lucky to have a cooperative muse. One of my heroes, an ancient, time traveling dragon shifter who’s been asleep for three hundred years, came to me in a dream. I just knew I had to write a book about him.

I’ll admit I have a weakness for a certain type of alpha male. I don’t like the rough and tough ones who are mostly good between the sheets, but lack the domestication necessary to establish and maintain interpersonal relationships. Nope, I like the ones who are tall, strong, and gorgeous. They’re able to power their way through most anything, yet they know how to be warm and tender to that special woman in their lives.

The appeal of shifter men is they can take on the traits of their animals. So they radiate danger and a don’t-screw-with-me attitude. They’re also possessive and take care of their own. While that may read well in fiction, the reality is that most women don’t want a Neanderthal breathing down their neck every waking moment. At least for me, effective shifter heroes temper their possessiveness with warmth and caring.

I also have a weakness for a certain type of heroine. I like my women strong and capable. They’re already successful, often in male-dominated professions. In other words, even if they’re on the prowl, they don’t need a man to complete them.

As a writer, I think I can get further with two strong protags. I occasionally read storieswhere both hero and heroine went through severe trauma in their early lives and find healing in one another. While that makes for awesome fiction, I know too much about the reality of trauma’s effects to want to build my books that way. It’s a long and difficult road back from abuse. Maybe because I lived there for so many years, sitting in my therapy chair, I haven’t wanted to write about it. Some of my patients still haunt my dreams. The last thing I need is characters to join up with them.

I suppose when all is said and done, I gravitate toward characters with strong personalities and plots that challenge their strength. The beauty of romance is the HEA or HFN and all that simmering sexual tension. That being said, I also like to write urban fantasy and science fiction with romantic subplots, but that aren’t exactly romances.

How about you? Who are your favorite characters, what are you favorite stories, and why would you pick them?

Book Details:

Dark Prophecy
Soul Storm, Book 1
Ann Gimpel

Publisher: Dream Shadow Press

Release Date: 12/11/14

Genre: Urban Fantasy

When the dream world spills its murky contents, everyone’s worst nightmares run free.

About Dark Prophecy:

Dr. Lara McInnis reads auras and flirts with an elusive ability to foretell the future. Ambivalent about the magic within her, she’s done a fine job ignoring other aspects of her power—until now. After several patients—and a student or two—describe the same cataclysmic dream, she uncovers ancient evil intent on draining her power. Lara knows next to nothing about her psychic side, but it will destroy her if she can’t come to terms with it.

Trevor Denoble has secrets, but he shields them well with a stunning body and a boatload of British charm. The airline he works for folds because there’s no fuel for the planes, and Lara’s changing into someone he barely recognizes. Though he doesn’t know it yet, the rest of his carefully crafted life is about to come crashing down too.

Living in a world teetering on the edge of anarchy, Trevor and Lara are faced with a series of painful decisions. Is the love between them enough for Trevor to swallow his distrust of Lara’s burgeoning paranormal ability? Will their personal demons tear them apart in a world gone mad, as shortages of everything from electricity to food escalate?

Amazon Purchase Link:  Dark Prophecy (Soul Storm Book 1)

Watch the Book Trailer

About the Author:

Ann Gimpel is a national bestselling author. She’s also a clinical psychologist, with a Jungian bent. Avocations include mountaineering, skiing, wilderness photography and, of course, writing. A lifelong aficionado of the unusual, she began writing speculative fiction a few years ago. Since then her short fiction has appeared in a number of webzines and anthologies. Her longer books run the gamut from urban fantasy to paranormal romance. She’s published over 20 books to date, with several more contracted for 2014 and beyond.

A husband, grown children, grandchildren and three wolf hybrids round out her family.

Find Ann Online:


Ann Gimpel said...

Thank so much for hosting me again, Saph! It's always a pleasure to be featured on your blog.
Hugs and warm wishes for an epic 2015.

Sapphyria said...

Thank you so much for joining my readers and I today. We always enjoy it when you stop by.