|Anna Kathryn Lanier signing|
at Boomerang Books
Please welcome contemporary and historical western romance author, Anna Kathryn Lanier. She started writing while still in high school. Her first novel was a futuristic Armageddon tale with romantic elements. She wrote her first romances in her early twenties, but her only submission was rejected. After putting her writing on hold for nearly two decades to raise two daughters and play housewife, Anna Kathryn picked up the pen again, so to speak--this is the computer age--five years ago. She has completed three romance novels to date. She also enjoys writing short stories. Her first short story was published in 2005. She has since published four more. WHAT WOULD YOUR CHARACTERS DO?
|Latest From The Wild Rose Press|
I came across this book a few years back and referr to it from time to time. WHAT WOULD YOUR CHARACTER DO by Eric Maisel, PH.D. and Ann Maisel is a great little activity book for getting into the heads of your characters. It has 30 “Personality Quizzes for Analyzing Your Character” and discovering “exactly what makes your character tick.”
The quizzes include such scenarios as: Family Picnic, Poolside Encounter, Blowing the Whistle, Flirting, At the Sex Shop, A Moment of High Drama and the one I’m going to talk about today, New Neighbors.
Each scenario has a series of questions with multiple choice answers. After you’ve decided what your character would do, you get to find out what that action/reaction means, as the Maisels give an explanation for each multiple choice answer. The choice reveals something about your character.
In Scenario No. 9: New Neighbors, you are first to think very clearly in your mind what the neighborhood your character lives looks like. “Is it urban, suburban, rural? Is it a small town where Main Street is a fast highway flanked by gas stations and fast food joints? Is it a different country and/or a different time?”
|Best Short Romance 2009|
|Anna Kathryn on a trail ride at the spring |
Wild Rose Press author retreat at
Silver Spur Ranch, Bandera, Texas
Once you have decided where your character lives—think about the least likely person, couple or family who would move into the neighborhood. Examples from the book: A young couple in a neighborhood of retirees; a biker family moving into an upscale suburban neighborhood.” Once you have the new neighbors clearly in your mind, go over the questions and answers given. I’m only going to go over the first of the six questions the Maisels give for this scenario.
Question 1: When your character looks out the window and sees his new neighbors moving in, what are his first thought?
A) “What are they doing here?”
B) “How interesting that they chose this neighborhood!”
C) “I’d like to get to know them.”
D) “I hope they keep to themselves.”
E) “That one looks attractive.”
|From The Wild Rose Press|
Now that you’ve picked your character’s reaction to seeing his new neighbor, let’s find out what the reaction tells us about your character.
A) Thinking “What are they doing here?” is consistent with an intellectual character who is genuinely curious about his neighbors’ choice or, alternatively, with a prejudiced character who is territorial, small-minded, and generally critical.
B) Thinking “How interesting that they chose this neighborhood!” is consistent with a character with a sense of humor and a whimsical nature who is amused by life’s oddities, including people making bewildering choices as to where to live.
C) Thinking “I’d like to get to know them,” is consistent with a character who is genuinely open, compassionate, and good-natured, and who might get romantically involved with someone very different from himself.
D) Thinking “I hope they keep to themselves,” is consistent with a close-minded character who may publicly express tolerant beliefs but whose true bigoted attitudes are likely to leak out at the least provocation –or with no provocation at all.
E) Thinking “That one looks attractive,” is consistent with a character who even if prejudiced and close-minded, is nevertheless more interested in sex and romance than in his own biases.
Following this question are five more asking how your character would act/react to: the neighbor knocking on his door; what happens if he invites her into his house; the neighbor makes a reference your character does not understand; the neighbor invites your character over for a visit some evening; your character spots the neighbor in some trouble. There are 5 choices after each question and then the explanations of what those choices mean for your character as exampled above.
Also included in this chapter is a list of situations to consider, such as: the neighbors ask your character for a big favor; the neighbor hides out from the mob in your character’s house; the neighbors let their property run down; or how about, your character is the new neighbor.
The authors also note that in most novels, characters do not move, however in the year 2000, about one in six Americans moved. That equals about 15% of the adult population changing its address annually. Does that reality have a place in your novel?
So, which scenario did you pick for your character?
Oh, I have a special prize for one of today’s commentators. One lucky person will win the 2011 Studs and Spur Calendar, 12 sexy cowboys to help you through the year. So be sure and leave a comment!
Thanks for having me today, Caroline. It was a great excuse to check out this book again!
Anna Kathryn Lanier
Anna Kathryn, thank you for sharing with us today. I hope readers will pick up your books from The Wild Rose Press. Thanks also for offering a prize to one lucky commenter. Readers, please include your email in your comment in case you're the lucky winner!
|Anna Kathryn dressed for|
the Beaumonde Ball at
RWA National Conference
Anna Kathryn lives in Texas with her husband and two cats. Her daughters are grown and she now has two grandchildren and another on the way. She is also pursuing a bachelor degree in history at a local college.
Easy to see she is one busy lady! But there's more: Until this month, she has been President of the Hearts Through History online RWA chapter, as well as active in her home RWA chapter in Houston, Texas. Her SALVATION BRIDE won Best Short Romance of 2009 in the Preditors and Editors Poll. Her brand, "Where Tumbleweeds Hang Their Hats
," always makes me smile. I also love the quote by Bud Gardner that Anna Kathryn has on her website and blog, "When you speak, your words echo only across the room or down the hall. But, when you write, your words echo down the ages
." Ann Kathryn not only writes many words for The Wild Rose Press, she is active on the blogs Seduced By History
and Sweethearts of the West
as well as her own blog
, "Chatting With Anna Kathryn." She's offering a fun prize
to one commenter, so please leave your email in your comment. Here's Anna Kathryn to speak for herself.