Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Casting Call

As authors, we go through a set process when creating our storylines.  For me, it starts with the germ of an idea, and then I begin my "Casting Call".  Sometimes, I have an inkling of what my characters look like from the onset.  They may be based on an actor or actress I'm familiar with.  Other times, I scan the internet until I "discover" the person I'm looking for.  I can't write much beyond a few paragraphs until I've cast my main characters.  I guess you can say they become my inspiration.
In essence, authors are directors.  I'm geared towards theatre and cinema so I tend to treat each book as a film from start to finish.  Storyboards are my detailed outlines.  My chapters are my scripts, complete with those little brass fasteners (hey don't knock it...they work great for a fast binding solution).  Every dialogue is acted out before the words ever hit the page.  Yes, there are even rehearsals, of sorts, to ensure a scene works. And my neighbors have been forewarned...I'm not crazy, please don't call the men in white coats to come and take me's an author thing.

I create a headshot sheet, similar to the one above, with my hero and heroine for each book.  My desk is an old farm table and it's covered with headshots from the series I'm currently writing. Characters from one book inevitably end up in another, so I keep them handy.  Each one is in a clear plastic sleeve so I can tuck character bios or notes safely inside.  If you walked into my house right now, you would think I was casting  a movie.  And in a way, I am.  As authors, our characters need to come to life and leap off the pages.  If they don't, we haven't done our jobs.

Now I'm curious...

Fellow authors: What process do you go through for creating your characters?
Fellow readers: Do you ever envision the characters playing out the scenes before you?

I look forward to hearing from you!

Amanda Renée

Double Trouble, my Harlequin American Romance debut will be released March 2013.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Book Signings, Family Reunion...Travel

If it’s summer, I must be in...Melbourne, St. Augustine, Tallahassee.  I might not be exactly sure where I am, but I know what I’m doing.  Or at least, I think I do.  With the release of my third book for Harlequin American, five book signings, a magazine interview and a family reunion all falling in the same week, things have been a little on the hectic side.  But it sure has been fun!  I’ve loved meeting old friends and making new ones at the book signings.  Catching up with family and swapping stories with my cousins at the reunion.

Unfortunately according to hubby – he’s in charge of knowing where I’m supposed to be and when we have to leave to get there – I’m supposed to be in the car in just over an hour.  So this will be short.  I’ll post more as soon as I get home.  Promise! 

Until then...