Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I've been reading some of Joe Konrath's novels for a few weeks now.  If you don't know, Konrath writes horror under the pseudonym Jack Kilborn and the books are outrageously violent and insanely gory.  I’m not sure why such a delicate flower as me is attracted to these novels, (if by attracted one means OBSESSED).   Anywhos, I noticed that he has a recurring element in his books, something that I find pretty intriguing.  He seems to favor the strong female protagonist, I mean Whitley from “Aliens” strong.  In Konrath’s novel Endurance there are a few strong females, but one is so bad-ass, she is missing her legs and she still kicks butt.  In Trapped, the female lead kicks butt while her baby is tucked into a shoulder harness.  I LIKE it, Joe, thank you. 

It got me thinking about my characters.  I imagine that Konrath is modeling his beautiful female warriors after someone very special in his life.  Maybe it isn’t just one person, maybe he was raised by Amazons - I don’t know him personally - but it's rooted in something because it keeps manifesting in his writing.  I never thought about how my relationships influence my characters.  Is this something that they teach in writing courses?  I guess it would be, because we develop the nuances of our people through observation and through experience, right?  But, if you are some hermit writer that doesn't get out much then you are sort of stuck deriving this information from your immediate family.  Hopefully your immediate family is really big, like the Walton's.   

Well, for me it's my dad.  He had 'the' influence on me and it is he that I am reflecting when I am writing my male leads, and mine are mostly male.  The females are usually my mom.  I wasn't hidden in the basement, but my upbringing wasn't rich in social flavor either.  I am an artist and I am one of the cool, loner types (he he he) that prefers observation to participation (wallflower extraordinaire).  My family was not as big as the Waltons', but hooooooey, they definitely packed the fixins when it came to Turkey dinner, if you know what I mean.  So, I don't know, mostly it's my dad and mom, and then rest is all of you.

Please pass the mash potatoes if you don't mind. 

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