My Muse Has Horns & A Tail
There's no doubt that creative personalities are slaves to their muse. I think that's true of everyone. Whether your medium is paint, clay, a sound booth, or even cake batter. You are at the mercy of that one stroke of inspiration you need to finish a project. The interesting thing about writing is that the muse is often overshadowed by a cast of characters. The muse is an overarching concept. The characters are like actors in a play. And they're just as much of a pain in the ass too.
I like strong characters. I like heroines with a streak of mulishness bordering on outright stubbornness and intractability. I feel like they're more real that way. Let's be honest here folks, isn't that how most of us are under the thin veneer we present to the public? Even if we like to get along or specialize in peacemaking, at our core there is a diva longing to emerge from her cocoon.
The same goes for my male characters. I have no interest in weenies. I don't want to write about a guy who is everyone's doormat or who doesn't moonlight as a total badass. That's just not my thing. But it does lead to some interesting fireworks when I put those two characters on my stage and ask them to play nicely and follow the script.
Sometimes the result is one looking at the other and going, "Oh, HELL no!"
I'll tell you a secret. If you've ever been reading a book and felt a strange inclination to dislike or even hate one of the characters, it's probably because that character wasn't playing nicely with the author when the book was written. A fantastic example of this is Selena Aasen from the Boston Avant Garde series. Selena is introduced in Strung Out as a spoiled brat who is straight up mean to Talia Davies. Selena's attitude isn't much improved by Book 3 when her older sister Desiree is falling in love with Nicolai Anastas. But at the end of Impetuous, we see Selena humiliated in public. Her wedding reception is such an epic fail that it goes viral on YouTube and lands on a clip show (Tosh.0 btw). In Encore, Selena makes a pass at Jericho and gets another dose of reality shoved in her face. The spoiled brat just can't win.
The thing is, Selena was never meant to be a villain. She's a spoiled bitch. Yes. But that's not entirely her fault. She's the product of her snooty upbringing. A pretty typical one at that. She's looking for boundaries. And believe me, she finds them when she meets Yaojing Yen and Malachi Kingston in Bellicoso. Triptych was the perfect place for her to come full circle and get her HEA, but I won't lie and tell you everyone was happy about that. I had more than one reviewer upset with me for letting her off the hook. And yet, did I? Let her off the hook I mean. I don't actually think I did. If you think I gave Selena an unearned happily ever after, I'd love to hear your thoughts. Not that I can change anything, mind you. That ship has sailed. But I do like to hear opinions. So, drop me a line.