Tuesday, January 18, 2011

How Much of "Me" Is in My Characters?

More from the Fatal Justice blog tour....

I am asked this question often: how much of yourself do you put in your characters? Some characters are more like me than others. Sam Holland, the heroine in my Fatal Series, shares a few things with me, but for the most part she is totally different. In the similarities column is her relationship with her father. She is devoted to her dad the same way I’m devoted to mine. We’re both involved with our siblings, nieces and nephews. We’re both workaholics who have serious diet soda addictions.

That’s about where the similarities end. Sam can kick some serious ass. My 12-year-old can take me in a wrestling match. To be honest, I think he was nine the first time he beat me… Suffice to say, I’m a big ole wimp compared to Sam. She has been cursed with major infertility issues. I was lucky to have two healthy babies, albeit by C-section, but whatever. They arrived and thrived. Sam may never get to experience that joyous experience.

Sam is not afraid of much. I’m afraid of everything. I am the easiest person to scare, and my family loves to take full advantage of my jump-out-of-my-skin reflex. Sam would just roll her eyes and go on with her day. Here’s a little bit of Sam in action:

Moving slowly, her gun leading the way, Sam crept toward the back door. Another clatter rang through the alley, announcing the presence of a cat, a raccoon or a foolish perp returning to the scene of a crime. Sam hoped and prayed it was the latter. The door swung open.

“Freeze!” Sam caught a brief glimpse of Reese’s startled face before he turned and bolted. “Freeze, police!” She took off after him, down the back steps and through a fetid alley stacked three feet deep on both sides with trash. Normally, she might’ve taken a shot at him, but he was no good to her dead. He had information she desperately needed. Hoping Freddie would cut Reese off at the other end of the alley, Sam chased after him, her thighs burning from the exertion, her lungs tight from the cold air pumping in and out.

Reese looked back, saw she was gaining on him and fired an erratic shot over his shoulder. The bullet whizzed past Sam’s right ear, fueling her rage and her desire to catch him. That might’ve worked on my dad, you son of a bitch, but it’s going to take more than a cheap shot to take me down. Running on adrenaline, she jumped over the bag of trash he threw in her path, came down on a patch of black ice and went flying.

Her chin took the full brunt of the fall. Sam howled with pain and tried to get her unarmed hand down to break the second half of the fall. Elbows and knees connected with hard pavement. She looked up in time to see Reece round the corner at the end of the alley. Freddie was nowhere in sight.

For a long moment, Sam lay there assessing her injuries and trying to catch her breath. The cold air made breathing painful, but that pain was nothing compared to the burn in her chin, knees and elbows. Forcing herself to move, she got up and called for backup to start a canvas of the neighborhood. Clearly, Reese hadn’t gone far after butchering his family.

I’d cower behind a pile of trash before I’d venture into a dark alley to chase a guy with a gun. What about you? Are you more like me or Sam?


Dru said...

First you have to get me to go there and I'll be with you behind the trash.

Marie Force said...

LOL Dru! You're a chicken like me! Love it.