Was not the response I was looking for when I asked my friend Leanne to read for me. Seriously, I expected something more along the lines of her usual, “Why does everything you send me to read end on a cliff leaving me wanting more? And why can’t you just finish a chapter before sending it to me? or Don’t use this word / make sure to switch the he here to she because otherwise you are writing a really different tale…”
Not, “You made Ron gay?!?!” I mean, really what on Earth was she talking about??? So being my
dimwitted confused awesome self, I send her this response, “What the hell are you talking about???? Ron isn’t gay! He’s not even in the book…”
To which she responds, “and I quote ‘ “But Gwen, you know I would have stayed home with you. I could’ve rescheduled the date. Hell, I could have cancelled it even. He was what you would call a real nerd. Tall, lanky, big glasses, smart eyes, and a little sidetracked by the fact that I didn’t have a smartphone. I mean, really, what do I need with a smartphone? I get distracted easily enough. Right, Gwen?” he prompted trying to draw her attention to anything but how miserable she felt. ‘ ENOUGH SAID!”
A mental head slap for sure over here! She was kinda, sorta, inexplicably right. I had gone and made my tall,
nerdy, glasses-wearing, smartphone loving and handsome hubby gay unintentionally. And poor guy totally sucked at his make-believe first date even. Which is why I will apologize to him and promise never to do it again intentionally*. But in my defense, he had annoyed me that afternoon when I was trying to do some work and I might have been overdue for a shot of caffeine (which not only makes me a nicer person, but also gives me the strength to ignore him completely as I work while looking like I’m actually listening). So as much as I try to keep the people in my head based strictly on characters I can vividly see and hear when I close my eyes, occasionally, a real person gets bumped into a story without me even realizing it.
I’ve been asked before if a certain character was based on myself or if a certain male lead was someone I should be dishing about, but honestly I have a rather boring life so usually the characters are the interesting people I dream up. Besides the interesting people I know would likely try to bury me in their backyard if I wrote them into a steamy romance scene or worse a death scene. Yikes! Anyway, as I get ready to post a writing sample in a few days ( I hear the clock ticking down the hours), I feel the need to say, sorry if you are inadvertently in my story. It wasn’t intentional.
Oh, and now that I know I made my wonderful hubby gay unbeknownst to him, I’m going to keep it that way. Why? Because like my twitter feed, he probably won’t read that story anyway! 😉 (Just teasing, Dear)**
And as for my other characters, all of them have a little piece of me in them. They are like my kids; they share a bit of my DNA, have their own unique personalities and sometimes don’t look a thing like me. Although my friend Alice likes to tell me when she reads for me that she reads it with my voice in her head. I imagine that like a bad audiobook in need of some major edits since she’s a rough draft reader more so than a “I think this is as polished as it’s gonna get without professional help” reader.
On the other hand, Leanne does both types of reading for me. Mainly because I swear she speed-reads / speed-edits so she gets back to me super fast with comments and such, but also because she has an eye for detail, so I love her take on things. She swears one of my characters is me in a sci-fi world. I wish. Gracelynn’s tall, skinny, beautiful and spunky with a good edge to her. Plus she’s a mind-reader. I mean, really who wouldn’t want to be a freaking mindreader? Plus the guy she falls for is hunky and probably doesn’t need a smartphone attached to his person 24/7 – which I am safe to say since I’m almost positive Ron isn’t reading this far…
But really, Gracelynn is a character who took up residence in my head when I was a teenager. I even wanted to name my daughter after her but I was outvoted. (You’d think puking for 30 weeks straight before bringing her into the world would earn me an extra vote, but apparently not.) She’s been in my head since high school. I can honestly say, her story is much better now than it was back then. Similar story thought, but a completely different take on it and I am sad to be almost done writing her story. It’ll be like divorcing a piece of myself I think when I *fingers crossed* get it published.
Anywhoooo, I promise to all my friends, acquaintances and family members to not intentionally write them into a book. Unless I need some caffeine. Then all bets are off. 😉
*Intentionally, I might make him a serial killer or a victim of a pointless crime some day though (on paper of course)
**That’s to cover my bases in the event that he reads my blog, but I’m pretty sure that I’m safe in assuming he’ll skim it at best. 😉