On Sale: March 2, 2010
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From acclaimed author David Corbett, a stunning and
suspenseful novel of a life without loyalties and the
borders inside ourselves.
Roque Montalvo is wise beyond his eighteen years. Orphaned
at birth, a gifted musician, he’s stuck in a California
backwater, helping his Salvadoran aunt care for his damaged
brother, an ex-marine badly wounded in Iraq. When
immigration agents arrest his uncle, the family has nowhere
else to turn. Roque, badgered by his street-hardened
cousin, agrees to bring the old man back, relying on the
criminal gangs that control the dangerous smuggling routes
from El Salvador, through Guatemala and Mexico, to the U.S.
But his cousin has told Roque only so much. In reality, he
will have to transport not just his uncle but two others:
an Arab whose intentions are disturbingly vague and a young
beauty promised to a Mexican crime lord. Roque discovers
that his journey involves crossing more than one kind of
border, and he will be asked time and again to choose
between survival and betrayal—of his country, his family,
9 comments posted.
Re: Do They Know I'm Running?
David Corbett: Thank you for your post.
As a reader, my expectations concerning a character, especially a protagonist, are pretty simple and basic. He or she must have something going on in his or her life that seizes my imagination, that I can relate to.
This character might be someone I can see myself in and can identify with. Or someone I CAN'T see myself in, or don't want to---a real anti-hero or villain. Such a figure can be bad on my behalf, and can act out my worst tendencies in the safe realm of fiction.
Since personal taste is notoriously fickle and hard to describe in detail, and subject to one's mood at a given time, I can't be more specific about what I go for in a character. At any rate, that would be just one reader's opinion.
I realize my approach to characters as a reader is of limited use to me as a writer. Therefore I appreciate information from writers like you who, unlike me, already have published novels to their credit.
I've never read guidance on creating characters quite like your extended comparison of characterization to composing music. Since I'm more of visual type, I'd probably liken the process to creating a picture. But your piece still provides plenty of food for thought.
Keep up the good work!
(Mary Anne Landers 2:18pm March 18, 2010)
The use of music (or color, animals, or trees) makes much more sense to me than some of the articles I have read. Many thanks.
(Karin Tillotson 4:02pm March 18, 2010)
Thank you for the very interesting insight. Loved it!!
(Mary Preston 5:15pm March 18, 2010)
Thanks for inviting us in to how you get those creative characters moving. Music to convey a mood gets me in line with the characters I want to create and the dialogue that's key to moving the action.
(Alyson Widen 5:20pm March 18, 2010)
Today's post gave an interesting looking into the development of your characters. It is always nteresting to get a peek behind the curtain. Thank you for explaining your creative process.
(Rosemary Krejsa 7:00pm March 18, 2010)
Okay, I already thought
writers(and all artists for
that matter) lived in a
totally different world than
me. Now I know it. But thank
goodness you do or I'd not
think that every time I open a
book that I'm privileged to
behold a miracle.
(Lisa Richards 8:49pm March 18, 2010)
Thank you all for taking the time to read my piece and write such lovely comments. I'm glad what I wrote was interesting. And I'm sorry I didn't respond yesterday -- I waited till noon then had things I had to go out and do (I'm on a book tour for my latest novel, DO THEY KNOW I'M RUNNING?). Yes, character remains mysterious but not inaccessible. There are ways to invite the Muse to come closer. And if paiting or another method works for us: USE IT.
All the best,
(David Corbett 11:37am March 19, 2010)
I believe that is is alwaays amazing to me to be able to see how authors develope their characters and stories. My mind just doesn't work that way!
dancealert at aol dot com
(Brenda Rupp 9:45pm March 19, 2010)
Music is a very good image to use and
relate to for fiction. The colors, flow and
character of music lend themselves to the
movement of a story.
(Patricia Barraclough 8:27pm March 22, 2010)
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