Story Garden | What Happens When You Love (Or Despise) Your Characters For Not Being Like You?
October 8, 2012
From Trish Jensen: My
book that came out in September, AGAINST HIS WILL,
featured a man who had no use for dogs. Or any animals, for that matter. I
couldn't stand my own hero for a long, long time because I'm an animal freak,
and he wasn't. The only thing that kept me going (and not bonking him over the
head with a baseball bat) was that I absolutely knew the heroine would change
his mind, and he'd end up loving that dang Bulldog he'd inherited against his
will. I also knew he'd never abuse the dog even if he hated being the new
unwilling human, because he'd be dead. (The hero, not the dog.)
Well, he actually obeyed me, which most of my characters end up not doing. He
fell in love with his dog. So I love him even more today than I did when I
finished this story.
But that was just a prelim to what I'm talking about here. In my next release,
FOR A GOOD TIME, CALL... I've recognized that neither of those characters
are me, either. Sherry doesn't let anything get her down. Well, she can get
very, very ticked on occasion, and loves creative revenge, but for the most part
the thing the hero hates about her most is that she's always upbeat. She's
always at the ready to come up with a solution to a problem in a snap. That is
SO not me. If I don't meet my page deadline any given day I mope, a yell at
myself and want to punish me. She doesn't. Sherry's sunny disposition and,
"Well, how about if we do this instead?" attitude infuriates the hero. Until it
ultimately melts him. I'm also not that hero, Christian "Kit" Fleming. He's good
at everything. He's used to getting results. But he's basically miserable
inside, even though he doesn't even recognize that in himself until cheery
Sherry comes along. And it's not a happy road as they learn to understand each
And yet, these two characters aren't anything like me. I think I'm
somewhere in the middle. So maybe my joy in writing this book as that I made
them each give a little and meet in the middle. Like where I'd be.
The bottom line is writing a character whose internal makeup looks nothing like
your own. But you created the situation, the characters, and now you have to
live with them, even when they try to take control. And oh, do they try to take
control. But I know where the delete button is located, and they don't.
It's always interesting to write outside of your comfort zone and your core
beliefs. You never know what you'll discover about your characters, and even
yourself. In FOR A GOOD TIME, CALL... Sherry taught me to have a more
positive outlook. Kit, unfortunately didn't teach me how to be a CEO by age 35,
but he sure taught me more discipline in order to achieve my goals. I love them
both for that.
Trish is offering either a future book (e-version or print) of FOR A GOOD
TIME CALL... when it's released, or a copy of AGAINST HIS WILL in
either Nook or Kindle format to the winner.
53 comments posted.
Re: Story Garden | What Happens When You Love (Or Despise) Your Characters For Not Being Like You?
This sounds like a book I'd love to read!!!
(Bonnie Capuano 10:17am October 8, 2012)
I love reading about characters that are different from me, but I can't imagine how hard it must be to write them.
(Pam Howell 10:33am October 8, 2012)
This is a must read book.
(Shirley Sego 10:46am October 8, 2012)
It really must be hard to create characters that are totally different from you. But, it sounds like you have it all figured out! Keep creating those interesting, infuriating (to you) characters!
(Marguerite Guinn 10:49am October 8, 2012)
can't wait to read it!!!
(Ashley C 11:05am October 8, 2012)
If I don't like the character, I hope nothing good happens to them, if I like them, I hope nothing but good happens for them.
(Jacqueline Wyllys 11:08am October 8, 2012)
It's hard to read a book if I don't like the characters but if the bookis ok, I
just read anyways!
(Vicki Hancock 11:46am October 8, 2012)
I admire your ability to do something different. Some authors have to recycle the same character over and over. Which can be ok if you like that character!
(Lisa Elwood 11:57am October 8, 2012)
I enjoy reading Trish Jensen's books because of the humor in them. Both books sound wonderful and I'd have a hard time choosing which to read first.
(Monica Vargo 12:01pm October 8, 2012)
Ah, yes, another learning experience...
(Susan Jeffers 12:04pm October 8, 2012)
It's hard to read a book if you don't like the hero or heroine, but sometimes you just have to give them a few chapters - they may redeem themselves. And, teach you something in the meantime. Both sound like great reads!!
(Kelli Jo Calvert 12:31pm October 8, 2012)
I think it is great that you write your characters in a way that ends up showing you something meaningful. I can't wait to read them both. Thanks!
(Teresa Sullivan 12:46pm October 8, 2012)
I can handle reading about a lead character that I don't really like for one book---but I don't think I could for a whole series.
(Sue Farrell 12:55pm October 8, 2012)
Hi Trish! It never ceases to amaze me how authors can start with a hero/heroine they/you don't like and have them redeem themselves. Both AGAINST HIS WILL and FOR A GOOD TIME, CALL... sound like must reads. Thanks for sharing both stories with us.
(Cathy Phillips 1:14pm October 8, 2012)
I want to see a character grow and evolve in their personalities... I will see what happens with a character before I decide if I truly do not like them.
(Colleen Conklin 1:41pm October 8, 2012)
thanks for a fun post and congrats on the new release!
(Erin Fender 1:51pm October 8, 2012)
I ALWAYS LOVE TO SEE WHAT THE CHARACTERS DOES WHEN THEY FALL
IN LOVE WITH THE ONES THAT THEY CAN'T HAVE.
(Shelly Caggiano 3:04pm October 8, 2012)
I can't wait to read your books and find out more about the characters as they fall in love and make compromises.
(Linda Luinstra 5:02pm October 8, 2012)
sounds great ..still love print copy as i dont have a kindle yet...
(Kimberly Hoefs 5:16pm October 8, 2012)
It's like when you have children and they have traits that are nothing like you and it can be baffling.
(Maureen Emmons 6:15pm October 8, 2012)
This book sounds really quirky and I love quirky unusual character books!
(Laurie Murray 7:14pm October 8, 2012)
I'm looking forward to reading this!
(Hyunjin Jeon 8:15pm October 8, 2012)
Love the comment about the delete button. Both books sound wonderful!
(Mary Chin 9:12pm October 8, 2012)
Sounds like an interesting story! :)
(Dianne McVetty 9:21pm October 8, 2012)
I think I would have a hard time reading your book Against His Will, because I'm such a big animal lover. Not knowing how far you've gone in your book as far as the main character not loving dogs, would be a bit of a problem for me. If I grabbed the book by mistake and already started to read it, I would finish it, because I always finish the books I start. For a Good Time Call sounds like it would be a good read. Both books are so different, that it amazes me how an Author can come up with so many ideas for their stories, yet each one so different and written in such a way to draw us into their world if only for a while. I can't wait to get my hands on your book!!
(Peggy Roberson 9:39pm October 8, 2012)
With four dogs you could say I am an animal lover. These books sound
like lots of fun. The characters in both stories are intriguing, but like
everyone seems to be saying about the non animal lover I might have a
hard time too. Although having no pets for the first 15 years of my marriage
I guess I went overboard once I found the unsaleable dogs from a litter that
no one wanted.
(Ann Sheiring 12:34pm October 9, 2012)
Hmm, never thought of that.
(P Noda 1:53am October 9, 2012)
(Sandy Giden 10:19am October 9, 2012)
i will add this to my to read list
(Debbi Shaw 12:42pm October 9, 2012)
I like to think I wouldn't have too much problem with Jake Donnelly being a non-dog lover, because a lot of the time, people who claim they don't like/love dogs (or cats or whatever) usually haven't been animal-owned, and just need to learn how to live that way.
(Lynn Rettig 2:03pm October 9, 2012)
Looks like a good read
(Fred Holmes 3:25pm October 9, 2012)
I'm not sure. But this book sounds like it would be one for me
(Ashley C 6:09pm October 10, 2012)
This sounds like a great book. I can only imagine how interesting it must be to create characters that are so different from yourself.
(Michele Hayes 12:17pm October 11, 2012)
I always love a book that not ony entertains me but helps me learn something. I
never thought about the aspect of the author learning something from her
characters! You sound like a fun person & your books sound like a treat to read.
Glad to hear that you will have them as e-books.
(Jean Merriott 1:09am October 11, 2012)
It sounds a bit bizarre! I love the unexpected
(Mary Withrow 1:43am October 11, 2012)
I can not wait to read this book.
(Annetta Stolpmann 12:33pm October 11, 2012)
This sounds like a good book, looking forward to reading it
(Karen Farrow 3:08pm October 11, 2012)
Sounds great!!! Can't wait to read it!!
(Vicki Hancock 4:39pm October 11, 2012)
It had to hard to write about a guy that didn't like animals
(Patricia Kasner 11:42pm October 11, 2012)
Can't believe a man who wouldn't love (or learn to love)
animals. I would love to read this book.
(Mary Hay 10:56am October 12, 2012)
Against His Will looks really great!
(Janet Gould 5:57pm October 12, 2012)
This is a refreshing story about man vs. animals. I love the thought that he falls in love for this dog in the end. How could you NOT love an animal? They are just so darn cute & LOYAL! ;)
(Quetzi Fernald 8:31pm October 12, 2012)
This is an awesome giveaway!!
(Bonnie Capuano 9:16am October 13, 2012)
Sounds like a great book. Love to win it.
(Amy Milne 10:00pm October 13, 2012)
Not loving dogs........is that even possible?
(Beth Charette 5:33am October 14, 2012)
It makes the story more interesting, since the contrast intrigues me and keeps me turning the pages.
(Alyson Widen 3:07pm October 14, 2012)
I am not a writer so the characters are not mine. I am a reader and if I still don't like a main character by page 80, I usually stop reading the book. Minor characters can be nasty but not our hero or his lady.
(Kathleen Yohanna 3:20am October 15, 2012)
I can't wait to read this one!! Sounds like a lot of fun. I love animals,and detectives and to mix it up with a doggie counselor sounds like so much fun.
(Teresa Sullivan 1:48pm October 15, 2012)
Thank you for the chance to win. I can only imagine how hard it would be to write with a hero that you don't like (even if eventually you love him). Not like animals? I've come to the conclusion that if you don't like animals that you don't like humans very much either. Animals are usually more loving - they give 100%. Humans don't. Have a wonderful & blessed day. Loved the comments on your blog.
(Pat Moore 2:37pm October 15, 2012)
I enjoy books with a touch of humor and this one sounds like it may have that special ingredient.
(Anna Speed 3:39pm October 15, 2012)
Sounds great and just like a book I'd enjoy reading. Thanks for the giveaway!
(MaryAnne Banks 4:46pm October 15, 2012)
Thank you for taking on the challanges of writing this novel! I am a animal lover and really enjoy the stories with pets in them. I am looking forward to reading this book and am putting it on my reading list today.
(Rachel Bell 4:52pm October 15, 2012)
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