Wheee! I’m so lucky to have this blog so I can bug all my friends whose books I love to guest! Give a nice warm welcome to HelenKay Dimon who writes awesome romance and romantic suspense!
Thank you so much for inviting me here today. I thought this would be a good time to answer a question/comment that keeps coming up in reader emails. It goes something like this: your characters, especially your heroines, have difficult pasts. Do you ever think about giving them a break?
The real answer is that I give the characters the backstory that fits who I think they are. You see, I was a divorce lawyer for a long time. I learned that many people live with very difficult, sometimes debilitating, pasts. Those things that happened to them before shape who they are now. How they act and react depends, at least in part, on what they’ve lived through. Someone with trauma in their past might have different survival skills. I love exploring those possibilities, playing the “what if” game in figuring out who these very special are and how they manage everything around them.
So, when coming up with a character, I think in terms of what the person has seen and experienced. Sometimes, like in my newest release, WHEN SHE WASN’T LOOKING, the backstory includes something so tragic that I can’t imagine how I would survive it if it happened to me. In this case, the heroine, Courtney, lost her entire family in a supposed murder-suicide. You read about those horrible events in the news all too frequently. I wondered what something so horrifying would do to a family member who managed to survive. How something that devastating happening to a teen girl would influence who she became as an adult…and the character of Courtney was born.
I think it really comes down to writing about survivors. These people aren’t victims. They are strong and determined, yet wounded. They deal with things most of us, fortunately, can’t fathom. Add in an ongoing suspense component and the promise of love and, for me, you have a winning combination. After all, who doesn’t want to see a survivor thrive? I know I do.
HelenKay is giving away WHEN SHE WASN’T LOOKING, or a book from her backlist, winner’s choice. Winner announced in the next Monday Winners Post!