Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss

Sandra Ruttan | Imaginary Friends

October 29, 2008

I was staring at the wall, my hands still. My partner assumed I was taking a break and started talking to me.

“Be quiet! There are voices talking inside my head and I have to hear what they’re saying!”

He muttered something like, “Okay crazy person,” and left me to talk to my imaginary friends.

Writing a novel is an extremely personal venture. For months, these characters live inside your mind as you get to know them and try to reveal their character, intent and actions on the page. When you write a series it’s even more personal, because you develop a long-term relationship with your protagonists.

In THE FRAILTY OF FLESH, book two of the Nolan, Hart and Tain series, the storylines are very personal. In book one, events from the past are alluded to but not exploited. In book two, Nolan is confronted by some of his darkest fears, Tain struggles with a deep personal wound that will never heal, and Hart suffers a devastating loss.

Some of my friends have wondered how I could put these characters through hell. As a reader, and as someone who loves series books and gets very attached to characters, I can understand that this might bother some readers.

As a reader, I know I never want to read the same book over and over again. I never want readers to think I’m writing the same book over and over again either. Love it or loathe it, the one thing I hope everyone will agree on is that I didn’t just recycle the first book and slap a different title on it.

Confronting my characters with their personal demons was hard. Your characters live and breathe for you, and many authors I know view their protagonists as friends or children. Each of my protagonists has something of me in them, but putting them in tough situations gave me a chance to get to know them better, and it also allowed them to grow.

I have been asked if I’ll go a bit easier on them in the third book, LULLABY FOR THE NAMELESS. I take that as a real compliment, that readers care enough about the characters to want them to be happy, but for now all I can say for now is that you’ll have to wait until next fall to find out.

Want to win a signed copy of THE FRAILTY OF FLESH? Enter before November 1 via Maine Crime Writer or by November 5 at Bookspot Central

Sandra Ruttan

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