First off, let me apologize for missing Sunday’s blog. Between Labor Day and some breakage of my glasses, seeing let alone writing a blog was near impossible. That said, Welcome to my mid week offering. And, boy! Do we have something special.
Sometimes characters talk to you and sometimes they are truly inspired. Sometimes, you get lucky and they do both. When I start writing, I always try to get a visual of who is about to take over my life. Because, that’s what they do. characters become your world for however long you craft their stories.
Today, I thought it would be fun to go back in time to visit one of my favorite characters. Nikki from How Wicked Can She Go? Mainly, because Desert Breeze Publishing is releasing the book with all new material to include it into my Love Bites/Southern Werewolf world. This story really kicked off the concept of a shared universe in my titles. I always saw my stories as patches in a giant quilt. A comedic quilt in the case of these books. it took me a few years to realize what I was really do, but that comes with age and experience. Not that I’m old, but working on it.
Anyway, like I often do, I based Nikki on a very good friend. Who better to steal from that a friend? Layering in a real person and fictional character is not as easy as it sounds. You take the reality of who someone is to give you a basis to work from. That doesn’t mean that character is them, just that their heart went into the character. The rest is outrageous exaggeration of the worst sort, or that’s what I was told to tell you on pain of withering members.
Drum roll please. Time to meet the real Nikki, Melanie Gilbreath.
Jmo: Sit! Sit! And, welcome to the Giggles. First off, I want to thank you for being Nikki’s heart and soul. That said, what was your first reaction when I asked you if you would be my Nikki? Not, what you said, which I can’t remember anyway, but the thought that raced through your mind. If you can’t remember just fake it. I do it all the time.
Mimi: Well as I remember it, you never actually asked. You just kept sending me chapters, and after I’d read them ask me probing questions and such. It was a bit strange so I asked your wife what was going on. Her exact words were, I think. “She’s you, idgit, Nikki is you!” to which I replied “OOHHHH, well… that explains so much!”
Then I asked why you wanted to call her Nikki. Hmmph. I’m still not over that one.
Jmo: One of the things I remember most about writing the book, was you helping me get the witch facts, maybe not right, because I’m nowhere near right, but working with me on adapting what I wanted to do with what would be fine with people who might have misconceptions when it comes to witches. The word Mitches came about because of those conversations.
Mimi: Well. I’m pretty tolerant of the mundane masses. You had certain things you wanted to accomplish that aren’t any where near the realm of reality .It’s a romance book with a heavy dose of fantasy. I think, in this day and age, there are plenty of books out there for people who really wish to know what modern witches do. Fiction writers should be able to flex their imagination without the reality police bothering them.
Jmo: Even though, Wicked is a comedic farce, there are some real issues addressed. What is true love? What does it mean? What would someone do for love? Or, give up for that matter. As a reader and writer of romance yourself, how important do you think it is to have that balance between fictional ‘love’ and the reality of ‘love’, even in a comedic work?
Mimi: Well, I guess it depends on what emotions your wanting to evoke in your readers. With a funny book I think it’s best to keep the things light. Of course the reality of love can be pretty funny so I think it’s pretty easy to add that tone of realism to a comedic story.
Jmo: Okay, this part is the toughy. How much do you actually see of yourself in Nikki?
Mimi: Well, I do not have an unhealthy obsession with celery. And the bosoms. Those bosoms are not nearly as epic as mine actually are. Seriously, though. you got my speech patterns down and Nikki’s quirkiness.
Jmo: Finally, because I do have other deadlines to meet, and I already missed one blog this week due to Labor Day festivities, if you could be Nikki for one day, what cosmic power would you unleash on an unsuspecting world?
Mimi: The Island of Reverend Mimi Jennlandia would mysteriously appear. Stocked with an endless supply of chocolate and peopled by two fat happy women and every hawt celebrity on our fantasy harem teams to do all the housework and heavy lifting. Supervised, of course, by our actual husbands so we could just relax and live the life of leisure we actually were meant to.
Jmo: Well, uh, yes. Time to go. But, before I do. Here’s the future page for the Love Bites Edition of How Wicked Can She Go?. Sorry for the advertisement but a guy’s gotta promo eventually.
How Wicked Can She Go?
Desert Breeze Publishing