Friday, September 28, 2012

Please Welcome My Guest...

Please welcome my guest Mimi Barbour.

How do you encounter your own characters?

Thank you Katherine for letting me visit your blog today. It's great to meet up with new people in a different setting. Because I personally believe that the characters driving a story are the most important part to making it a hit, I wanted to share with your readers the technique I use for creating mine.

 ***Do you make a composite of your characters before you start writing your story? Here are mine for the characters you'll find in my introductory short called Partners, book one for the hot new Vegas series. Book two, Roll the Dice, carries their stories further.

My Characters:

Aurora Morelliheroine

- Sapphire blue eyes, long dark hair, compact body. Looks feminine but hates it.
- Has always tried to overcome her size by the strength of her personality. There's a chip on her shoulder that she nourishes. It's her protection from getting hurt—that and sarcasm, many times humorous.
- She wears high-heeled boots and walks tall, with her head up and shoulders back to add height because she hates feeling inadequate for being so short.
- Concealed under those boots, she has ankle bracelets and painted toenails.
- She hates her bitch of a mother because the woman killed herself in a drunken rage and never, ever gave her daughter any inkling that she mattered. Therefore the little girl hiding inside Aurora still craves those missing hugs.
- She's a secret romantic, loves the happy endings and hides her romance books all around her apartment.
- She's a little Miss Homemaker, has recipes books and bottles of fancy oils in her kitchen. There are homemade quilted pillows on her sofa and herb plants on her windowsill.
- Born and raised in Casa Grande, loves the Coyotes and has a favorite souvenir coffee mug. Her lieutenant grew up near her and they know each other's backgrounds, and therefore they have a special attachment.
- Las Vegas detective for 5 years and has worked with a female partner, Debbie, who she loves more than anyone else. They've formed an attachment closer than sisters, and Debbie is the only person who she's let inside her protective armour. From the night Debbie gets assaulted, Aurora has a mission. Find the serial rapist who hurt the person she loves most. Then put the animal away.
- When Debbie becomes pregnant, takes leave, and gets married to none other than the lieutenant, knitted within Aurora's happiness, feelings of envy emerge. One day, she wants to get married and have her own baby.
- She's had lovers, but never anyone who matters enough for her to change. The men she's actually attracted to aren't the men she chooses to date. It's the hotshot, sexy, cowboy type that sets her heart beating faster, especially if they have the charisma of a lover and the looks to back it up.

***Do you make a detailed analysis or a short, spotlight into each person? A kind of profile to give you an idea of what drives each person to act the way they do under any situation.

Kai LarsonHero

- This man is a Bruce Willis lookalike, has a bald head and his eyes are deep and blue.
- He's a natural tease, a bit of a smartass, and sharp as a whip. Likes to take control.
- He carries a computer case that looks like a purse and wears tight blue jeans, cowboy boots, and favors t-shirts.
- Being that he's from L.A., it isn't hard to believe that his favorite hockey team is the L.A. Kings.
- In L.A. he's a sergeant and has turned down multiple chances at moving up the ladder. He likes working the streets and is good at it.
- He was in the army with Aurora's lieutenant, and after their stints were up, they went to the same police academy. When Kai needs to move to Las Vegas to find and kill the man who'd raped his sister, he places a call and the move is on.
- Except that when he arrives, he's forced to take on a partner. A woman partner who's fixated on getting the same man he wants, only she wants to put him in jail. A woman walking around with a huge chip on her shoulder, and he soon realizes that it turns him on.
- Blessed with good parents, a happy childhood and a gift of attracting the females, he grew up unconsciously feeling entitled.
- Then his sister was raped. From that day he's changed. Made a vow of vengeance. She lost her life and so will the man who'd made her feel such despair that her only way out was to kill herself.

***Or like me, do you fill in these characteristics as the story grows? I find that it's only by how they deal with each conflict I throw at them, that their personalities start becoming clear. And I do love conflicts!

I have a fairly good idea of their looks, because, before I ever put any words on file, I've lived with the characters in my head for a few weeks. By then I can see them as clear as if I was remembering an old friend.

It's how they react under different sets of circumstances that's still a mystery which gets solved as I write their story.

***How do you deal with the people in your story? It'll be interesting to see how many of us work in the same way.

 "Vegas" Contest Rules
(Sept 15 – Sept 30th)

1. Read the book called "Roll the Dice".
2. Write an honest review for Amazon.
3. Send a copy of Amazon's notice to

you'll have a chance at being the lucky winner of a
$50 Amazon Gift Certificate

I've purposely set the price of the book from $3.99 down to $.99 for the duration of this contest.

Good Luck!

My contact information is as follows: I do love to hear from readers so please drop me a line.

Twitter: @MimiBarbour
Amazon page:


  1. Great interview ladies. And Mimi, I love how you've created your characters. So much detail and from reading one of your earlier books, I know how talented you are at giving the reader an insight into your characters without spelling it out or dumping it on them in the beginning. I must add your new books to my TBR list. I think I'm gonna love Aurora and Kai!

    1. Hi Lilly,
      I agree the new books sound great. Thank you for stopping by. :o)

    2. Hi Lilly,
      How nice to meet up with you here. I apologize for being slow to answer, but of course this had to be the day we were on the road travelling back home.
      I appreciate your kind words about my talent...I have to admit some days I do stupid things and don't feel quite so organized, but one thing I did learn early on - I can't write about people I don't know. Take care...xo MImi

  2. I agree, you have to have a full bio of your characters. I bio mine down to every nervous habit or catch phrase. I believe it helps to keep the character consistent throughout the story. I also pin up pictures I find on the internet to keep them talking to me.

    1. Hi Sandra,
      I keep track of nervous habits I've given to characters otherwise I find myself giving the same habit to a number of characters. :o)

    2. Oh Sandra, you're much better than I am. I keep the pictures of the characters in my head, and the few lines you read above are my basic guidelines. I wish I had more of the plotter in me, but it just doesn't fit...sigh!!

  3. I kept a notebook full of the characters in Silver Lake, with details down to what month they celebrated their birthdays and yes, their nervous habits, motivations, physical characteristics, etc. - it's so important! I love the idea of pictures :) Great post!

    1. Hi Kathryn,
      I usually use index cards for each character, but I like your plan of using a notebook better. It certainly would give me more room so I don't have to decipher words I've crammed into the corners. :o)

    2. Hi Katheryn, I'm beginning to feel like I should hide my head in shame...I'm going to try and be better about this in the next book and see if it makes things easier for me as I create the story.
      Mimi ( who has red cheeks!)

  4. Great post. I keep a spreadsheet with characteristics as I learn of them.

    1. Hi Lisa,
      I like the idea of using a spreadsheet too. I might have to try that.

    2. Hi Lisa, Okay...a spreadsheet's out for me. I have trouble writing a grocery list I can decipher at the store...:)

  5. Learning the hard way is not keeping that diary or list that you talk of, Kathryn. My first book was totally pantser driven- with minimal notes. Then I had to scroll though a lot to find a detail I didn't want to get wrong at a later stage in the novel. I like to think I lived and learned, though, since I now make more notes as the wip progresses.

    1. Hi Nancy,
      I had to do the same thing. I too learned to keep notes about which minor characters held what titles etc. Thanks for stopping by. :o)

  6. Hi Nancy, Funny you should say that. Because it's exactly what happened to me on my first book. I think I screwed up so much that I had even used two or three different names for my characters...thank goodness for editors!!

  7. Hi Mimi,

    Thanks for being my guest. :o)

  8. That was a pretty awesome post. I liked getting to know the characters so well. I suppose I'll have to pick up my copy of Roll the Dice now. Sounds like an interesting read. :)