This week's special guest is mystery author Joan K. Maze to talk about heroes.
Meet J.K. Maze:
I've always been involved in the arts, music, writing and painting, beginning with studying voice at Northwestern University. I interrupted this endeavor for a family, but finally finished my degree at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, Minnesota. The emphasis, this time, was in subjects related to writing.
My first attempt at fiction was at the age of eight when my mother taught me how to use her turn-of-the-century typewriter. It was so heavy I couldn't lift it, but that didn't stop me from spending hours learning to type and, supposedly, write. As far as the story is concerned, it contained every mistake known to the publishing world, but it sparked my interest, which grew from that point on.
After spending years learning the craft of writing and producing stories, I joined Romance Writers of America, then KOD, the mystery and suspense group, and subsequently others. While I've received help from a local non-RWA writers' group, I credit RWA for bringing my writing to the point where it was considered publishable. Red Rose Publishing is a great organization to work with, and I'm delighted and honored to be one of their authors.
My first published novel, MURDER BY MISTAKE, is a cozy and the first in the Mollie Fenwick Mystery Series, it was followed by FRAMED IN FEAR, a single title romantic suspense. The second Mollie Fenwick mystery is almost ready to present to Red Rose Publishing, and is entitled MURDER FOR KICKS.
How does a writer choose between two heroes? by Joan Maze
I’ve been asking that question ever since working on Murder By Mistake, the first in a cozy mystery series (also Chicklit). When I originally planned this book, it was to be a stand-alone mystery. That quickly changed when I realized I wanted to keep this protagonist, and thirty-something widow. She’s also an artist and works part-time for a bus company, transporting seniors and the disabled.
She’s also psychic, and when she sees a vision of a murder in her apartment, she decides not to inform the police of the clues. Who would believe a psychic?
The hero I originally planned for this mystery is her next door neighbor, a hunky homicide cop. Below is her first impression:
I couldn’t help grinning at the memory of the hunk. He had stood there, glaring at me, his arms folded across a broad chest, his legs slightly apart. Despite my agitation, I’d been unable to resist looking him over, my eyes going from the top of his head to his feet. His hair was a sort of russet brown with an errant lock tumbling over his forehead. He wore jeans molded to powerful looking thighs.
Then the unexpected happened. Another man walked onto the set and absolutely refused to leave, at times overshadowing Hero #1. How could this happen? I hadn’t planned him at all.
To discover why I didn’t want to get rid of him, check out the following excerpt, where she meets him for the first time.
Knowing Gladys’s penchant for the unusual, I thought I was prepared, but when we walked into Jack Wolf’s studio, I damned near fainted. The man out-intimidated Bartholomew by a mile. Wolf’s black hair was long and loose, Indian style, his short-sleeved white shirt hung open, revealing the bronzed skin of his heritage and a six-pack I simply gaped at. He wore his jean shorts low, and his muscles made it obvious he still worked out regularly. He was tall, maybe six foot three or four, and his eyes were black. The room was lined with shelves containing art supplies, and three easels contained paintings in various stages of completion. The whole scene before me suggested emotions and feelings in a big way. There was also strength, as evidenced not only by the paintings themselves, but by the man.
Wolf has become a very important part of the series; in the second book, Murder For Kicks, he becomes the heroine’s kickboxing instructor, and the heat index goes up about fifty degrees, maybe more.
So, how does a writer choose between two heroes? I still don’t have an answer. Not only is my protagonist, Mollie, unable to choose, neither is this writer. And guess what, there’s a third hero waiting in the wings, anxious to take a larger role in the next book, Murder By Spook. (That’s spook as in spy, not ghost.)
The first time a character took over, I tried to fix it. It didn’t work. Now, after many such occurrences, I’ve decided it’s logic taking over.
Either that or my characters are smarter than I am.
WIN - Leave Joan a question or comment here at the AuthorIsland Tiki Hut this week and your name goes in the hat for a free download of her book MURDER BY MISTAKE. Please leave your email address so we can contact you if you're our winner! Good luck!