a character’s perspective
Hello, welcome back, and congratulations to Jordanna East!
This is a big day — the release date for Blood in the Past!!
About Blood in the Past: Jillian Atford falls for an older man, a handsome Philadelphia cop, whose mystery is that he’s married, a reality Jillian refuses to accept. Lyla Kyle finds her mother dead on the floor from an apparent suicide. She blames her philandering father and wastes no time taking her revenge. Detective Jason Brighthouse Sr. is in the wrong place at the right time to attempt to save a colleague from his burning home. When neither of them make it out alive, his teenage son can only harp on their last argument. He shoots himself in the head…with his father’s gun.
Three lives. Three deaths. One story. To understand the future, you must visit the past.
What are your favorite and least favorite parts of character development?
My favorite part is thinking up their back stories. What life experiences have caused them to choose the paths they choose. For example, Jillian Atford was a foster child, bounced around from bad homes to worse homes. So, when she falls for a married Calvin Kyle, she engages in the affair wholeheartedly. She’s just happy to have someone–who already has a family–show some interest in her. My least favorite part of character development is when I try to put myself in my characters’ shoes to figure out what a plausible response is to a particular situation. Like I said, we all have experiences that shape us, so my experiences might send me down a different path than that of my characters. Plus, I don’t want to end up pitying them for any reason. That’ll make it harder to kill them later.
Have you ever watched someone on television or in a movie, and been inspired to create or add to your own book character?
Actually, Law & Order SVU (reruns of which I have on in the background sometimes while I write) is what prompted me to give Jillian a foster family background. Also, I was a big Dexter fan when I first started writing Blood in the Paint (the full-length follow-up to Blood in the Past), which is why Lyla uses a syringe as her weapon of choice. Different drug though. Succinylcholine paralyzes and kills. Off the top of my head, I don’t know what Dexter uses. But if you’re not familiar with the show, it only knocks his victims out for a little while.
Who are some of your favorite good guy gone bad book characters?
I don’t wanna ruin anything for your readers, so SPOILER ALERT. Amy Dunne from Gone Girl.
Thanks, but I’m sure the 10 (maybe 8) readers won’t be offended, Jordanna …
Which of your book characters would be most likely to turn away from people, and spend his/her time talking to their pets and animals?
Umm, either Jillian or Lyla. Jillian is little too “unhinged” to even keep a house plant though, so I’m gonna go with Lyla. I was actually thinking of giving her a pet in the second full-length novel, the one after Blood in the Paint. SPOILER ALERT: Lyla Kyle Gets a Pet! Haha. Maybe I’m the one who’s unhinged…
If your main character faced time in prison, what would his/her last meal likely be?
I consider Lyla to be my main character, and she would probably choose assorted sushi rolls and ice cold beer. Leinenkugel, to be specific. Jillian has her own skeletons in her closet that may or may not land her in jail later on (hint, hint?), but I can tell you right now she won’t eat a thing.
In your opinion, can authors go too far in their characters’ physical description? How much should be left to the imagination, how much of the portrait should an author paint?
God, yes! Do you know why? Because of movie and television adaptations. If an author gives too many physical details and the actors and actresses aren’t a perfect match, fans end up in an uproar. It really is a pickle. All you really need is an approximate age, hair color, maybe eye color, and that’s kind of it. You’re better off describing personality traits. That makes the character seem more realistic anyway, in my opinion.
Many people have been reading the reviews for The Great Gatsby, myself included. I have read reviews stating that it is impressive, but would not move the audience. I have read that it is a terrific adaptation. I have also read that the film is dreadful. Which of your characters would see the movie at the theater, which characters would wait and rent the movie?
Haha, for some reason I see Jason Brighthouse seeing it in the theater. Blood in the Past takes place, you guessed it, in the past. But Blood in the Paint is present day, so his partner on the force would definitely give him grief for even wanting to see it. Lyla might get dragged to see it in the theater by one of her soon-to-be victims. Jillian would wait for DVD, when she could open a bottle of white wine and pass out before you could say West Egg.
Fun chat; thanks so much for stopping by!!
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Blood in the Past — now available on Amazon