As you can see, I've changed my feature photo to a bedroom scene. I took this photograph while touring one of the colonial houses in Williamsburg, Virginia. I believe that every woman needs a cozy, private place to curl up and read the books of her heart.
Today, I want to talk about character development, more particularly female characters. My manuscripts always seem to begin with a "third eye" observation, or a particular scene that plays out in my head, a scene that for the most part becomes the pivitol point in the story. Next, I choose my protagonist, give her a dilemma, sprinkle in a few flaws, a dash of fear, and then let her simmer until I find a best friend who, for the most part, is misunderstood and totally underestimated by my protagonist. My belief is that women choose best friends, not for similarities in personalities, but for attributes they feel are missing in themselves. Women are complicated creatures, often not realizing their own individual strength and purpose until suffering through sorrow, rejection and loss. Women are survivors, able to pick up the small pieces of life and make them useful.
I once watched a quilting group as they worked over a quilt fashioned from bits of fabrics pulled from separate lives. Women understand the strength of community and the need to stitch together the small pieces, pieces that could've been easily tossed away and considered to be of no value. Watching this group of quilters gave me a sense of solidarity and such a rush of pride to be a woman. My characters will always be a patchwork of such beautiful women as this group.