Burning Question: Readers’ most frequent questions answered.
Today, I answer a reader’s question:
Are you as promiscuous as your main character?
Yes, it’s true, a woman in a book club actually put down her glass of Pinot Grigio and raised her hand to ask me this question. And you have to admit, it’s a lot more interesting than “Where do you get your ideas?” Now if a man had asked me the same question, I’m not sure I would have been as charmed, or as honest. But this question is really asking how characters are formed: Do I borrow from my own bag of traits?
And the answer is that in this case, I borrowed from someone else’s traits. The character Claire, in Standing Still, already carried the heavy mantle of one of my own traits–having panic disorder–so I certainly didn’t want to burden her with all my other annoying qualities (like my dislike of football — move two inches, stop the clock. move another two inches, stop the clock). What’s more, she needed to be insecure and afraid of being alone — so making her promiscuous in her youth simply made sense. And since we’ve all known someone like that, it was easy.
(And no, I didn’t do any personal research in order to get inside her slutty ways.)
Kelly Simmons is the author of Standing Still (Simon & Schuster) and coming in February, The Bird House. Learn more at www.bykellysimmons.com She is also a very responsible tweeter: www.twitter.com/kellysimmons and a good facebook friend to have (kellyatbubble), primarily because she is about to give free stuff away.