Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Welcome Author Joan C. Curtis

Welcome Author  Joan C. Curtis

Contact Links: www.joancurtis.com
Bio:     Joan is an award winning writer who has published 5 books and numerous stories. In her newest mystery/suspense novel, The Clock Strikes Midnight, we meet Janie Knox, a tormented young woman who escaped her home and family after a jury convicted her stepfather of killing her mother. Full of twists and turns, readers learn of a trail of long-hidden family secrets that plague the lives of both Janie and her older sister, Marlene. Not until the last page do all the secrets reveal themselves and the web of lies finally release its hold on the two sisters

Book Title: The Clock Strikes Midnight (no cover yet, book coming Fall 2014)

·         Blurb:  At age 17, a week after a jury convicted her stepfather of killing her mother, Janie Knox packed all her worldly possessions in a single duffle bag, hopped on a bus, and vowed never to return.
    As the clock ticks away, Janie’s uses her last days to right the wrongs that have haunted her for 20 years. She faces more than she bargained for when she discovers her sister’s life in shambles and her stepfather a formidable foe.
The Clock Strikes Midnight is a race against time in a quest for revenge and atonement. This is a story about hate, love and forgiveness.

·         Book Buy Links: Coming Fall 2014! To be released by MuseItUp Publishing

·         Guest Post: How Do You Develop Characters?
Recently an interviewer asked me the question, “What’s your process in developing your characters?”
When I start a story, I have a protagonist in mind. That person becomes my main character. I have a vague idea of who some supporting characters might be, but many pop up as the story progresses.
As an example let me take you back in time with the early days of The Clock Strikes Midnight. I began the novel with Marlene in mind. It was supposed to be a story about a woman going through a mid-life crisis. Well, Marlene had other ideas. She took me down an entirely different path.  Wow! It was amazing. As I worked with Marlene, other characters emerged. The first being her husband, Peter. But, it wasn’t long before Peter took a backseat and Marlene’s sister, Janie, surfaced. I had no idea that Janie would turn out to be a bad little teen. She was the polar opposite to  Marlene. Where Marlene was the good little girl growing up, Janie rebelled. The contrast was fun to write, but again not what I had planned. It didn’t take me long to realize I couldn’t plan. My characters had their own ideas.
This kind of evolutionary writing makes for an editing nightmare. It is, however, the only way I know how to write. I have heard other writers who have had similar experiences. Yet, there are also writers who know their characters and their story before they start. For me, the process of writing, of creating enables me to let loose and allow the characters to emerge.

How about you? How do you develop your characters?


  1. Thanks for joining me today! I have to admit, I hate developing new characters. I just started writing a new series, and having written 5 books in the Gotcha series, I'm so comfortable with these people, they are like friends, it's hard to bring new people into my head.

  2. Hi Jamie Lee, So glad to be part of this launch. Thank you. Developing characters is a true mystery. They jump up and into the story all the time. I love that!

    I do agree that the regulars are like friends. But don't you love the new supporting cast who arrive in every new book?

    1. I do love the supporting cast, and some of them end up sticking around for several books. I always find it funny when people talk about my books and they start talking about the characters, then other join in and think we are talking about real people. To me, they are real, at least while I'm writing.

    2. Jamie, Do you write with an outline or do you let the characters take over? I've done both but I tend toward the more evolutionary style of writing. I know everyone's has a different method.

    3. I outline the plot, then I take lots of detours once I start writing. I never know who the killer is until the very end.

  3. Ve-e-e-ery carefully. :)

    My head's seriously overcrowded, not just with the handful of series I'm already juggling, but with the characters I haven't yet started working with, who are constantly tugging my sleeves asking for attention. It's a amazing I'm not schizophrenic.

    1. You really do have a lot of characters. I didn't think about that. And I know all of your characters too. Ha! But I think of you as so grounded.

    2. My new mystery has a lot of characters. I'm trying to figure out how to introduce them all. How do you do it, Jenna?

  4. For me, I started writing with a very specific scene in my head. I developed the hero and heroine around that scene. Since I wanted to write a mystery, I created someone to kill off. The minor characters in my book just kind of popped in, did their thing, and left again. I'm sure we'll see lots of the secondary characters return in the next book.

    When my beta reader called me and started talking about my characters like they were real people, it felt very strange and surreal because I'd never shared my writing at all before, with anyone, EVER.

  5. @Denise, yes, I tend to do the same thing. Start with a main character and then the minor characters appear. With my mystery series one of the secondary characters took a very prominent role. He's now a regular.

    Strange, though, how they become real. . . particularly to our readers.

  6. I usually have an idea about my characters GMC but the always surprise me by the middle of the book