C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m

Write and publish with love and fury.

Author Blog Challenge: I love the voices in my head

Michael Clarke Duncan at the Warner Brothers L...

Michael Clarke Duncan at the Warner Brothers Lot in Burbank, California. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the writing prompts for the Author Blog Challenge is to choose a favorite literary character. That’s tough. I mean, I relate to Tyler Durden from Fight Club, but the cognitive dissonance kicks me in the pills when I realize that, beside the insomnia and ennui, I am not even Tyler’s alter-ego. I have a few things in common with Portnoy from Portnoy’s Complaint, though. Ugh.

This isn’t a dodge and I don’t mean to fall into douchey pimping, but the truth is my favorite literary character is whichever one I’m writing at this moment. I have several works on the go, so let me introduce the interesting people I hang out with while strangers assume I’m staring off into space and drooling:

Legs Gabrielle is a very funny comedian whose career has fallen through the floor. She finds herself back in Poeticule Bay, Maine, in the house she ran away from as a teenager. A killer has come to town, the Sheriff disappears, the deputy is cute, her sister has cancer (and might also be crazy.) I love Legs’s sense of humour and she’s a pleasure to write for the jokes that work as  counterpoint to her emotional depth. Hollywood has rejected her, but she’s the star of her own book soon.

Chili Gillie is a Michael Clarke Duncan lookalike, Legs’ bodyguard and has Mike Tyson’s voice. He’s a sweet man who only looks mean when needed. He’s the calm rationality around which the crazy revolves. His presence is extraordinary, but he’s the most normal of my characters. Both Legs and Chili are the stars of the first story in Self-help for Stoners and Chili shows up again in Bigger Than Jesus in a larger role. I’ve got big plans for him.

Dr. Circe Papua turns up a lot in my fiction. She’s a psycho psychotherapist who is magically persuasive and can be deadly if provoked. I love her cunning, unexpected lethality. Circe’s complex relationships with her patients often demand a battle of wills and wit. She shows up in different incarnations in Self-help for Stoners, Vengeance is #1, Corrective Measures and Sex, Death & Mind Control (for fun and profit).

Jesus Diaz is a mob enforcer who doesn’t want to be what his tragic childhood and circumstance has made him. He wants, above all, to fall in love with the right woman (if he can ever find her) and go relatively straight. He’s the main character in my crime novel, Bigger Than Jesus and I like him most for three things: he’s clever and prefers to lie rather than fight; he’s not really all that tough despite his profession; and he’s funny. I like funny people and chapters that whip along, full of pops and surprises. The series reads like a Cohen brother’s movie. Bad things keep happening even though you think you have an easy way out. This book will be out very soon and I’m jonesing for it. Just nailing down the cover and then we’re just about there. Jesus Diaz originally came to me as a story for Self-help for Stoners, but in that incarnation, he’s a much older, wiser and experienced assassin.

Jack (from Corrective Measures and Sex, Death and Mind Control.) Jack is a serial killer who I find interesting because of the way he sees our world. He thinks about vengeance quite a bit, but I’m actually more interested in writing him when he’s not himself. He’s fascinating when he’s trying to fit in and working through his twisted motivations and problems. He’s a dark avenging angel who has to hide his wings (metaphorically, that is) as he punishes people he decides deserve bad ends.

What’s fun is, eventually, I’m going to have all these characters meet in one book, but they have a lot of work to do before they meet. I have a lot of books to write before that happens, too. It’s exhilarating, daunting and pretty cool. Yeah, I said so myself.

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Winner of Writer's Digest's 2014 Honorable Mention in Self-published Ebook Awards in Genre

The first 81 lessons to get your Buffy on

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"You will laugh your ass off!" ~ Maxwell Cynn, author of Cybergrrl

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