Today I talk to author Christina Kaye and we put her fictional characters under the microscope.
Christina Kaye – #AuthorTalk
Christina was raised in suburban Central Kentucky in a family full of right-brainers. With a photographer/artist for a grandfather and an author/illustrator for a mother, she was bound to wind up on the creative side of the spectrum. She honed her writing skills in school, earning high praise and winning awards for her essays and short stories. She tried her hand at about every sport imaginable, which only went to prove that her efforts were better spent in other creative outlets such as art, singing, and writing. But it was writing that really stuck with her and she spent the next several years trying her hand at writing fiction novels, just for the fun of it.
She took a break for a while and focused on putting herself through paralegal school while raising two amazing Irish twin girls. Christina quickly learned that being a certified paralegal was the best career choice she could have made. On top of all of the cool cases she has worked on over the years, she was able to write original legal documents autonomously. When a national magazine for attorneys approached her in 2013 to write a short story for them about the life of a paralegal, she jumped at the opportunity. When the article was published and garnered some amazing feedback, she realized how much she missed writing for leisure. Christina sat down and wrote her very first full-length fiction novel that year and hasn’t stopped writing since.
She love reading (all genres except sci-fi and erotica), folk music, caramel macchiatos, puppies, thunderstorms, antique jewelry, dragonflies, and the color purple (not the movie).
Her debut novel, LIKE FATHER, LIKE DAUGHTER was named Suspense Finalist for the 2017 Indie Excellence Awards!
She lives in central Kentucky with her two teenage daughters, an extremely intelligent Aussie, and a very fat cat.
My Characters Under the Microscope
By Christine Kaye
- How do your characters begin in your writing process? Do you have an incline for a name or you know how you want them to look?
I usually come up with my plot and twist first, with generic characters in mind. Then I think about what kind of person would face this kind of situation and I start to create the characters from there. In PRESUMED DEAD, I had the idea for a woman with a secret past hiding in a small town in Kentucky. Then one day I was watching a re-run of the TV show Medium and I had the idea of making her a psychic. Then I asked myself what kind of person would be hiding from her past and why. Then I usually just sit at my laptop and brainstorm. I create a Character Sketch document and type up all of the characters’ physical descriptions as well as their personalities and what motivates them.
- How do you choose your names?
As for names, I have a running list of names I keep on my phone when I hear some that I really like. I pick MC names from that list. I try to come up with names that work with a character’s personality and surroundings. But for secondary and tertiary characters, believe it or not, I use a character name generator if I get stuck. They can be lots of fun to play with.
- Which character is your favourite to write?
So far, Reggie Foster has been my favorite character to write. She was different in that she is a psychic, but she (I hope) was so well-rounded and multi-dimensional. She has a secret past and a dark secret she has been running for ten years. It’s so big and bad, she’s living under a false identity. But at the same time, I had to make her likable and relatable and someone readers want to root for, which was tough. And balancing her “gift” of being a psychic yet making it somewhat believable was a challenge. In the end, I wound up absolutely loving Reggie and I missed her once I typed THE END.
- Which character is the hardest to write?
Believe it or not, Reggie was also my hardest character to write, for all the same reasons I loved her. She is so complex and conflicted, I really struggled with writing her with the past she has, yet making it so that readers still loved her. Very tricky. But I feel confident readers will not only relate to her, but they will love her as much as I do.
Are any of your characters based on a real-life person?
Many. But usually not my main characters. Those are usually complete figments of my imagination. But the supporting cast is usually sprinkled with characters based off people I’ve met or know of in real life. But you have to be careful not to make them too identical to their doppelganger, or you will wind up offending someone, no matter how hard you try not to. But yes, I definitely have based characters off real people I know. I may have even killed one or two in order to subliminally express my true feelings for someone. I’ll leave it at that.
Lastly, if you could have dinner with one of your characters, who would you pick and why?
Warren Harvey from PRESUMED DEAD. I absolutely loved his character. He’s a fifty-something man who’s suffered a horrible tragedy in his past but he made something amazing out of it by creating the search and rescue organization, named after his missing daughter. He’s a tough cookie, but soft on the inside. He was a completely fictional character, but I still love him so much. I think readers will, too.
From award-winning author, Christina Kaye, comes her sixth suspense title with a supernatural twist…
Reggie Foster has done an amazing job of blending into the small town of Irvine, Kentucky. For five years, she has laid down roots, started a new career, and even made a few friends. Even more impressive? She’s hiding in plain sight and no one even remotely suspects she’s not who she says she is.
When a six-year-old girl goes missing and she begins having visions that might help find her, Reggie has no choice but to take the risk of telling the police only one of her many secrets…that she’s a psychic. She gambles with her freedom when she turns to Detective Jack Benton, a former big-city cop trying to escape a traumatic past, and offers to help with the investigation.
Reggie finally convinces Detective Benton to give her a chance. With the help of Warren Harvey, a search and rescue organizer battling his own personal demons, the three form a rather unorthodox task force.
Somehow Reggie must help the team find the missing girl while keeping the others from discovering the truth about her past.
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