Janet Quin-Harkin on Creating Characters


I’m thrilled to host today’s stop on the blog tour to celebrate Janet Quin-Harkin’s Heart Break Café series! Janet shares with us her inspiration for creating characters, something I’ve always been fascinated by. Are there any other authors who have the same experience as Janet when it comes to creating their characters?!

I don’t know if I’ve ever created a character. Usually they come up to me and say “Hello, here I am”, pretty much fully formed. I find that writing in the character’s voice is wonderfully revealing. Once I know how they speak and think the rest is easy. Even if I’m not going to have a first-person story I write paragraphs letting the character speak to me. And names are important. Once a character has a name, I can visualize them.  Sometimes I give a character the wrong name. The story advances painfully slowly, and then the character says to me, “Why do you keep calling me Robert when I’m really Richard.”  And I say “Oh, I’m sorry.’  I switch names and we steam ahead.

And once I have created my characters I have to admit that it’s their story, not mine. I let them go ahead while I observe from behind the curtains, rather than being the puppet master and forcing them to do what I want. The result is always surprising and exciting for me. They say things in conversation that I hadn’t expected. The plot twists in a way I hadn’t seen coming.  If I was the puppet master I’d rein them back it. But instead I follow and see where they lead me.

Review coming soon!

I’m so incredibly excited to review Janet’s first book in the Heartbreak Café series, No Experience Required! It will be up on my blog soon, so watch this space! In the meantime, here’s the blurb:

It’s 1989. Life’s easy for DEBORAH LESLEY: she’s up-market, drives her own flash car to school, and looks pretty good too. She’s never had a job, either; but now her parents have split up, and she needs the money.

JOE GARBARINI is cool. He likes motorbikes, girls, and fun. He doesn’t have time for much — he’s running Heartbreak Café when he’s not at school.

The Heartbreak Café is a noisy hangout on the north Californian coast. Joe’s worked there for years, and knows what it takes. He’s sure Debbie won’t last a month — but Debbie’s determined to put up with his wisecracks and prove him wrong.

You can purchase a copy of the book and find out more information over on Amazon!

One Comment Add yours

  1. We also did this book tour. Can’t wait to see your review.


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