For a special treat today, I have author KJ Roberts who prides herself on being a country girl born and raised. KJ and I share a couple things in common besides the initials that are our names, we can’t remember when we started writing but it’s just a natural part of life for the both of us. Us fellow Midwesterners have to stick together. Like my stories set in West Michigan, KJ is an Indiana native; her stories are usually set in the Hoosier state. After a ten year stent in the military, she moved to Mississippi (we won’t hold that against her) with her husband and two kids. She loves reading, listening to her son play guitar and watching her daughter dance. Let’s see what she has to say…
How do you get your inspirations for your characters?
I don’t want to sound crazy, but it’s like they talk to me or live in my mind. I don’t usually base them on any real life person. I’ll “hear” a few lines in my head and know if it’s a past character, someone from my WIP or someone new. If they’re new, I’ll listen and try to figure out their story. Maybe it’s enough for a book, maybe not. When I give them a name it will either just come to me or I’ll scour the social security popular baby names website by year. Other details fall into place as I “get to know them.”
Are you a plotter or a pantser, ie, do you write from an outline or have a general idea where the story is going and then just roll with it until the end?
I usually know the start of the story and the end. Then I try to figure out the journey in between, throwing in a few plot twists as I go. I would call that more of a pantser, because I don’t write anything in stone or do a chapter by chapter outline. Some might call it plotting since I usually have major events figured out, but not always. My characters surprise me as I go. They drive the story. If I plot everything, they’ll get mad and let me know that is not how the story goes. If I try to force it, they clam up and the words stop flowing. I guess it’s true what they say, you teach others how to treat you, I just didn’t think it applied to fictional characters too.
What was the most surprising thing your characters did in your most recent release that was a surprise to you?
Oh, wow. If I told you that, I’d give away the ending, because that was the most surprising thing Maxwell did. But If I have to pick something else, I’d say I was surprised he almost lost his cookies so-to-say when he was at the morgue. I think he was surprised too. He’s an ex-homicide cop. He’d seen victims before and these victims aren’t mutilated or anything. They just had a cut around their ear. So he can’t figure out why he had this strong reaction. It become clear in the story as he discovered a connect between the victims and himself.
Thank you so much for the insight into your writing. Anything else you would like to add?
I’d like to say thanks to Wendy for having me on her blog today and share the blurb of my latest release, Pieces of the Star.
Ex-cop and brain tumor survivor, Vincent Maxwell has been recalled for a special assignment: Capture a killer. With no obvious common links or clues, Maxwell must work fast before another body turns up. What he discovers suggest more than his reputation is at stake. Wrapped up in an unbelievable world of superpowers, he’s dragged in deeper with a connection he never thought possible. Can he use the information to his advantage and stop the killer? Or will death strike before he finds answers?
Keep track of KJ Roberts and her books at: