Before I dig too deep a hole here let me make sure I establish something first: I only like two kinds of cookie, hot and cold. With the exception of no-bake cookies, I just can’t stand those things.
Unfortunately, I’m not talking about that kind of cookie. The other day I ran across the pet name “Cookie” online (no, not on one of those sites) and it bounced around in the back of my head. A day or two later it resurfaced with the thought, “What if that wasn’t a pet name?” It was all over at that point – any other productivity was shot until I dug into the concept.
Johnny Cash once sang about a boy named Sue. I know this because my parents ritually tortured me with country music my entire childhood. I still have nightmares and probably should seek therapy for it. But all that aside, the moral of the story is that the man named Sue was tougher because of his name. So what would a woman named Cookie grow up to become?
I’ve got ideas, but I haven’t picked anything specific yet. I’m such a supporter of strong female characters that I’m leaning towards having her be mighty tough herself. Not Barb Wire tough (even without the horrible acting of Pamela Anderson and, uh, various other faults). Maybe more of a Keira Knightley / Domino kind of tough. Sexy, but intelligent and able to handle herself.
The next problem is what do I do with her? What’s her job? Where’s she at? What kind of story does she fit into? Is she a good guy or a bad guy? I’ve had characters do this to me before. They come out of nowhere and demand that I write about them. The biggest impact any of them ever had with me was Katalina Wimple, of The Lost Girls. She showed up and wouldn’t leave me alone until I ended up slipping her into my Dark Earth setting and writing a series around her. I’ve had one or two others over the years that popped up too. At least one ended up in my Voidhawk series, another joined the cast of the Wanted series, and a third appeared in a limited role alongside Katalina in a Lost Girls book. I’m wondering if Cookie is going to be another force of nature like Katalina and demand her own book(s).
So I’ll keep letting her rattle around and try to convince me where she fits in. All I’m sure of at this point is that I have to have a cookie and it’s going to taste great.
To learn more about Jason Halstead visit his website to read about him, sign up for his newsletter, or check out some free samples of his books at http://www.booksbyjason.com.
So I’ve been thinking about doing this for a while, but finally took the plunge today. I took the advice of a certain million-ebook-selling-person, (cough)John Locke(cough), and created a Twitter persona for one of my most persistent characters. And by persistent I mean not only persistently nagging at me, but persistent as in she’s in several books I’ve written or am writing.
Her name, Katalina Wimple. I’ve blogged about her and The Lost Girls (her debut novel) before. She also has a cameo in Voices – but Voices is set later in the Dark Earth universe timeline by a few years. It could be confusing, and contrary to good marketing sense, I would recommend not reading Voices until after I’ve published (and you’ve read) The Lost Girls, Traitor, and Wolf Girl. Voices falls between Wolf Girl and Black Widow.
Anyhow, Kat has a Twitter account (@VDIKaty), as I was saying. If you want to see the latest trouble she’s getting into, or eavesdrop while she insults me, feel free to follow her at http://twitter.com/VDIKaty
I’m working on getting ready to launch into part two of Vitalis (what? Read this: http://booksbyjason.wordpress.com/2011/08/14/artistic-license/), but I’m a couple of characters short. So I thought, for a change of pace, why not give the readers a chance to personalize a book! Put in some comments here and tell me about somebody you like / admire / can’t stand who could be turned into a character in a book.
I’m looking for characters that are not really all that interested in being law-abiding citizens. I can’t go into too much detail without spoiling it though. I suppose they could be undercover law enforcement of some type. It’s science fiction, taking place significantly far in the future – far enough that humanity has expanded to live in multiple star systems and can travel between them with relative ease.
Propose somebody I like and use and I’ll be sure to hook you up with a free version of the finished product. How’s that for incentive?