|Author Edita A. Petrick|
I’m one of those writers who develops and then writes a story, rather than inventing or building characters. The kernel of an idea comes to me and then grows into a story. Once the story framework is solid, the characters evolve naturally out of the story. When I started writing the Stella Hunter Mysteries series, the basic premise that grew into a story was: Anger is a door-way to hell. Once I had that down, I picked the myths and legends as a good background for the idea. And only then came the characters—or rather character-consideration. I considered weaving romance into the story but ancient history is already a complicated topic. Romance would have only cluttered it more and made a mess of the storyline. I thought about younger characters but they would not have been able to draw on volume of academic information and experience that someone who is already an established expert in the field can. That’s how Stella and Carter came to be forty-something couple. They each had a weighty emotional baggage that would let them react in a way that I needed the characters to react to the looming threat.
|Ribbons of Death by Edita A. Petrick|
I wasn’t sure how the readers would react to characters that were middle-aged and not romantically involved. Much of the movies and books out there run on the romantic element, regardless of the topic or plot. However, I couldn’t see where to fit it in Book 1, Ribbons of Death. It evolved naturally in Book 2, The Harmony Scroll, but I prefer writing subtle romance in suspense/thriller novels. I don’t even like much romance in mysteries because it detracts from resolution of the mystery itself. From the reviews I have so far, the middle-aged characters appear to be a positive factor. I had readers comment on them and how much they liked it that the characters were ‘real people’ as opposed to glamorous inventions. Still, I believe that one’s characters must be larger-than-life because that gives them interesting angles. Stella and Carter have a lot of ‘veiled’ issues in their respective family histories. How they’ve resolved them gives them tools to deal with many things that would simply vanquish people with less complicated histories.
A reader asked me why I chose to write from Carter’s point of view. There are some rules of writing that I happen to believe in and one such rule is that you should write from a point-of-view of the character who is most conflicted, most complicated, most riddled with bullets fired by life, and a most likely candidate for therapy-which he/she steadfastly refuses. And to me that was Carter. You pick a character like that to carry your story and it’s bound to be a thrilling rollercoaster ride.
Of course, not only is there Book 2—The Harmony Scroll, but there is a Book 3—The Byzantine Connection. I won’t give away the plot but Stella and Carter grow more comfortable together and the evil schemers who want to get their hands on their adopted son, just won’t quit.
Edita loves to hear from fans and can be reached on Twitter.