Friday, June 14, 2013

On the Red Carpet # 6 : Softly and Tenderly by Lisa Binion

Hello everyone! Welcome to my On the Red Carpet. This is basically an exclusive feature at my blog where I'll be hosting author guest posts, promos and/or interviews. This is not a weekly meme, as I don't plan to host these every week, but I'll be doing it when an author does a guest post, interview or promo on my blog, either as a part of the tour or in general. If you like, you can do the same. Just use the image above (or any other properly accredited image bearing this feature's name), put a link back to this blog and then proceed with your posts.

Today I have Lisa Binion, author of her latest release Softly and Tenderly on my ORC.  Good characters are the backbone of a story. Keep on reading to find out what as an author she has to say about character building of this book. 

Book Blurb:

“Mom died in her sleep last night.” Those are terrifying words for a child to wake up to. The beetle that falls off the stretcher and stares at her is only the beginning one of the strangest and most frightening times in Lori’s life. Death is not a pretty thing, especially not when the funeral is to be at the Lights Out Chapel and Crematorium.

Once she walks into the funeral parlor, she experiences things that no little girl should ever have to experience. No one is acting normal. No one can see what is going on. Is Lori the only one who sees the blood oozing from the pictures of Jesus on the cross? Doesn’t anyone else see the beetles? Is Lori hallucinating when she sees her mom sit up and hears her speak? There is absolutely nothing soft and tender about what happens to Lori.

From her overly morbid piano teacher to the creepy preacher and a father that just isn’t acting like himself, Lori is surrounded by people and things that hint of something bizarre. Once she leaves the Lights Out Chapel and Crematorium, things will go back to normal. Or will they?


“Although Softly and Tenderly is a short read it gives enough information to know and understand what Lori is going through. But it does leave you at the end wondering if Lori was only imagining things or were they real? I would really love to see more of Lori story. I did enjoy Lori's story very much indeed but I would like to know if Lori was just imagining things or if maybe she has some kind of paranormal ability”
 – Nancy on Goodreads 

“When most children are asked, "What are your biggest fears?" They will respond with a list that includes losing a parent. For Lori, that fear has come true. Not only has she lost her precious mother, she has entered a frightening world no one else can see. Is she hallucinating what she experiences at the Lights Out Funeral Chapel and Crematorium, or is she suffering from intense grief? Walk with Lori as she sees and feels the horrors she must face alone. Why is everyone else ignoring them? You might need the lights on for this one, but don't let that stop you from grabbing it. It is a great read. I loved it and am hoping the author has more she will be publishing.” 
– Marianne on Amazon

Character Development throughout the Story

Before sitting down to write a story, some authors develop their characters so completely that one would believe they had them all figured out. They have planned their strengths and their weaknesses. They have made a complete physical description of each one of them. If they have any quirks or nasty little habits, they are made not of. They have even planned out their actons. So now all the author has to do is write a story around them, right?

Well, only if the author plans to write EXACTLY according to what he has written down and planned for. But what if some of the characters want to develop in a different way? What if one or more characters have something totally different planned for the lives they lead in the story being written?

This author doesn’t plan her characters out completely before starting to write. My characters develop as the story is written. Some people may think I’m crazy, others might believe I’m possessed, but I think most authors will know that though what I’m saying sounds weird, it is the truth. My characters talk to me. I hear their voices in my head, and they tell me what they are going to do. They don’t always tell me why they are doing it, but they let me know that is what they’re going to do.

I did not plan out Lori’s character. She was based on me when I was a child. My mom died when I was only eight years old, and her death hit me really, really hard. Did I experience the things that Lori did in my story? No. If I had, I would probably be locked up in a mental institution somewhere.

The characters that were part of Lori’s family were based on members of my family. Did any of them act the way they did in the story? No. My family is nothing like them.

When I sat down to write Softly and Tenderly, I honestly had no clue how it was going to turn out. I did have an idea that it would be creepy. That sort of stuff just seems to come out of me naturally. Once I saw just where the characters wanted me to take the story, the story was easy to write.

How do I know that what they tell me will work out? How do I know it just isn’t me wanting to put something in the story? Well, I’m not always sure, but I always put what the characters tell me in the first draft. If it doesn’t work out, then I get rid of that part. The majority of the time, even if I don’t understand exactly why I’m writing it the way I am, it all falls into place eventually.

What am I saying? I’m saying that if you allow your characters to lead you, they will develop as your story is written. And it will save you so many headaches trying to plan out just how they are going to act as the story progresses.
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About the Author

Lisa Binion is a writer, editor, and wife. She makes her home in the beautiful state of Kentucky. Her two children are now grown, but she has been blessed with two beautiful grandchildren, Tyler and Zoey. Her family also includes four dogs, four cats, and two goats.

As the Fiction Writing Editor for BellaOnline, she writes articles, reviews fiction books, and interviews fiction authors. She is also an editor for Silver Tongue Press and Edit 1st. In her spare time, she attempts to clean house and relax.

Find her at :       BellaOnline Silver Tongue Press |  Edit 1st

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