Welcome to my stop on the FMB Binding Arbitration Tour! Keep scrolling for the book info, giveaway, and an AWESOME guest post! Seriously, don’t miss this one!
Author: Elizabeth Marx
Genre: Romance, Family Saga, Contemporary/Chick Lit
Publisher: Self Published
Through the corridors of the Windy City’s criminal courts, single mother Libby Tucker knows exactly how far she’ll go to save her cancer-stricken son’s life. The undefeated defense attorney is prepared to take her fight all the way to the majors.
Circumstances force Libby to plead her case at the cleats of celebrity baseball player Banford Aidan Palowski, the man who discarded her at their college graduation. Libby has worked her backside bare for everything she’s attained, while Aidan has been indulged since he slid through the birth canal and landed in a pile of Gold Coast money. But helping Libby and living up to his biological duty could jeopardize the only thing the jock worships: his baseball career.
If baseball imitates life, Aidan admits his appears to be silver-plated peanuts, until an unexpected confrontation with the most spectacular prize that’s ever poured from a caramel corn box blindsides him. When he learns about his son’s desperate need, it pricks open the wound he’s carried since he abandoned Libby and the child.
All Libby wants is a little anonymous DNA, but Aidan has a magical umpire in his head who knows Libby’s a fateball right to the heart. When a six-year-old sage and a hippy priestess step onto the field, there’s more to settle between Libby and Aidan than heartache, redemption, and forgiveness.GIVEAWAY!
Characters pop into my head fully formed, at least physically. I always get a clear picture of what they look like, but like any stranger we meet, while we can easily see their exterior we have to get to know them to understand what makes them tick. For an author this “ticking” or the psychology of the character is important because it will tell me exactly how someone is going to react in almost any situation, and my job is to put them in dramatic situations and allow them to have extreme responses. Why you ask? Because character reactions build tension and drama, and make for good storytelling.
I’m a visual person, so these are some of the charts and graphs I use to construct a character. I’m going to use Libby Tucker from BINDING ARBITRATION because I think she’s the most complex and misunderstood.
Once I have this physical map filled out I find someone who resembles this character and they become my muse. For Libby, I chose Evangeline Lilly, who is very pretty but can have a hard edge (Lost) but a very emotionally complex psychological makeup. Also, this first chart allows for some of the first glimpses of the challenges this character faces. Here are the two sides of Libby…
Step 2: Plot Skeleton. How does this character interact with the plot? Libby’s our heroine trying to save her son from Cancer but much of her own baggage might stand in the way of her ability to reach her goal. She’s a hard-ass criminal defense attorney; did I mention she’s never lost a case in her career?
Step 3: Character Study. This is where the character is made in my opinion. I have a nine page character questionnaire that I answer for all major characters and several minor characters for each book. These questions range from physical appearance to more unusual things like, what’s the characters favorite food? It asks background questions about their family, their habits, and their attitudes about themselves and others. It asks about their self perception and traits, goals, problems, and crisis’. It even asks what the characters prized possession is? Libby’s is a small green enamel ring that she wears on a chain because it no longer fits her finger, but if you want to know why it’s important or who gave it to her you’ll have to read Binding Arbitration. By the time I finish this questionnaire and the following character study chart I have a pretty good idea about who my character really is.
Character development is vital to good story telling and when you know what pushes your characters buttons it makes plotting your book so much easier. If we have any authors out there and they’d like a copy of my character questionnaire please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’d be happy to share it with you.
Thanks for taking the time to find out how I make my characters so real.
Windy city writer, Elizabeth Marx, brings cosmopolitan life alive in her fiction—a blend of romance, fast-paced Chicago living, and a sprinkle of magical realism. In her past incarnation she was an interior designer, not a decorator, a designer, which basically means she has a piece of paper to prove that she knows how to match things, measure things and miraculously make mundane pieces of furniture appear to be masterpieces. Elizabeth says being an interior designer is one part shrink, one part marriage counselor and one part artist, skills eerily similar to those employed in writing.
Elizabeth grew up in Illinois, but has also lived in Texas and Florida. If she’s not pounding her head against the wall trying to get the words just right, you can find her at a softball field out in the boonies somewhere or sitting in the bleachers by a basketball court. Elizabeth resides with her husband, girls, and two cats who’ve spelled everyone into believing they’re really dogs.
Elizabeth has traveled extensively, but still says there’s no town like Chi Town.
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This tour was put together by FMB Blog Tours