- Do you write a single genre or do your fingers flow over the keys creating tales in many forms?
So nice to be with you, Janet. Your toughtful questions give me a good workout! I’m drawn to history and the idea of time traveling back to many eras. That interest opens up many more…romance, mystery, suspense, coming-of-age, adventure, alternative history…storytelling is all about “what if?”
Do your reading choices reflect your writing choices?
Oh yes! I was brought up on the wonderful historical novels of Mary Renault, Thomas Costain, Winston Graham, Mary Stewart, and John Jakes, and I still love to learn history through a good historical novel.
Are there genres you wouldn’t attempt?
Horror! I admire that genre’s bone-chilling effects, but life can be horrible enough, thank you!
2. Heroes, Heroines, Villains. Which are your favorite to write?
As soon as I begin to understand a character, he or she becomes a favorite, helping me to tell the story. I’m interested in good people and how they face difficult choices and challenges. That means I HAVE to deal with villains, who are very challenging people for my protagonists AND me!
3. Heroes. How do you find them? Do pictures, real life or plain imagination create the man you want every reader to love? Do they come before the plot or after you have the idea for the story?
Where to find heroes? Wherever they dwell! I am also open to good ideas from wherever they come. When I start with a real person, my character on the page ends up being “inspired by” as he takes on a life of his own.
He usually comes before plot, but his characterization expands as the story goes on. I find all kinds of strengths, weakness and I’m always open to surprises in action or dialogue that may set off the story in a new direction, if it proves interesting.
4. Heroines. How do you find them? Do pictures, real life or imagination create the woman you want the reader to root for? Do they appear before the plot or after you have the idea for the story?
My mom is the inspiration for Kitty Charante of the Code Talker Chronicles…she’s born the same year: 1919, and grows up in the same melting pot New York city neighborhood with a gaggle of colorful relatives, like mine. But I give her an alternative history and imagine how she might have dealt with a different life and challenges than to ones she came through so beautifully. My fictional Kitty retains my mom’s resilience…very good quality in a series set in World War II!
5. Villains or villainesses or an antagonist, since they don’t always have to be the bad guy or girl. They can be a person opposed to the hero’s or heroine’s obtaining their goal. How do you choose one? How do you make them human?
When I received the wisdom that villains are the heroes of their own stories, that helped me in my quest to make them three dimentional.
Writing historical fiction helps in finding villains…in my novels they are usually people who did not stand on the right side of history, who did NOT believe that history’s arc bends toward justice, who in fact were trying to bend it in the other direction! They are usually guided by fear…fear of losing their status, their power, their place in the world by some change-minded upstart. My villains are often rigid in their beliefs and possibly wounded by something in their past. Often my heroes are wounded too, but his past inspires them toward reaching a world that’s better for all, whereas the villain wants his revenge on what did him wrong.
6. What is your latest release? Who is the hero, heroine and or the villain?
My latest release begins a new series: Brides of the American Civil War. Book One is called Seven Aprils. The hero is Ryder, a privilidged Army Captain who is a doctor who learns a lot about healing, compassion, life and love as the war takes its toll. My heroine is Tess, a backwoods woman who becomes Ryder’s assistant surgeon, lover, and friend as she splits herself into three personas…a crossing of gender lines that also takes its toll! The villain may be the Civil War itself, which in this story provides a scavaging hospital supply-stealer who wants revenge for being caught in the act, a band of renegade rebel troops who capture and brutalize Ryder, and a double agent who unmasks Tess and wants to cut her life and career as a Union spy short.
7. What are you working on now?
I am working on Book 2 of the Brides of the American Civil War. It’s called Mercies of the Fallen. In it an Irish immigrant Union Sergeant falls hard for his nurse after he’s wounded at the bloody Battle at Antietem. That’s before he learns that she is a nun, mistress of a Maryland plantation and is suspected of being a spy for the Southern cause.
8. How can people find you?
my website is eileencharbonneau.com
please follow me on my facebook page: Eileen Charbonneau Autor
and on twitter @EileenCharbonneau
my blogsite is called: Manituwak, powered by word press