Thursday, January 6, 2011

Take a Walk on the Wild Side with Guest Blogger Brannan Black

Meet paranormal author Brannan Black today at the Book Boost!

She's here to chat about what it's like to walk in someone else's shoes and here's what she had to say...

As an author, this is what I do every day. It's kind of like method acting. I have to get inside each character's head if the story is going to ring true. I often find myself sighing or sucking in a breath or maybe a grimace or what ever in places the character would. And that comes from feeling what they are feeling.

Sometimes it's not a lot of fun if they are scared or angry but I figure if I don't feel it, why would the reader? I've had to warn my husband on occasion that I was writing "angry" stuff and I might get cranky too!

Other times I get to bask in their joys and triumphs. I think that is part of what I love about writing. I get to live, in a sense, these other lives.

Walking in my character’s shoes often is a walk on the wild side of life. In more ways than one since I write paranormal romance. Just how does a wolf feel about life? And how much wolf shows through in the human side? By seeing through the werewolf’s eyes, I can answer these questions for my characters. There are no standards here; every author has their own take on shifter behavior. Just as each character is unique.

In my world, vampires are much more human than the shifters. Not a surprise since they were born human. But most of them are very old. I wonder, how much would a person change if they’d been born in the Middle Ages? Would they really understand equal rights and basic human freedoms? Having been born into a feudal society, would they change along side of us or hold onto their past, the ways of their youth? Putting myself in their place, the individual character’s place, I feel my way to the right answer for that character. Like us, they are individual and unique. Which makes it both fun and challenging.

And of course, how do us mortals handle meeting these others? Each character has her/his own perspective. How would a middle age cop deal with a domineering vampire in comparison to a young woman? It’s those differences that make each story as different as the characters themselves. It’s much easier for me to imagine how the young woman might act; I was one a few years back. But I’ve never been a cop or a man. But with a bit of research and drawing on observations of friends and others, I can try out those shoes too.

Some characters are not who I thought they were. I recently had one that as I wrote him, he kept doing certain things, saying certain things that were very unlike me. For one, Daniel has a pretty foul mouth! I hadn't planned him that way but as I explored his personality, he just didn't feel right any other way. I have a lot of fun to discover unexpected aspects of a character.

It's like meeting someone new. And then walking in their shoes to tell their story not mine. At least that's how it feels to me.

A Note from the Book Boost: So true, Brannan. Sound like you'd be a good method actor! Thanks for joining us and please share more details about your book with us.


Boytoy for a sexy blond vampire? No way. This cop has a job: find his daughter, hunt vamps...

I'm a cop. Homicide Detective Pasquale O'Grady. So believe me when I tell you, vampires took my daughter -- along with other missing collage kids. Real vampires, not the Goth wanna-be kind. I even know which one. But the bastard went and got himself dead before Icould track him down.

With my leads gone, my only hope is his killer. I knew convincing another bloodsucker to help me was a long shot. I hadn't counted on his sexy blonde sister who wants me in her bed. It's not that I have something against sex, hell, what man with a pulse would? And since my divorce, I haven't exactly been getting much action. But I'm too damn old to be some Viking Vampire's boytoy -- or worse, blood slave -- no matter how sexy.

(edited for content/length):

Coffee in one hand and a burger in the other, I plopped down in front of the high-powered scope. So far, I'd seen very little movement during the day. In fact, heavy drapes covered all the windows. But I knew I had the right location. I'd seen Ferine's victim and her blond savior entering the building. Didn't take me long to track down a name and an apartment number.

Remembering my first night of surveillance proved a distraction. I could make a fortune selling that video on the Internet. Especially when he drank from her inner thigh.

"Damn it!" I bumped the damn stand with my knee. Now I would have to resight my scope. I took a quick swallow of coffee and I set the cup aside, with my burger. Dinner would have to wait. I leaned over the eyepiece. "Holy Mother of God! Lady, you should keep your blinds closed!" Tall blond and naked strode out of her bathroom. All thoughts of burgers fled as another hunger roared through me.

Golden blond with a strong, angular face, she'd be pretty, for a man. Intense blue eyes scanned the street and building across from them like she knew I was watching. She stalked across her room, lean muscles rippling with a strength gained from a strenuous life, not a gym.

Striking, even commanding, but not what Hollywood would call beautiful.

I knew watching was wrong. Hell, I'm a cop. But I'm also a guy who hasn't had a hot date in... I couldn't even remember.

I'd become a damned voyeur.

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