Friday, March 2, 2012

Where Does a Girl Like That Come From?

Many readers asked me about Anita, the girl in the midst of a firestorm of passion in my new book, Apart from Love. She is so different... How, some of you have wondered out loud, did she spring from your mind?
The answer is, at first I decided to model her as the-opposite-of-me.
By which I mean a lot more that just her use of language (talking in sentences laden with 'like' and the dreaded double-negatives.) Anita was to become a bold and spontaneous spirit, anything but repressed. She would be promiscuous. Her voice would be shockingly direct:


"In my defense I have this to say: When men notice me, when the lusty glint appears in their eyes, which betrays how, in their heads, they’re stripping me naked—it’s me they accuse of being indecent. 
Problem is, men notice me all the time.
How can a girl like me ever claim to be innocent? Even if I haven’t done nothing wrong, I’m already soiled, simply because of their dirty thoughts." 

From the beginning she would move quickly to get what she wants:


"The minute our eyes met, I knew what to do: so I stopped in the middle of what I was doing, which was dusting off the glass shield over the ice cream buckets, and stacking up waffle cones here and sugar cones there. From the counter I grabbed a bunch of paper tissues, and bent all the way down, like, to pick something from the floor. Then with a swift, discrete shove, I stuffed the tissues into one side of my bra, then the other, ‘cause I truly believe in having them two scoops—if you know what I mean—roundly and firmly in place. 
Having a small chest is no good: men seem to like girls with boobs that bulge out."

She would do what I would not admit to even dream about doing:

So I asked, “So? What kind of cone for you?” but that woman cut in, ‘cause I was still holding her three-scoops tower of pistachio nut on a sugar cone. And she started to cry out, and like, demand some attention here, because hey, she was first in line, and how about whipped cream? Or some of that shredded coconut? 
So I smiled at her, in my most cool and polite manner, and squeezed out a big dollop of whipped cream, which was awesome, ‘cause it calmed her down right away. 
And I scattered some of them coconut flakes all over—quite a heap—and went even further, adding a cherry on top. At last, I raised the thing to my lips, because at this point, it was starting to drip already.
Then, winking at him, I passed my tongue over the top, and all around the ice cream at the rim of the cone, filling my whole mouth and, just to look sexy, also licking the tips of my fingers. Then I came around the counter, swaying my hips real pretty, and steadying myself over the wobbly high heels. I came right up to him, and before he could guess what kind of trouble I had cooked up in my head, I kissed him—so sweet and so long—on his lips, to the shouts and outcries of the offended customer. 

I do not even know how it happened, but once Anita started talking in my mindwhich she did for nearly a yearI started to like her more and more. I asked myself, how would she play against Ben, who is a complex character, hesitant, highly sophisticated? How would she play against Lenny, a would-be author who is so proud of his refined expressions, when her background is so different from his?
To my surprise, Anita ended up taking over not only the story, but also me.




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Still Life with Memories

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 "A feast for the armchair psychologist. 
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4 comments:

  1. Don't you love that about characters, mine do the same. Before I know it, they've taken over the story and take chances or make choices that I would've never thought of. Anita sounds great! I'm adding it to my TBR list! :)

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  2. Thank you so much, Aveli! And happy writing

    ReplyDelete
  3. She sounds quite a character. It's fun when they become real.

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