One of my favorite things about writing romances is coming up with new characters. I love fleshing them out, giving them names, figuring out who they are and what makes them tick. Like many writers, I find little bits and pieces of myself seeping into my characters here and there. I mean, it's unavoidable, right? We write about the things we know, and even if we're trying not to, our own experiences color how we see things, which colors how our characters see things.
But here's the problem: Apparently, characters are supposed to be relatable. Normal, even.
Big problem. Because I'm not normal.
For starters, I've been a vegetarian for ten years. Every time I write a scene that involves food, I get all antsy, trying to decide what normal people would eat. I mean, my red-blooded alpha male probably isn't going to go for the veggie tempura, right?
For another, I'm a former science teacher who's married to an engineer. Star Trek passes for pop culture in my household, and new articles from Scientific American are fodder for small talk.
I still cling to music from the nineties. I don't understand skinny jeans, and I haven't had long, sexy locks since I was sixteen. My house hasn't been clean since about then, either.
Mind you, I'm not so out of touch with the real world that I can't glean some elements of normalcy from it and use that to help infuse my characters. It's a buffer of sorts around the bits of crazy that inevitably do find their way in. Because, sure, I try to keep my own idiosyncrasies from overwhelming my characters, but I've long since given up trying to keep them out completely.
While I want my characters to be relatable, I'm starting to get that normal is relative. Too much 'normalcy' runs the risk of becoming generic, and while a vegetarian, geeky, flannel/baggy-jeans-wearing, short-haired mess might be tipping the scales too far in the other direction, a little quirk is what makes everyone interesting.
So, yeah, I'm not normal. And my characters aren't either.
But that's okay. Because, to me at least, that makes them real.
About Unacceptable Risk:
She may learn to live for love…if vengeance doesn’t kill her first.
Plix spends her lonely, gritty life trying to solve the mysteries her father left behind. Armed with a variety of cybernetic enhancements and a talent for getting into places she shouldn’t be, she searches for clues to his murder—and who’s responsible for poisoning her city.
Waking up on a street corner with her brain wiring fried to a crisp, she figures she must have gotten close this time. There’s only one man she trusts to pull her back from the brink: a tuner who can retrieve the evidence hidden deep in the recesses of her mind. A man she dares not let too close to her heart.
When Edison downloads a secret SynDate schematic from Plix’s burnt-out circuitry, he knows with dreadful finality that nothing—not even the fiery kiss he’s been holding back for years—will stop her from pursuing her quest past the point of insanity.
All he can do, as he helps her plan her final mission, is ease her pain, watch her back…and hope one of them doesn’t pay with their lives.
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About Jeanette Grey:
After brief, unsatisfying careers in advertising, teaching, computers, and homemaking, Jeanette Grey has returned to her two first loves: romance and writing.
When she isn’t writing, Jeanette enjoys making pottery, playing board games, and spending time with her husband and her pet frog. She lives, loves, and writes in North Carolina.
She is a member of Romance Writers of America and Carolina Romance Writers.