Sunday, April 6, 2014
New Guest Blog by Author Clara Nipper
WHAT DRAWS ME TO MY CHARACTERS?
I have been invited to reflect on my latest work and to write about what draws me to these characters. As both my murder mysteries, Femme Noir and Kiss of Noir, are now on Bold Strokes Books’ backlist, I will discuss works in progress.
Murder on the Rocks is a murder mystery that takes place in Tulsa during a catastrophic ice storm and the protagonist, Jill Rogers, is a seasoned detective who must work against crime and the elements.
What attracts me to this character is that she’s brave to the point of foolishness, good-hearted, gritty, mouthy, sexy, funny and irreverent. If she took herself or her job too seriously, I would first humiliate her and then have her killed. Sophie, Jill’s hot and cold love interest, would probably applaud that.
I create characters about whom I feel strongly. I never put someone into the story and think, “meh.” I love them’ I have them; I admire them; I want to punish or reward them. Sometimes even save them. When I wrote the scene in Kiss of Noir in which Cleo Sweetleaf got fatally shot, I cried and was upset the rest of the day. But Cleo was fine about it. He knew it was coming and was at peace.
Frequently (and I’ll deny this in a court of law), I’ll base characters on real people without their knowledge. So don’t piss me off unless you don’t mind showing up in a novel as a whiny, stupid, bag of slop with a teeny weenie.
In my other work in progress, At My Mother’s Table, it is a coming-of-age story, so the protagonists are children. I am drawn to creating very strong kid characters because of their play ethic and accurate world view. When something is not fair, it really isn’t. And sorry kid, no justice for you; maturity is when you can suck it up, tolerate and accept the dozens of not fairs that happen on a daily.
I enjoy writing from a child’s perspective-it comes easily to me because I don’t think we ever grow up. Our bodies change and we’re able to force ourselves to play house full-time, but inside each, we’re still the lonely kid on the playground with the weird lunch and high waters. It’s just a bigger playground. When my father returned from attending his 60th high school reunion, I asked his opinion of his remaining classmates. He said, “They’re just like they used to be; only more so.”
There. Even at age eighty, you’ll still be that same kid.
Clara Nipper writes fiction and blogs-www.claranipper.org. When not writing, she makes desserts, www.andyscandies.biz and enlarges her certified wildlife habitat gardens. Her two murder mysteries (Femme Noir and Kiss of Noir) have been published by Bold Strokes Books and are available at their website: www.boldstrokesbooks.com and on Amazon.com. She is a contributor to local publications: This Land Press www.thilsandpress.com and the Tulsa Voice. Clara also skates for Tulsa Derby League under the derby name Cat Owta Hell. With two Rollercons, countless clinics and boot camps under her jamming belt, it is safe to say it’s derby until death for this Jammer Assassin. Outside the rink, she has had roller derby articles published in Five on Five Magazine-www.fiveonfivemag.com, Hit and Miss Magazine-www.hitandmissmagazine.com.au/, USARS Magazine, Lead Jammer Magazine- www.leadjammermag.com, Blood and Thunder and Derbylife.com. Currently, her works in progress are two coming of age novels and another Tulsa-based murder mystery entitled, Murder on the Rocks. Find Clara at her website, on Facebook, Twitter (@mindybendy), Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, Linked In, Amazon Author Pages, Good Reads, Derby Social, Word Press and at the farmer’s market.
Facebook.com/clara.nipper and facebook.com/pages/cat-owta-hell
Twitter: @mindybendy, Good Reads: claranipper
Instagram: claranipper, Pinterest: pinterest.com/catowtahell/
Tumblr: Catowtahell, Linked In: Clara Nipper
Derby Social: Cat Owta Hell, Wordpress.com: Clara Nipper
Amazon Author Pages: amazon.com/claranipper, amazon.com/author/www.claranipper.org