Mystery, suspense, thrillers, paranormal, horror & YA by "Cheryl Kaye Tardif" & romance by "Cherish D'Angelo". Cheryl is represented by Trident Media Group in NY.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The 7 Most Facinating Characters I've Created

So I was tagged today; I guess that means I'm "it". I'll be honest, though. I really don't like tag games, or chain emails. They usually end up triggering a "DELETE" reaction from me...and a sigh or two. But something was different about today's tag. A couple of things actually. First, I was tagged by Stella Telleria, an aspiring author who also lives in Edmonton. That's 2 points in her favor. Plus, this tag--her assignment--really got my creative muse going "Wow! You can do this one, Cheryl. It'll be easy." So let's see how easy it is.

My assignment, should I chose to accept it, is to infiltrate my novels and covertly spy on my characters until I can boil them all down to the 7 "most fascinating characters" I ever "dreamt up". While making my list,I quickly realized that I had 3 good characters and 4 bad characters. And here goes...

1. Nana has got to be my most fascinating character in WHALE SONG. She is the elderly grandmother of Goldie, the main character's best friend. As the story progresses, Nana puts in appearances that offer both wisdom and compassion, all the while helping Sarah, the protagonist, integrate into a new culture--one filled with native folklore, traditions and mystery. Nana is the seer of all things who helps Sarah when a life-changing tragedy occurs. From the emails I've received from fans of WHALE SONG, I believe Nana is a hero of sorts; everyone seems to love her and her wonderful yet sometimes comical storytelling ability.

2. Del Hawthorne is one of my most fascinating characters in THE RIVER. I think what makes her so appealing to me personally is that I based her on my very good friend Bobbi. Like Bobbi, Del is strong-willed but kind. She's a fighter too, especially when faced with challenges. And believe me, Del is faced with challenges. After her father goes missing and is presumed dead, she moves on with her life, only to discover years later that her father is still alive. But he's being held captive in a remote area up north, an area known for strange disappearances and murders. Even faced with this knowledge, she's determined to rescue her father. Gathering a group of near strangers, she sets off on an adventure that LOST fans will surely enjoy. As Del's health begins to fail, she becomes more fascinating to me--her strength, her determination, her fighting spirit are all admirable.

3. Jasi from DIVINE INTERVENTION is another strong, determined woman I've created. As a government agent in a covert division known as the Psychic Skills Investigators or PSIs, Agent Jasmine McLellan knows how to get things done. She spends her days hunting down serial killers who use fire to dispose of bodies or to kill their victims. Jasi's special "gift" is that of a Pyro-Psychic. Whenever someone dies in a fire and she smells the smoke, she has visions--through the eyes of the killer. But it's Jasi's back story that intrigues me most. Her mother was murdered when Jasi was a child and the case has never been solved. Jasi knows much more about the killer than she realizes. And if this isn't enough, she is haunted by a ghost. Not the ghost of her mother, but of a young girl with a red scar around her neck and dead eyes. I am compelled to write more in this series so that I can learn the truth about Jasi, her mother and this ghost girl.

4. Myrtle Murphy is an intriguing character from a series of short stories. What makes Myrtle so fascinating is that she is a serial killer. In fact, I like to say: "Myrtle Murphy is an unlikely serial killer that you'll hate to love." She's kind of a crotchety old gal and in the first story, A GRAVE ERROR, Myrtle isn't too happy with her husband. He's getting on her nerves, something no one should ever do. In THE DEATH OF AN OLD COW, Myrtle's dead set on ridding herself of a pest--her opinionated, hoity-toity mother-in-law. In MAID OF DISHONOR, Myrtle's got her eyes on someone who has really ticked her off, and all the bells and wedding cake in the world isn't going to stop her from getting what she wants. I think she fascinates me because she gets away with murder. Literally. And she seems almost oblivious to her crimes. Plus, she's sixty-one years old, not some spring chicken. I'm sure Myrtle's a Dexter fan.

5. The Director is a mysterious character from my suspense thriller THE RIVER. What fascinates me most about this character is that no one knows who the Director really is. That being said, I can't really say too much, but it's because the character is cloaked in anonymity and mystery that makes the character especially fascinating. That, and the fact that the Director is involved in a deadly conspiracy that threatens all of mankind. THE RIVER is a mix of Lost meets Timeline meets The Da Vinci Code, and the Director takes it to a whole other level.

6. Harold Fielding, from REMOTE CONTROL, has proven to fascinate audiences of all ages. As a finalist in the Textnovel contest, this novelette explores a character whose greatest desires in live is living a life of luxury--any way he can get it. But as we've all heard before, "be careful what you wish for." Harry has fascinated me for decades as he is one of my oldest characters. The original short story was written in 1986, I believe. In all these years, I have never forgotten Harry, or his terrible greed. He's the kind of guy you turn your nose up at in distaste. While he wishes for fame and fortune, his wife has another wish.

7. Winston Chambers, from my upcoming September release LANCELOT'S LADY is to date my most favorite bad guy. He is a heavyset, heavy breathing, slimy, evil sleaze-ball with no redeeming qualities and I found him an utter delight to create. He emerged from a rough outline with rapid speed, evolving into probably my most hated character ever. I have to thank Waheed (Wally) Rabbani, who entered my Create a Corpse Contest and won with his winning character name entry--"Winston Chambers". Winston is one character you'll love to hate.

I hope you've enjoyed a glimpse at what I consider my 7 most fascinating characters. Of course, in the end it really doesn't matter what I think. If you've read any of my novels or short stories, I would love to hear which characters you found most fascinating.

Now, who to tag next...

Betty Dravis
Eileen Schuh
Carol D. O'Dell
C.J. Ellisson

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to write about 7 themes found in your works (novels, nonfiction, short stories etc). I'd like to know what made you explore these themes and what research you may have done. Tag! You're it! :-)


Stella Telleria said...

Thanks for answering the tag. I too think 'tag' games are irritating, but I liked this one.

The characters, more than the book jacket blurb make me want to read a novel. 'The River' sounds especially fascinating now that I know more about the characters.

I think it would be wonderful to have blog interviews with characters, like they were actors and ask them questions readers would like to know. Of course on the writers side, this in-depth character analysis could all come out in a sequel.

Thanks Cheryl,


Eileen Schuh: said...

It's like a family reunion here--you and all your wonderful characters.

You put significantly more effort in your 7-things blog than I did. I almost feel a little guilty about that...almost.

Thanks for tagging me, Cheryl...I think.

Cheryl Kaye Tardif said...

Hey Stella, I'm so glad my characters make you want to read my novels. :-) I did actually do an interview with Jack Richardson, the father of the main character Sarah in Whale Song. You can read the interview here.

Eileen, I loved your 7 Things post. You put a lot of thought into tying in my email to you and it's freakin' hilarious. :-)