Our Pages

Friday, September 9, 2011

Guest Blogger Linda McMaken

Please welcome debut author Linda McMaken to the Lady Scribes today.

A Little Character

Thank you Lady Scribes for inviting me to your blog. When Catherine Gayle extended the invitation, I was very excited. While I'm not an avid poster, I lurk at a lot of blogs, including Lady Scribes. Gee, that sounded kind of creepy didn't it?

I was expecting a list of questions; questions I can answer. Talking about "whatever I want" now, that's a challenge, as I like to talk about everything. As I put fingers to keyboard – nothing. Nothing at all, not a single letter appeared. Seven cups of coffee, three trips to Facebook, four e-mail checks, and a couple of head bangs later – viola! I thought I'd write about how I write. Original, no?

I'm often asked the proverbial writer question – how do I write? Do I plot? Do I outline? Honestly, I will make all English majors cringe when I answer, none of the above. I write personalities. I don't create a world for my character, I create a world from them. People create my books, imaginary people created from my years of watching people, my jobs and driving through cities where they irritate the crap out of me. (There is a dark thriller writer just waiting to emerge when I drive through rush hour traffic.)

Nearly all the characters in my first novel, Baer Truth, are based on people or small combinations of people I've met along the way.

Abby Clark, she's the combination of a vegetarian friend, and an adorable college kid that used to come in to work. With streaked hair, and tattoos her outward appearance was very different from the considerate person I knew. Those orange stilettos? My mother's favorite color was orange, she inspired my love of the written word, and she was as tough as they came – those shoes were just for her.  

Joe Baer, he's a bit of old West Hollywood cowboy, a few real life cowboys and several men I've been privileged to have in my life. He's a good guy whose heart has been taken advantage of, is a bit jaded and rough around the edges. Joe Baer is also the guy you could call at 3:00 a.m. to come start your car in a blizzard.

Ben Childers, to be honest, he is a tamer version of a former manager I worked for. Perhaps, I'll take care of that manager in a seriously maniacal thriller someday.

Then there is Tessa Springer, she is Texas personified. Based on two people from my past, one was a Texan, the other a Yankee. Both would be mortified that I'd crisscrossed the Mason-Dixon line to create Tessa. This lady says exactly what she thinks, a trait I've envied on occasion.

The brothers in the book all have different personalities. As it seems to be in most families, siblings like the Baer brothers, have a love/hate relationship. They do love each other, will always be there for one another, but sometimes they just don't understand each other. 

Then there's that historical I have coming in January 2012, The Granite Rose. It's set in ancient Rome – I know, I get that look a lot. Well, it is based on a few very cute personalities. As a kid I did have a major crush on Charlton Heston, and Kirk Douglas, and Tony Curtis – later Russell Crowe, Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp – I've had lots of crushes!

My writing path starts with a character. I learn from character, a world evolves from character, and then the story unfolds. I have nothing to do with it other than the typing. My characters, they are a determined bunch!

Baer Truth

Abby Clark, vegetarian, punk rock singer is kicked off the band tour bus in the middle of nowhere. With nothing but a talent for cooking and the singing voice of an angel, she manages to disturb a very cranky, cold-hearted bear, um, Baer.

Joe Baer, a sexy Wyoming beef rancher. He has a ranch mortgage that’s due, and a past that even he never suspected.

Snow, tractors, country superstars, an unforgettable rodeo, and a tornado named Abby, will bring these "baers" out of hibernation.

Here's a link to my book trailer video.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MaA8p65oOeo


  1. Linda ~ what a great post! I'm very character driven too. So I do something similar. I might not know what is going to happen in a story, but I know where my characters came from. I do family trees and diagrams and know their grandmother's maiden name. LOL. Then the adventure is what happens when I drop those characters into a scene.

    Thanks for blogging with us today!

  2. Sometimes I really wish I could be pantser it seems so freeing but I'm an outliner and plotting. And I have to meticulously have everything in order where I can see it before I even begin. Thanks fo sharing with us, Linda! And I love the cover of your new book! It's too cute.

  3. Wow, Ava, I've never created a family tree for my characters, but that is a very good idea! Ah, Suzie, I still do a bit of outline, just to let me know where I want to go - the characters however, tend to change that! I'm glad you like to cover! Thanks

  4. Linda,

    Thanks so much for being our guest today. Your story sounds fantastic!

  5. Thank you Lady Scribes for hosting me. I've learned so much from "lurking" at your blog!

  6. Linda,

    Where is your book for sale?

    BTW, orange is my favorite color too, and those heels are fantastic!

  7. Thanks Samantha! I'd love to find a graphic of "walking orange stilettos" wouldn't that be fun. And orange is such a very happy color!

    Baer Truth is on Amazon, B&N and on my publishers website www.desertbreezepublishing.com.