There are so many things I want to talk about in this blog post including the next book in The Unexpected Series, my recent trip to Melbourne, some great books I have read and some interesting things I have come across. However, I have made myself a promise to keep the word count down for your sakes. (Ha!) All of the above would be impossible to write about, and to share some news, without breaking that promise.
To distract myself I caught up on all the blogs I subscribe to. Among these was one by a favourite author of mine, L.J.K. Oliva, and one from Joe Bunting , a new website find. Both had written about the Proust Questionnaire. I found both the posts and the topic very interesting. It seems questions were a very popular diversion in the 19th Century. Lists were a way to discover information about old friends in a novel and entertaining way at social events. When the fourteen year old French Marcel Proust was asked a series of questions by his friend Antoinette, I don’t think he could have imagined that years later, in 2003 to be exact, his written answers would sell for 102,000 Euros, or that these same questions and answers would outshine his other literary works, not in quality but in novelty.
I have given great thought to finding a way to create more interest in my characters. Ultimately, they hold the power to hold the reader, especially in a romance. Many authors have found the Proust Questionnaire useful in developing a character profile. I thought my coming across these posts a coincidence I couldn’t ignore. I have wanted a way to give readers a sense of Nico, the male lead in my novel Unexpected Obsession for quite some time. Reader connection has always been my driving force. I have often said I will forgive small errors in spelling and grammar and even format if the characters pull at you, and demand you learn more about them and their story.
I am aware these other things are important. I am currently working on improvements with my novel for just that purpose. My fine-tuning and the possibility of a print copy are all part of some exciting plans this year but more on this in my next post. In this one I thought I would adopt Proust and hope it would give you a small insight into my very complicated Nico. The few questions I chose are meant to whet your appetite for the story and for Nico. I admit some of the things he says encourage a desire to set him on his well-shaped behind but there is much to like as well.
The Proust encounter: Nico
1. What is your greatest fear? Disorder. It makes it harder to see the real picture.
2. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? Nothing I can think of.
3. What is the trait you most deplore in others? Dishonesty
4. What do you most value in your friends? Acceptance, true acceptance. I am a difficult man.
5. What is the quality you most like in a man? Confidence, a true confidence based on knowing who and what you are. It makes for good decisions.
6. What is the quality you most like in a woman? A true ability to know my limits, and accept them and a true ability to set their limits aside, for me.
7. Which words or phrases do you most overuse? I don’t waste words normally. Today I can’t deny an overuse of the word true as you may have noted. It serves a purpose which I am sure you have also noted.
8. What is your most marked characteristic? Pride, in who I am. Unfortunately it can be perceived as arrogance. I don’t really care as I have earned the right to be as I choose.
9. What is your greatest extravagance? I like quality. I am prepared to pay for things that are well made and solid, things that make a bold statement.
10. Which living person do you most admire? My wife, Lia. Everything about her is graceful especially her subtle way, she believes, of getting me to re-think things. She looks soft but is strong enough to take a stand and hold it, and when she concedes it is with the whole heart. There is no subterfuge in Lia. In saying all of this I have to be honest and admit I don’t like she has such a strong effect on me. Then again, she brings me the kind of pleasure I never thought existed. Everything about her is unexpected.
11. What is your current state of mind? Aroused and annoyed. Lia is in the shower and I am here talking to you.
Well, Nico certainly doesn’t mince words. So what does everyone out there think? I would love to know so feel free to comment. In the meantime I would like to share some news. My book is on the January release list with the Romance Writers of Australia. Highlight the link to view. I am so thrilled to be there with so many wonderful authors. I feel like a fraud but I don’t care. I’m way too excited to be part of such a great and encouraging organisation.
Ciao for now,
There is a fine line between pride and arrogance. I suppose it depends from whose perspective one looks at it. I wonder how Lia sees Nico. No doubt the book will tell.
She sees him differently but it says more about her than him at times. Nico pushes those boundaries but he is honest, and I think that counts for a lot.
Absolutely. Nico pushes that boundary a great deal. I would love you to read the book as I think Lia can teach us all a great deal.