Last night I had the privilege of taking my almost-five-year-old grandson “Boo” to see a spectacular fireworks display to celebrate America’s independence. While I enjoyed the beautiful and well-choreographed explosions of light, I found my eyes often straying to watch Boo’s face.
The excitement and amazement glowing in his eyes as he oohed and aahed with the rest of the crowd was even more heartwarming than the fireworks themselves. Seeing the display through his eyes made the whole experience different. Better. Thanks be to God for the opportunity to spend time with my Boo.
In a similar vein, that is how writers (or I, at least) approach our characters in our novels. Without really thinking about it, I somehow shift my mind into my characters’ heads, where I am seeing the world through their eyes. Since I write romance, that means I shift back and forth between my hero and heroine and embrace the differences between the way men and women perceive their lives.
Just like the joy that floods my heart when I see my grandson enjoying fireworks, it’s an utter delight to walk in my characters’ shoes, to see what they see and feel how they feel.
It’s particularly interesting to me having framed what initially started out as a three book mini-series and is now going on twelve books (in three series) located in the same fictional town, Serendipity, Texas. Each of my characters experience the town differently based on their current needs and outlook of life. Especially given that I continue to write books set in the same town, as hard as it is, at the end of my current work-in-progress, I have to wave good-bye to my beloved characters so I can embrace the next couple who plans to make Serendipity their home.
In real life, I think when we make a conscious effort to see the world through the eyes of others, we become more loving and empathetic toward them. Our hearts are greatly expanded by having a greater compassion towards those around us, strangers, family and friends.
I am so pleased to announce that Harlequin is doing a special release of the very first two books I ever set in Serendipity as a two-for-one classic edition. If you missed where it all began, now is your opportunity to catch up!
Deb Kastner’s next release, a two-for-one classics edition of Phoebe’s Groom and The Doctor’s Secret Son will be available mid-July.
Jill Weatherholt says
Congratulations on the two-for-one, Deb! That’s so exciting. I’m happy you had a nice time with your grandson. Can I ask how he got the nickname, “Boo?” That’s cute!
I think my daughter came up with it. We’ve been calling him that since he was a toddler.
Thank you for sharing about your writing process. I’ve always wondered how authors can be so creative to come up with entirely different personalities from one book to another.
That’s one of those questions I get a lot, and I’m not sure how to answer. You mean everyone doesn’t have fully-formed people talking in their heads? Ha ha!
I love the innocence of children. Everything is new to them and they show a joy that we often forget when we become adults. Yesterday, our two years old great-nephew became excited over water flowing by the curb. He kept pointing to the water and laughing. I got down on my hands and knees and splashed in the water and of course, he did the same. We enjoyed a wonderful time splashing and laughing together.
Isn’t it wonderful? I think I’m more aware of seeing through a child’s eyes with my grandchildren than my own kids. Maybe now, older and wiser, I’ve learned to slow down and take the time with them to truly enjoy the fireworks or splash in the water!
Merrillee Whren says
Congrats on the new releases.
Thanks, Merrillee! I’m excited about this one and going back to the very beginning of Serendipity. I had no idea at the time that I was going to “live” there so long!
Valerie Comer says
That’s a great commentary, likening the grandkids to our characters. Yes, there’s a different awareness with the grands. Maybe because we now get enough sleep and don’t have them 24/7!
I love living vicariously through my 2yr old grand-girl!! It’s just like seeing the world afresh and anew :-) I really like the analogy when you compared it to your characters view, you see things through their eyes. I never really thought about that! But it makes perfect sense, Deb.
Sorry so late with this comment, but catching up on my reading doesn’t leave a lot of time for blogging…lol!