I believe that last year on Women's Day I decided to talk about female characters and what I'd learned from better writers than myself about how to go about writing them. Simply put, treat them as a human first.
So, with that amazing and insightful writing advice out of the way, I want to recognize a few of the women in my life and their amazing contributions to not only making my life better, but making the world a better place as well. That means I absolutely have to start with my wonderful and beautiful wife, Elizabeth.
She is absolutely my biggest fan. Even if I just restrict her contributions to my writing, she's been invaluable. She loves my characters and is constantly asking me what's going to happen next. She's my first alpha reader, going over things freshly written and is always there with suggestions and critiques.
When I was working as a journalist in Las Vegas, writing whenever I had a scrap of free time, she was there to cheer me on. That job literally gave me white hair. I was always super stressed and never had enough time to devote to my book. Once I got it finished and I was more or less done with Las Vegas, it was my wife who not only suggested but insisted that I focus on my writing once we moved. I managed to get her to agree to letting me work part time at the University so I didn't feel like a total sponge, but she took on a full time job and insisted I devote the bulk of my time to writing and not working.
She's helped me work out the most complicated tangles of plot that I thought would never go anywhere. Helped me develop interesting and intriguing characters. She is, without a doubt, the top reason that I'm able to do anything related to my book and I am so thankful for her.
Because I want to spread the love around a little, I also want to mention my mother. She read every scrap of nonsense I ever cobbled together, but when she read my first draft of an early concept for The Paladin, she insisted I stop everything else and work on this. She cheered me every step of the way, made me confident about my work, and encouraged me to seek out ways to fulfill my dreams, however they presented themselves.
My kohai, like a little sister, and mother to our god-daughter, Karlli. I give her grief for having too many consonants in her name, but she's a great influence in my life and I'm so thankful for her friendship and inspiration.
And lastly, Ruth. When Elizabeth and I made plans to move to LA and they fell through, you were there to give us a place to stay. On top of that, you burned through my manuscript in about a day, ready with tons of feedback. You told me how much you love Giz (one of the characters) and how you enjoyed the characterization of all the people in my novel.
Obviously there are other women in my life that I owe a lot to, friends and family, but there's only so much time and so much space on this blog. My deepest thanks to all of you for how positively you've affected my life. Thank you.
Be Excellent to Each Other.
Keep your eyes open for my debut novel, The Paladin.