Character Interviews for introducing novels to readers

 Tangled Ties to a Manatee  Comments Off on Character Interviews for introducing novels to readers
May 222012

Character interviews are a great way for authors to introduce their books to potential readers. They give the reader a chance to get a sense of a particular character in a quick, but in-depth way. Character interviews can also provide added material for readers not spelled out in a novel’s narrative. Plus, the author gets to revisit a character from a fresh perspective for something they completed sometime ago. These interviews can reach people in a different way from standard author interviews.

One thing I like about character interviews is that they allow the author to focus on the nuances of their work for an interview rather than talk about oneself so much. While I understand current wisdom suggests authors should focus on themselves and author platform building, current wisdom is basically how the publishing industry has arrived at the status quo. In current times, debut authors have big concerns about discoverability in a crowded communications environment. that’s where the current wisdom’s brought us. Personally, I’m much more concerned that Tangled Ties to a Manatee is discoverable and memorable than I am about my name as the author. I also hope that my characters are more interesting than my personal idiosyncrasies.

That’s why I’m glad to announce that the character, Jerry, from Tangled Ties to a Manatee has his first interview posted in Pat Bertram’s blog. You can read the interview here.

Jerry is a primary character that quickly gobbled up more and more of the storyline as I worked on early drafts and continued revising the entire manuscript. He soon relegated other characters, such as Mitch, to more supportive roles than initially planned. I believe as readers discover Jerry, they’ll soon understand why he became such a favorite character by those who’ve read and critiqued earlier drafts of the novel.


The Lorax and Once-ler

 Eco characters  Comments Off on The Lorax and Once-ler
Mar 302011

So, I bought “The Lorax” app for my phone.  It’s a great read – even on the small screen.  One of the things I love about this story is how iconic both the Lorax and Once-ler characters are.  Even though the Once-ler is not clearly seen, he is a sort of everyman that gets caught up in his enterprise and overuses resources to his own, eventual detriment.  The Lorax, who “speaks for the trees,” is angry and shows Once-ler what he is doing, but can never quite get through to him until after the last Truffala tree is cut down.


Part of the Lorax character’s frustration is that he finds it incomprehensible that anyone would value the “thneeds” that Once-ler produces.  This makes the interaction between the characters more multidimensional rather than too simple and one-sided.  The motives of Once-ler’s thneed buyers are something the Lorax can’t easily fathom.  The Lorax’s motives are to protect nature while the Once-ler’s motives are to become wealthy via working and industrialization.  While the storyline is clearcut, its delivery is a marvel that has captivated generations.


For those interested in a paperless version of the book, the app version of the Lorax is available here.  I am not an affiliate for the link and can only vouch for the iphone version of the app for personal use.  I will say I think the paperless version fits the original spirit of the book.


Finally, from several sources, it looks like the anticipated release date of “The Lorax” as a feature animated film is currently scheduled for March 2, 2012.  After the delightful “Horton Hears a Who” film last decade, I’m hopeful that this film based on Dr. Suess’ book will reach even more with this great story’s environmental theme .