Character Soup

Last week I had the opportunity to cheer from the crowd (I even did the wave a little bit in my head) at Tattered Cover Books for fellow Lighthouse member Carleen Brice as she celebrated the launch of her debut novel, Orange Mint and Honey. I haven’t read my copy yet, but if it’s half as good as jazz band, the wine, the orange chocolate brownie (okay, brownies, if we’re being honest), and the company that came together for the book party, well… just go pick up a copy, okay? Because Carleen’s reading was wonderful. I mean, everyone was hooked.

Young Reader
A young Brice fan.

LWW Cheerleaders
Me, Jenny (my fave Lighthouse instructor), Karen, and Lisa.

Carleen & Fans
Carleen talks about family bonds in Orange Mint and Honey.

A woman in the audience asked Carleen how she developed secondary characters for the novel; specifically, the main character’s love interest. Here’s what she had to say:

I love that answer because it’s so true. When I was in Buffalarctica last month, one of my brother’s friends said, “I don’t want to talk to you. I don’t want to end up in the book.” I laughed. “Too late,” I told him. “Everyone I meet goes in the book.”

Really. It might be something you say or a gesture or the way your face changes when you talk about the person you love. It might be a scar on your chin or the color of your eyes or the way you sing and play air guitar at my brother’s shows (yes, I’m talking to you, Nameless Air Guitar Man with whom I’m utterly fascinated). Maybe it’s your laugh or your beliefs or your nickname or the way I feel when I’m around you – good, bad, or ugly. Whatever it is, you’re all going into the character soup, and one day you’ll read my book and you’ll recognize something on the page and you’ll smile or cringe… and then you’ll know what I mean.

So when Carleen talked about stirring in all the best men in her life, including her husband and grandpa and brother and video store cutie, I smiled, because I knew exactly what she meant.

(It’s unfortunate that no one asked her how those orange chocolate brownies were developed, but then again, I am taking a beach vacation this summer… *shudder*)

Anyway, best of luck to Carleen on Orange Mint and Honey!

Book Signing

3 thoughts on “Character Soup

  1. What a cool post! Carleen really had a great reading and party — music, food, family, friends — what could be better? And I love your observation about character soup. I’m constantly making mental notes about people — real ones if I think they won’t catch me 🙂

  2. I thought you were going to quote me saying, “Never tell anything to a writer!” We’re all thieves!

    Thanks, Sarah for the pix and vid! I feel so famous! 🙂

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