Thank you all for your many votes for my cover for Kate’s House in Author Shouts’ Cover Wars. I’m thrilled you love it as much as I do, and Carol Fiorillo deserves so much praise for her talent. (She’s a sweetheart, too.) Please go to authorshout.com and click the Cover Wars tab at the top and keep voting. Four more days. One vote per day. Thank you again and sending big hugs.
And the last, best, and most visual question for Author, Sheryl Hames Torres: Referring to either your most recent book release, or your current WIP, if you were to cast your characters, what actors would portray them? Tell us about the character, and why the actor/actress fits.
ROFL…my poor writers’ group members will tell you that I drive them nuts, not only casting my own characters, but almost forcing them to cast their stories as well. When I’m writing a story, I may cast someone by looks alone, or perhaps I’ll see him/her in a role that screamed my own. Often though, by the time you finish your story, that casted actor may be too old, may be starring in something else where you say, “What was I thinking??” I tend to cast because of movements or attitude. It always helps to SEE your character in motion, catch tics, mannerisms, even the speech patterns. That does not, however, mean if they have a southern accent, you can’t force them to use an Irish one. Also, sometimes I cast people from photos that fit, even though I may not have any idea who they are. I give you the cast of my latest release, Kate’s House.
Anson Mount as Ian Stuart(WITH the beard, his dimples drive me nuts. LOL)
Hair model as Kate
Skyler Samuels as Crysta
Colin Ford as Liam
Maggie Elizabeth Jones as Livvy
Jasika Nicole as Reggie
Blake Michael as Rocky Lando
Maria Cesaria Cordel Encantado as Jannette
Miss Cicely Tyson as Nannette
Next question for Author, Sheryl Hames Torres: What is the hardest part of writing for you?
TIME!!!! Before my children, I worked a sixty hour job as the manager of a needlework shop, as well as often taught classes on Saturday. After my daughter was born, I worked that same job and those same hours, and took her along with me. Six months later, my husband gave me the Stay-at-Home-Mom status. I did custom work and antique needlework restoration for various historical societies, even through my daughter’s illness and recovery, until she started college. She’s about to graduate with her third degree, despite not being confident enough to drive–just call me James. LOL So, through all that, I’ve managed to sneak in a little writing at a time. Most times I’m working on several stories at a time. It works.
Fifth question for Author, Sheryl Hames Torres: Pick five words to describe your writing style/voice… then tell us why you chose each word.
Irreverent–I’ve never been one to back down or believe or not believe something simply because that’s what I’m supposed to do. I draw characters who are the same way–be they children or old ghosts. Every character I create has at their core some belief system and they always follow it–good or ill. Which brings me to…
Emotional– All my stories are built around the character’s emotions. Their belief systems often drag them along from chapter to chapter and decide how they’ll react to whatever situation or other character they encounter. They will defend the things they think are important to the exclusion of many other “supposed to be important” things, and the resulting feelings–happy, sad, terrifying, and exhilarating–build the stories. This very often will include the emotions in the settings as well. I met an old lady once who smoked a cigar and drank moonshine. She was the most irreverent and the most fascinating woman I ever met. And that brings me to…
Lighthearted–In the immortal words from Legend, “there can be no good without evil….No love without hate….No heaven without hell….No light without darkness.” I take it a little further–“there can be no sorrow without happiness…not pain without humor” or you dissolve. Which brings me to…
Honest–While I adore fantasy, fairy tales and make believe, I can’t stand things or people who don’t ring true. I try very hard to make my characters breathe. I want them to walk off my pages, take my readers’ hands and pull them into the stories.
Southern–I am southern. I’ve lived in Delaware and Michigan, and still I came out southern. I lived in Florida and even though it’s south of Georgia, only certain parts of the state are really southern. Ninety percent of my characters are southern. Most bleed Georgia red clay, buttermilk and cornbread. There will be “sayings”. There will be accents–if not of the tongue, surely of the heart.
Fourth question for Author, Sheryl Hames Torres: Do you work any reality from your own life into your novels? If so, do you change it to make it more or less dramatic? How and why?
I’ve never heard that Peter Benchley ever out-swam big sharks, or William Peter Blatty had a family member whose hobby was spinning her head around, or for that matter that Michael Crichton grew dinosaurs in his backyard. However, like actors draw on events in his/her life to reflect emotion in a script, so does an author have to be able to connect with something in their lives to make his/her stories real.
In most of my stories you’ll find children because I believe they are the extensions of love, of growth and survival. I know what it’s like to love a child with the very essence of my cells, be terrified while praying like a manic priest the kid lands on his feet with his ankles still intact when he’s done taking flying flips off buildings.If there’s an argument between a married or dating couple I know just how to make him stubborn, and how far she can grind her teeth before she decides to thump him in the forehead. LOL I know what spring air/rain tastes like, what fall smells like. I know from spending July in Georgia what the backdoor of hell feels like, and I know claustrophobia from being stuck indoors for a couple of days when 3 feet of that horrible white stuff falls even though it’s not supposed to blanket Georgia backyards. So I put as much of that as I can in my stories.
Third question for Author, Sheryl Hames Torres: How did you choose the genre you write in? Or did it choose you? Tell us why you love writing in whatever genre you consider your favorite (if you write in different genres).
I write romance, pure and simple, but that doesn’t mean that’s the only genre I play with. I believe in love. Love between a man and woman, parent and child, best friends. I’m a diehard believer in love. Without it, everything would be clinical but it wouldn’t matter because no one would be here to enjoy it. So whether I’m writing paranormal, or suspense, or whatever, there will ALWAYS be love of one kind or another involved, romance of some sort, but NOT the “okay, there’s a lull, let’s jump the main character so there’s a break in the tension” romance. When I read something like that, I see the romantic almost-scene from the 1990 film, The First Power, and giggle. “Logan, what are you doing?”
Second question for Author, Sheryl Hames Torres: Are you a full-out plotter? Are you a “let’s see what happens” pantser? Or do you think you fall somewhere in between? Describe your process in coming up with and executing a story idea.
Oh mercy, I’m a steadfast plotter! Before I start a new story, I spend months making a story file, complete with setting photos, casting photos, histories for each main character and some of the secondary characters. I have descriptions of every character right down to the quirks and mannerisms, and I know where all the moles are hidden. I have dates and family trees. If I create a town, I have several pages of history, historical figures and landmarks. Then I go into math mode–I will figure out how long I want the book to be, how many words, chapters, pages in each chapter, and what scenes are most important–and even write a few in advance to be fitted in when I get to their homes. Once I have all that done, I will take whatever I have jotted the original idea on–a napkin, back of a grocery list or receipt, even in tiny letters on the back of a fortune from a fortune cookie– and flesh out the story.