Fictional Characters, Real People and Alter Egos
Guest blog post by Deanna Kahler
We’ve all read books where we really related to or connected with a character. The person may have reminded us of ourselves or who we long to be. Even though the character is fictional, he or she may feel real to us. Why is it that something make believe can seem so true to life?
The reason, I believe, is that each character is created as a result of the author’s experiences and desires. Some characters are partially based on real people. Others share a few of the author’s personality traits. And then there are the “alter egos,” those characters who represent the author’s hidden desires or innermost fears. For example, the author may have always thought skydiving seemed fascinating but is too terrified to ever try it herself, so she creates a character that is fearless, adventurous and loves to skydive. This gives her to opportunity to live vicariously through the character and also explore a scenario or way of living that is uncomfortable, unfamiliar or risky.
Every experience, thought, fear and desire shapes us into who we are. In the same way, each fictional character represents an aspect of ourselves. As a result, these characters have a lot in common with real people. They’re relatable because someone like them exists in real life. It’s very unlikely that anyone could come up with a character that shares nothing in common with any living person. We write about what we know or have come to understand, and that includes all the people we have ever come in contact with — from the grocery store clerk to your best friend to your favorite teacher.
I love the characters in my book, Echoes of Paradise. Celeste shares some personality traits with me. Sue is my polar opposite. Andy represents the demons of my past. Chip is the bubbly, carefree child I wish I could have been. They are a beautiful blend of fictional characters, real people and alter egos.
Echoes of Paradise
The Afterlife Series
Genre: Paranormal Romance / Visionary Fiction
Publisher: Rose Petal Publications
Date of Publication: Originally Released 1/1/2014
Reprint / New Cover 6/21/2014
Number of pages: 228
Word Count: 54,937
Connor’s dead. But she can still feel him. Is it just her imagination or something more? Celeste wants to know. And she’ll stop at nothing to find out.
A once-aspiring artist, Celeste is going through the motions of life. She’s stuck – in a job she doesn’t love, with a man who isn’t right for her, in a web of painful memories from the past. Adding to her despair is the sudden and unexpected death of Connor, her true love. As she struggles to make sense of the world around her, strange coincidences and mysterious events lead her to question her sanity. When the happenings persist, she wonders if Connor’s spirit is trying to tell her something. Her jealous husband Dave insists it’s all just her imagination. But when Celeste’s young son has an experience of his own, she is determined to uncover the truth.
Join Celeste as she risks her marriage, her career, and her own safety to escape the demons from her past and unravel the mysteries of life and death. With so much uncertainty, there’s only one thing Celeste knows: her world will never be the same.
Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/-jGCYT1my9E
Available at Amazon and BN
Celeste began sobbing uncontrollably. She struggled to see the road ahead of her through tear-filled eyes. The landscape became a fuzzy blur of moonlight and shadowy trees. The world around her spun into an unrecognizable mix of darkness streaked with occasional rays of dim light. As she drove blindly ahead, she felt as if she were plunging into nothingness. And she didn’t even care.
She would have continued in her oblivious state, but somehow, out of nowhere, she heard a very clear and distinct male voice pop into her head. She thought that surely she must have imagined it, because it sounded like Connor.
Suddenly a deer darted out in front of her, its startled eyes aglow from the blazing gold headlights. Blood pulsed through her veins as she abruptly swerved her car to the right, narrowly missing the animal. With her heart still pounding, she took a deep breath and tried to regain her composure.
“That was close,” she said aloud to herself. “Stay focused, Celeste. Keep it together.”
Although she was alone in her car, she noticed a distinct presence. It felt like Connor was somehow with her. First the voice, and now this? Surely she must be losing her mind! Even so, she had an irresistible urge to talk to him. Maybe it was silly or useless, but she couldn’t fight this desire brimming inside of her. She didn’t just want communication with her deceased former love; she needed it—even if it was one-sided. She began to have a conversation as if he were right there with her.
“I’m so sorry,” she sobbed. “I’m sorry I didn’t stay in touch with you and try to be a part of your life in some way. I’m sorry I wasn’t there for you or able to help you. I’m sorry for the night I left you. I’m sorry I didn’t let you get closer to me or tell you that I love you. I’m just so sorry.”
Tears streamed down Celeste’s face like the rain on a shiny glass window, and she gasped for air. What she wanted most right now was to know that Connor still existed somehow, somewhere. She wanted proof that his spirit lived on. She wanted to know that he was alive and well in heaven. Although she had been raised Christian, her faith had faded as she’d grown older. Life’s circumstances, unanswered prayers, and the cynical, materialistic world around her had left Celeste with doubts and questions. She now wondered if God and the afterlife even existed at all. She wanted to believe. She just didn’t know how.
Right after she spoke to Connor, a song came on the radio. The words caught her attention, and she stopped crying long enough to listen. It was a tune by Nickelback titled “Someday.”
For a brief moment, Celeste noticed a tingling sensation run down her spine. She felt like Connor was speaking directly to her through this song. It felt as if he were trying to respond to her. Were the words to this song meant for her? Did he somehow hear her cries? Was he trying to tell her he was going to help her in some way?
“No,” thought Celeste. “You’re being ridiculous. This is all just a coincidence. Connor can’t hear you or help you—he’s dead.”
Somehow, even though her rational, logical mind told her this, her heart told her otherwise. Maybe Connor really was alive in the afterlife. Maybe he really could hear her. She needed to know the truth. She wanted answers.
About the Author:
Deanna Kahler is an accomplished writer and proud mom. Her work has been published in numerous corporate newsletters and magazines across the country. She began writing as a young child and enjoys the opportunity to reach others and make a difference in their lives.
Echoes of Paradise is her second book. The story is close to her heart because it was inspired by some of her own experiences. Deanna is now working on a follow-up novel, Visions of Mortality, scheduled for release in 2015. The book will feature some of the same characters and also have a paranormal/afterlife theme.
Deanna holds a bachelor’s degree in communication arts from Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, where she graduated with departmental honors. She lives with her husband and daughter in a Metro Detroit suburb and enjoys writing, dancing, walking, and visiting parks in her spare time.
For more information, please visit www.deannakahler.com
Author photo by Steven Jon Horner Photography
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