Sunday, December 2, 2012

People Watching Guest blog with Miranda Stork

Is People Watching Really That Nosy?

I’m not sure if some of the rest of you do this, but I LOVE to people watch. The Italians do it constantly, and I think they have it right. Now before you freak out on me and start screaming “STALKER!”, just let me explain.

Where I’m sat at the moment, I’m looking out of my study window to outside our cottage. Our cottage happens to sit along the route for the Cleveland Coast-to-Coast walk. It’s a beautiful walk that runs from the Irish Sea at St Bees to the North Sea at Robin Hood’s Bay, and is around 192 miles. It passes through three national parks and really is something that everyone should do at least once. Well, I get an awful lot of walkers coming past my window on this long walk, some of them from as far afield as Australia and America. All of them look very different, some of them wearing thick coats, others with an MP3 player plugged in their ears.

And when I’m running dry on what to write on the screen in front of me, I like to look out of the window and try to restart my brain once more. And when someone walks past in their little group, I like to make up a story for them, if they look interesting. I’ll give you an example, which will probably also give you a little insight into how my mind works. (You have been warned.)

A lady just went past on her own, apart from her group, carrying a heavy pack on her back, and wearing no coat, despite the weather being a little cooler today. She has wrap-around shades on, and looks as though she is concentrating very heavily on something. so, to build a story for her, I begin to ask some questions.

Why is she walking on her own? Perhaps she has fallen out with the group. Perhaps she thinks they are not taking the walk seriously. Yes, I think it’s that one, looking at how they are laughing and taking their time, but she looks like she is thinking of nothing else.

Why isn’t she wearing a coat? It could be as simple as she is too warm, but it really is cold today. Maybe it’s because she wants to feel the cold-yes, she is punishing herself in some way. Which leads to the question-

Why is she doing this walk? She doesn’t look as though she is enjoying it much. This is where I really use some artistic licence. From the way she looks, and is concentrating, she is heavily driven. Perhaps she has always been driven, and used to work in a high-flying job in an advertising agency or such. She had a wonderful grandmother who had brought her up since she was ten. The reason she is so driven is because her parents were very poor, and died when she was young. She never wanted to feel that way again, so her life became about money. Her grandmother was sad to see this. Her grandmother recently died, and her last words to her grand-daughter were, “Life is about more than money. You must experience life. You must do more with your life.” The lady spent several weeks crying in secret and grappling with this after her death, and eventually had a break-down at work, forcing her company to put her on extended leave. She made her mind up to follow what her grandmother asked of her, and made up a list of all the great things she could think of to do. So one of those things is to do this work, and her thoughts are constantly on her grandmother.

So now we have a story for this lady. We can give her a name…erm….Linda. And now she will at some point become a character in a book of mine. (Seriously, no-one pinch this, I will use it, and I’ll know where you got it from. Then I will hunt you down and beat you with…a KIPPER!)

And that is how I sometimes build my most interesting characters. So if you ever see me staring at you on the bus or at a coffee shop, don’t freak out, it’s only because you’re about to become that strange fey-like creature in my book that grows fangs. Nothing to worry about at all.

So how do you build your characters? Is it as weird(nosy) as this? Or do you have another method?

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December 30 Promo

December 30 Guest blog
Monique Morgan

Vigilante of Shadows
Scarlet Rain Series, Book One
Miranda Stork

Genre: Paranormal Thriller/Romance

Publisher: Moon Rose Publishing

Number of pages: 267
Word Count: 88,487

Cover Artist: Miranda Stork

Book Description:

Aodhan clutched uselessly at his head, groaning. He knew it was useless, because the voice was not inside his head. It followed him, skimming across buildings and land. It had followed him since he was sixteen, and it still followed him today, like a memory too horrific to be forgotten…

Aodhan is a shadow-demon, hardened and cold after years of being alone, after his love, his Entwined, was cruelly taken away from him. He has closed his heart to the world, and now spends his life ridding the world of men like those who took his beloved away, an immortal hit-man…

Arianwen Harris is a young DCI, working for York City Police. When a known criminal is found viciously killed, she finds herself trailing a hit-man who has seemed to escape clutches again and again…but she begins to find herself drawn to his dark charms and roguish good looks…

As their two worlds collide, Aodhan and Arianwen find themselves coming together to escape a far greater enemy, one that threatens to create a world far worse than the one they live in. As they battle to hold back the oncoming forces, fate has another plan; one to draw them together and heal their broken pasts together…

About the Author:

I was born in Guisborough, North Yorkshire in 1987 and have lived in various places around Britain, including Newcastle and Glasgow.

My writing is inspired by various writers, including the vivid characters of Charles Dickens, the imagination of Stephen King, and the gothic imagery of Anne Rice.

My love of horror began at an early age, when I was only three or four. I could read proficiently at the age of three, and devoured fairy-stories, but I always had a bent towards the darker stories, such as the Brother's Grimm's tales...Red Riding Hood was always a firm favourite, although I always felt sorry for the wolf, despite him having tried to eat everyone!

Amazon Author Page:

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