My guest today is author Christa Polkinhorn. I “met” Christa online a couple of years ago. Since then she’s answered about a million of my questions, served as a beta reader, and been an all-around A+ supporter of my work. I’d say it’s about time I let her speak to you here. Please welcome Christa as she describes a “visit” from her characters.
After finishing Love of a Stonemason, the second book in my Family Portrait series, I wanted to take a break from “my family on paper” and work on something entirely different. I opened a new Word document and began to type. I was at the second paragraph of the first chapter, when I felt a soft tap on my shoulder. I turned around and gasped.
After years of writing, my heart still stutters when I see him. Tall, broad-shouldered, muscular, with unruly dark hair and those vivid verdigris-green eyes, Andreas is the kind of man I could still fall for—after all, I created him. He isn’t perfect by any means. He has a temper and can be quite crude at times, but he did mature somewhat over the years. Besides, what would I do with perfection? What’s more important, he is a passionate man with a kind heart.
“What are you doing?” he asked.
“I’m writing or at least I was trying to until you appeared out of nowhere. What are you doing here anyway? I thought I sent you and your family on vacation.”
He gave me the familiar “what-the-heck-are-you-talking-about” look—his eyes narrowed and a deep furrow formed between his eyebrows. “We’ve been on vacation long enough; we’re bored; we want some action again.” There was an irritated undertone to his deep, throaty voice.
“Look.” I raised my hand and motioned him to sit down on the chair across the living room, but he remained standing. “Look, I’ll think of something for you again, but right now, I’m busy with a different book. You just have to wait your turn.”
“A different book? What different book? You’ve been saying this for weeks and from what I see, you’re still at the second paragraph.”
He was right, darn it, but how did he know? “Okay,” I admitted. “I’m having a hard time but you hounding me doesn’t make it any easier.”
“I know what the problem is,” Andreas brushed through his unruly hair. “You write the wrong stuff. You should write about us.”
“I think I still decide what I want to or should write about,” I said. “By the way, when was the last time you had a haircut?”
He beamed. “You like unruly hair; that’s why you gave it to me.”
“Stop grinning,” I said.
“You shouldn’t use ‘grin’ in your writing so much; it’s bad style.”
“You know, Andreas, you’re really getting on my nerves right now. Would you please—”
“Oh, here you are; I was wondering what happened to you.” Karla stepped into the room, giving Andreas a sweet smile. She was dressed in a yellow-and-green slinky summer dress which flattered her tanned skin. I have to admit; I do create attractive-looking characters.
“Talking to our author.” Andreas hugged her and winked at me. “Trying to get her off her lazy butt and write the sequel.”
“With such language you’ll never convince me to go on,” I said, trying to give him a punishing look. But I never manage to get really angry at him, no matter how irritating he is sometimes.
“Heya,” a younger voice said and two more characters appeared—the children, Tonio and Laura, sixteen and eighteen by now. Tonio smiled at me.
“How was your vacation?” I asked with a sigh.
“Okay, but it got boring, nothing to do,” Tonio said. “And I desperately need some new clothes.
It was only now that I noticed his flashy shirt. “Seems like you have some nice outfits.”
“That’s my last clean one,” he said, a slight reproach in his voice.
With another sigh, I turned toward Laura and marveled once again how much she resembled her father, the same green eyes and dark, wavy hair, and strong physique. She, too, was attractive, but she keeps complaining that I didn’t give her the slender figure her mother had.
“Okay, since we’re all here now. How about some discussion about our future life,” Andreas said. “I think we’re all ready for more. I mean you created us and you can’t just abandon us like this. We have a right to our lives.”
“A right?” I raised an eyebrow. The nerve. “I think you forget who is in charge here. I will write another sequel but first, I want to work on something else, as I mentioned before.”
“Ahem,” Andreas stood tall. “What about . . . .” And he gave me a whole list of adventures he was going to engage in.
I raised my hand and stopped him short. “I decide what you guys are going to do.”
“Okay.” Andreas shrugged. “Just trying to be helpful. I mean, we’d love you to write our stories. You’ve been quite a pain in the butt and given us some hard times, but all in all our lives have been okay. However, if you don’t want to continue, we can always go and find another author.”
“Oh, yeah? And who do you think is going to put up with you?” I snickered.
“You’d be surprised. To tell you the truth I’ve received some offers.”
I’m convinced he was merely bluffing—or was he? “All right, I’ll write another book. I’ll start in a while.”
“Can I have a decent boyfriend, finally?” Laura asked.
“We’ll see about that,” I muttered. “I haven’t figured it all out yet.”
“And please, give me a few more exhibitions and make me paint some great pictures.” Karla put a hand on my shoulder or was this merely the breeze coming from the open window.
“Okay. We’ll see.”
Andreas brushed through his hair again. “Yes, and, I’d really like another trip to—“
“Enough,” I shout. “Leave the details up to me.”
“New clothes, please.” Tonio raised his arms in a defensive gesture. “Just saying, so you don’t forget.”
“All right, guys, thanks for dropping by. However, if you want me to finish the sequel within a reasonable timeframe, you got to back off and leave me to it. Understood?”
“Yeah, all right,” Andreas said and the others nodded.
“Okay, that’s settled. Now could you please disappear and let me get back to work.
Karla and the children faded away a little, but Andreas stood his ground. He waited until I closed the Word document I was working on and opened a new one.
I typed “Emilia (Family Portrait, Part 3).”
He nodded, smiled, and disappeared.
Now that you’re intrigued by Christa’s characters, click on the covers of her Family Portrait trilogy to learn where you can purchase the trilogy. And right now, you’re in luck because the first book in the series, An Uncommon Family, is on sale for only 99-cents!
You can find Christa on her blog, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Goodreads. You can’t miss her. She’s the one with the cheery smile and a sparkle in her eye!
10 thoughts on “Persecuted by my characters!”
Thanks, Linda, for having me and my characters fighting it out on your blog!
You’re very welcome, Christa. 🙂
A delightful post. Many may not understand how our characters talk to us, but I do. Thanks Linda and Christa.
Thanks, Darlene, for dropping by. I’m sure you can relate!
I’m glad you enjoyed Christa’s “persecution”, Darlene. 🙂
Great one-on-one, with a unique perspective. Really enjoyed it.
Welcome, Gareth. 🙂 Christa knows how to have fun with her characters, doesn’t she?
Oh yes indeed 🙂