Author Confessions Round 9

I’m a panster when I write.  I don’t outline, don’t use storyboards, and don’t formula write. I have a sense of where I want to start and I know what direction I’m going, but I let my characters lead me there. As a seat of your pants writer, I don’t pre-plan character names either. I usually choose a name I like from an online baby name book, use a name I’ve heard before or some variation of it, or pick the first name that pops into my head that has a nice ring to it.  Later, when I’m revising, if I decide the name doesn’t fit the character’s personality, I change it to something more suitable.

Author Confessions Round 8

I am all about character. Characters can either make or break a book for me. Good storylines and exciting scenes are worthless if the characters have no depth, are unrelatable, or I just don’t give a crap about them. Good character development is not easy to do. As a writer, I have to get into my characters’ heads, know how they think, and how they react in certain situations. I walk with them and let them drive the story. Readers have to experience that journey as well. Flat characters ruin good stories. As a reader, if I don’t have an emotional connection with the characters, the story isn’t worth reading.

Character Interview

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I recently had a  character interview from my main man, Dr. Randal Hanson, featured on Mary’s Bookcase. It was fun to answer interview question from his point of view.

Although she included biographical information about me,  links to my books, a synopsis, and a excerpt (see above link), the interview itself is posted below.

Now for the interview…

MY: Welcome to the blog. Firstly, would you please introduce yourself to my readers.

RH: Certainly.  I’m Dr. Johnathan Randal Hanson, but my friends and family call me Randy.  I recently graduated from UCSF Medical School and am currently doing my OB/GYN residency at the University of Washington.  I’m planning to practice medicine with my father when I finally finish all of this.

MY: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

RH: My home is and always will be Seattle.  I can kinda picture myself living the life of a beach bum, though.  Water is my home away from home.  I certainly wouldn’t mind soaking up life in the sand and surf.

MY: What would you consider to be your greatest strength?

RH: Oh man.  That’s a tricky question.  I think I would have to say it’s my ability to communicate with people.  Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been a pretty social person.  I make friends easily and seem to connect with people.  I’ve found that this ability has made me a better doctor.  I establish rapport with my patients, and I think because of this, they find me easy to talk to.  When my patients feel comfortable with me, they open up more, which makes treating them easier.

MY: What is your biggest regret?

RH:  I wish I would have established a closer relationship with my brother.  He’s always been a mixed up kid, but if I would have put forth more of an effort to connect with him, he might not have some of the problems he has today.  There were times when he needed his big brother’s guidance, but I was always so wrapped up in myself and medical school that I kind of neglected him.  I think that if I would have had a stronger bond with him, he wouldn’t feel so lost now.

MY: Describe your perfect day.

RH: Hanging out at the beach with my wife.  The sound of the waves splashing on the shore relaxes me, and conversations with my wife take my mind off the pressures of work for a while.  I can’t think of a better way to spend a day.

MY: Have you ever swum naked?

RH: Oh yes.  On my honeymoon in Bermuda.  That’s all I will say about that.

MY: What is your most embarrassing memory?

RH: Medical School was loaded with embarrassing moments.  But I think the most humiliating thing that ever happened to me was on the first day of my Psychiatry rotation.  My attending physician threw a patient file in my face and demanded that I give him a diagnosis.  Took me completely off guard.  Mind you, I had barely walked in the door and had no time to even look at the patient’s symptoms.  When I couldn’t give him an answer, he reprimanded me right there in his office.  Totally embarrassing.  I spent the whole night researching symptoms to come up with a full report for this guy by morning.  I’ve never been so humiliated in my life.

MY: Fine dining or a picnic?

RH: Depends on who I’m with.  I love taking my wife out on romantic dinner dates, but at the same time there’s nothing more fun than packing up a picnic lunch and hanging out at the park.  Definitely love to mix it up.

MY: What makes you angry?

RH: You mess with my wife, you mess with me.

MY: If you could choose a magic power, what would it be?

RH: Flight, without a doubt.  I love to fly.  In fact, it’s always been a dream of mine to learn to fly an airplane.  That might be something I pursue in the future, if my schedule ever dies down.