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jenforbus
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Re: Visiting Author Tuesday: Our guest author is BETH GROUNDWATER

Hi Beth!

 

So glad you mentioned on FB that you were here.  You've been very busy these last few months, I'm having a hard time keeping up! :smileywink:

 

You know I'm a big fan of character and so I thought I'd ask you to talk a little about your characters and how they take life.  You've mentioned that you profile your characters in your outlining phase - except for Leon who did a little Athena act and popped out fully formed.  Do your characters ever take over once you start writing and change from what you've profiled them as ahead of time?

Jen

http://jensbookthoughts.blogspot.com
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becke_davis
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Re: Visiting Author Tuesday: Our guest author is BETH GROUNDWATER

Oh, good question, Jen. Here's a related question - Beth, are you the kind of writer who plots out your story every step of the way, or are you a "pantser?" 

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Beth_Groundwater
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Re: Visiting Author Tuesday: Our guest author is BETH GROUNDWATER

Jen asked: "Do your characters ever take over once you start writing and change from what you've profiled them as ahead of time?"

 

I usually spend so much time getting to know my characters ahead of time that they don't change much once I start writing, personality-wise, from what I developed them to be. I do learn more about them, especially their history or backstory, and likes/dislikes, habits, etc. as the story develops,much as you get to know your friends better by spending more time with them.

 

There have been times that my characters have balked at what I wanted them to do plot-wise. I always listen when that happen, because it usually means I'm trying to force a character to do something that's out-of-character. And I don't want to do that, because readers will notice the character's personality is inconsistent. When I have a balky character, I have to do one of two things: 1) change the plot to fit the character, or 2) box the character into doing something he or she wouldn't ordinarily do by leaving no alternative. 

 

I used the second approach in the beginning of A Real Basket Case to force Claire Hanover to invite a handsome young male massage therapist into her home, which she ordinarily would never do. In fact, now that I think about it, poor Claire gets boxed into doing a LOT of things she really doesn't want to do!

 

Becke asked: "Beth, are you the kind of writer who plots out your story every step of the way, or are you a 'pantser?'"

 

I am a plotter, developing a scene-by-scene outline before I start writing the rough draft. I do leave room for things to evolve and grow as I'm writing, however. Usually my outline doesn't include ALL of the needed scenes, maybe having 33-36 out of the 40 or so scenes required for the final book. And, in addition to adding scenes along the way, scenes can change or be deleted if they're not working or are too slow. I do need to know where my story's going, though, before I start writing.

--
Beth Groundwater, http://bethgroundwater.com/
DEADLY CURRENTS, 03/11, A REAL BASKET CASE re-release, 11/11
WICKED EDDIES, 05/12, TO HELL IN A HANDBASKET re-release, 11/12
FATAL DESCENT, 06/13, A BASKET OF TROUBLE, 11/13
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SheilaDeeth
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Re: Visiting Author Tuesday: Our guest author is BETH GROUNDWATER

Hi Beth. I've never followed on these threads on Barnes and Noble, so thanks for leading me to try something new. I hadn't realized you have another series in the works. Will the characters from the two series meet sometime?
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Beth_Groundwater
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Re: Visiting Author Tuesday: Our guest author is BETH GROUNDWATER

Sheila asked: "I hadn't realized you have another series in the works. Will the characters from the two series meet sometime?"

 

Well, first I have to find a publisher for the other series! I can see Claire Hanover and Mandy Tanner (the whitewater river ranger) running into each other sometime because they both live in Colorado, but I think it would only be in passing, with one being a minor character or walk-on part in the other's story.  With a 20 year difference in ages, Claire being married with kids and Mandy being single, and Claire being a suburbanite and Mandy an outdoorswoman, they really don't have much in common. I designed it that way, so I could immerse myself in different worlds when I work on the different series.

--
Beth Groundwater, http://bethgroundwater.com/
DEADLY CURRENTS, 03/11, A REAL BASKET CASE re-release, 11/11
WICKED EDDIES, 05/12, TO HELL IN A HANDBASKET re-release, 11/12
FATAL DESCENT, 06/13, A BASKET OF TROUBLE, 11/13
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becke_davis
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Re: Visiting Author Tuesday: Our guest author is BETH GROUNDWATER

[ Edited ]

Beth - I want to thank you so much for visiting with us today!  This thread will be accessible on the main page of Mystery as long as people continue to post on it, and it will always be viewable.

 

I hope you will come back and visit us again, and the next time you have a book come out, be sure to tell us about it. I hope I'll get to meet you at Bouchercon in October! 

Message Edited by becke_davis on 05-26-2009 10:51 PM
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Beth_Groundwater
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Re: Visiting Author Tuesday: Our guest author is BETH GROUNDWATER

I really enjoyed my visit to the Mystery Book Club today, and I will check in tomorrow for any late questions or responses. Thanks so much for the invitation, Becke, and I hope to guest again, maybe around the time of my next book's release.

 

Everyone who commented here today will be entered into my blog book tour contest for an autographed set of Claire Hanover gift basket designer books. If you're interested in following along for the rest of my May blog tour (or seeing what topics I discussed at my past stops), please check out the tour schedule at:  http://bethgroundwater.com/Book_Blog_Tour.html

--
Beth Groundwater, http://bethgroundwater.com/
DEADLY CURRENTS, 03/11, A REAL BASKET CASE re-release, 11/11
WICKED EDDIES, 05/12, TO HELL IN A HANDBASKET re-release, 11/12
FATAL DESCENT, 06/13, A BASKET OF TROUBLE, 11/13
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becke_davis
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Re: Visiting Author Tuesday: Our guest author is BETH GROUNDWATER

Thanks, Beth.  You might want to check back in a week or so to see if there are more posts then. Also, make a note of the view count. One thing I've noticed is that when we have Visiting Tuesday Authors, their view count keeps on climbing long after their visit!
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dhaupt
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Re: Visiting Author Tuesday: Our guest author is BETH GROUNDWATER

Yes thank you Beth, it's always a pleasure to meet future favorite authors of mine here.
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Beth_Groundwater
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Re: Visiting Author Tuesday: Our guest author is BETH GROUNDWATER

And here's an update that Becke suggested that I post here:

 

The summer, 2009 issue of Mystery Scene magazine is out and on the newsstands. If you subscribe, or can get your hands on a copy, turn to page 28 to read my New Books article "Going to Hell in a Handbasket" about my experiences researching winter sports for my May release, To Hell in a Handbasket. You'll also be able to see a photo of me straddling an Arctic Cat snow machine, ready for adventure! To find out where you can purchase a copy of the magazine, check out the Mystery Scene website.

 

I had a great 2-week northwest signing tour, winding up last weekend. You can see photos and get a description at my blog.

 

I have a wine & cheese signing in Manitou Springs tomorrow, a signing with my editor, Denise Dietz, in Denver Sunday, and one in Breckenridge on July 4th, then I'll definitely be ready to take a break!

--
Beth Groundwater, http://bethgroundwater.com/
DEADLY CURRENTS, 03/11, A REAL BASKET CASE re-release, 11/11
WICKED EDDIES, 05/12, TO HELL IN A HANDBASKET re-release, 11/12
FATAL DESCENT, 06/13, A BASKET OF TROUBLE, 11/13
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becke_davis
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Re: Visiting Author Tuesday: Our guest author is BETH GROUNDWATER


Beth_Groundwater wrote:

And here's an update that Becke suggested that I post here:

 

The summer, 2009 issue of Mystery Scene magazine is out and on the newsstands. If you subscribe, or can get your hands on a copy, turn to page 28 to read my New Books article "Going to Hell in a Handbasket" about my experiences researching winter sports for my May release, To Hell in a Handbasket. You'll also be able to see a photo of me straddling an Arctic Cat snow machine, ready for adventure! To find out where you can purchase a copy of the magazine, check out the Mystery Scene website.

 

I had a great 2-week northwest signing tour, winding up last weekend. You can see photos and get a description at my blog.

 

I have a wine & cheese signing in Manitou Springs tomorrow, a signing with my editor, Denise Dietz, in Denver Sunday, and one in Breckenridge on July 4th, then I'll definitely be ready to take a break!


For anyone in the Cincinnati area, I know the West Chester Barnes & Noble has a great magazine section and I'm sure you'll be able to find a copy there. I'll look for this -- thanks for sharing your news, Beth!