writing meme: days 1 & 2

1. Tell us about your favorite writing project/universe that you’ve worked with and why.

With the exception of two short stories, my serious writing endeavors have all taken place in my own version of Harlan County, Kentucky. I lived in Loyall, Kentucky, from October 1995 through May 1999 and consider Harlan County my home. When I first got the idea for my vampires in 1996, I thought about setting the story here in Lexington or even in Richmond, but for events to unfold the way they did, for the main character to evolve the way she needed to, the isolation of Harlan was required.

I joke around that I know more about Harlan County than a lot of people. Thing is, it’s true. I wear my mother-in-law and husband out sitting around talking with my father-in-law about Harlan. He and I view this as a good thing. We give each other an outlet to discuss our passion. Too, it helps that we can call each other when we have a Harlan County question.

2. How many characters do you have? Do you prefer males or females?

How many? Gods above. To keep up with books three and four I had to create a family tree. This tree is almost twenty-five pages long. Granted, not all people in the tree rate as characters, but a good majority of them do.

Let’s see. I started a spreadsheet when I started rewriting Midnight a couple of years ago. As I come to a character, I chart him along with certain attributes. First and last name. Nickname. Order of appearance. Role. Description. Car. Residence.

Eventide (the prequel (i know. hush)) topped out at 26 – this book is still being written; this number could change. Midnight, 14. Midnight’s Heir is still being rewritten but was up to 46 at last count; that’s a full character list – major and minor characters all noted for my records. To Be Renamed I (and to be rewritten) has 20 main players listed on the character’s list I created for the book opening. To Be Renamed II (and to be rewritten) has 16 main players listed on its character list.

I’ve found that I can write both females and males equally well, but I prefer writing females. Male shoes are a bit difficult to step into – and it’s tiring.