Regarding this subject, one of the legends I’ve most enjoyed reading is the (possibly apocryphal) story concerning Emily Bronte. When asked how such a sheltered, proper young woman, a governess and daughter of a clergyman, could possibly have created a character with the wild passion and force of Heathcliff, she replied, “I am Heathcliff.”
Don’t you love it? She’d bonded totally with her creation. Maybe when she sat down to write on the moors, in the family outhouse (there was an outhouse) or on a wooden chair in her cold, fireless room, she went into the zone of imagining, loving, and becoming her character. She entered Heathcliff’s head and heart. As the ink bled onto the paper, they lived and longed and suffered as one.
While kneeling at the feet of Emily Bronte’s genius, I strive, like most writers, to reach that same deep zone of togetherness with my characters. At the moment, for example, Deva Dunne, the amateur sleuth in my Murders by Design Mystery Series and I have bonded though she’s younger and has better legs. But these are superficial differences. In our hearts, we are one and share the same pen. And not incidentally, together we have just completed number five in our cozy mystery series, The Design Is Murder. It’s due out in November, and we’re both really looking forward to it!
The first four in Jean Harrington’s Naples-set, light-hearted mysteries featuring amateur sleuth interior designer Deva Dunne and studly Detective Rossi as her go-to hero are available on Amazon as e-books for your Kindle, Nook and iPad.