MamaWriters are thrilled to have special guest Loucinda McGary with us today, AKA ‘Aunty Cindy” from Romance Bandits. Her second release, an time-traveling romantic suspense, TREASURES OF VENICE, has just released, and it looks fabulous!
Please help us welcome Loucinda McGary, as she asks about the magic of your mother’s purse!
A few weeks ago at the RWA National Conference, Linda Howard gave the keynote speech about the eccentric members of her family. One of the most memorable parts of her speech for me was her description of her mother’s purse, which held everything one would ever need to solve any given issue or handle any crises. My mother had a purse like that, too!
My sister, brothers and I laughingly called it “the suitcase” because my mother favored these large tote bags that were big, rectangular, and… Well, resembled a suitcase (back in the days before soft-sided luggage and wheels). And the things my mother carried in there! Okay, maybe not the foil-wrapped package of pork chops Linda Howard’s mother produced at an opportune moment, but my mother came close. Time and again, she would pull something out of her bag that turned out to be just what one of us needed – wet wipes, sunscreen, nail file, pliers, antibiotic crème, aspirin, and every size and shape of bandage and adhesive tape known to humankind!
I’ve never been as good as my mother about pulling something out of my purse just when it was needed. But then, I don’t carry a “suitcase.” However, as a writer, I do have my own particular ‘bag o’ tricks’ that I use. I have dialogue tags, character arcs, plot points, and deep point-of-view. Anything that will keep my reader invested in my story and characters, I will try!
I especially like to use small details. I throw in a sight, sound or smell that triggers a memory for me, and hope that it does the same for my reader. A memory can then produce an emotional response that makes the reader identify more closely with the character, at least that’s how it happens for me! When I read a book, I want to feel what the character feels, experience the events in the story right along with the characters. And that’s what I strive to create for my readers in my books too. Whether it is a pair of pliers, or a funny saying I remember from my childhood, I’ll pull it out of my ‘bag o’ tricks’ and hope that it was just what my story needed.
A few of the details I used in my newest romantic suspense The Treasures of Venice included a reference to The Chronicles of Narnia, particularly the book The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, several quotes from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, and the phrase “No way, Jose!” (Nope, sorry, I’m not going to tell you the context. You’ll have to read the book and see! LOL!)
What about you? If you are a writer, what sorts of things do you keep in your ‘bag o’ tricks’ to make the reader keep turning the pages?
If you are not a writer, what is the strangest thing you, or your mother ever pulled out of your purse at just the right moment?
I’ll be giving away an autographed copy of The Treasures of Venice to one lucky commenter.