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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

"Two Faces, Two Faced" - How It Came To Be

With "Faces" now available for sale, I thought I would do a background bit on it. For Part 1, I'll talk about the inspirations.

I started writing "Faces" with a desire to do something lighter, since all my previous stories were a little on the dark side. I also had in mind a character: youngish woman, independent, with a smart-alecky mouth. As mentioned in an earlier post, one of my favorite books is John D. McDonald's "The Girl, The Gold Watch, and Everything." While his book also takes place in Miami and involves danger mixed with humor, that's where the similarities end.

Miami Beach seemed like a good setting. I've been there a number of times and always relished the flavor of it: like a European beach resort but with a hint of danger lurking beneath it's sun-and-fun veneer. This was back in the late 80's to early 90's, at the height of the "Miami Vice" TV show's popularity, and I'll admit to being a fan of the show and to having been influenced by it. I've also been to Jamaica and on a cruise, so those elements got added to the mix.

The first person point of view was the best way to showcase my character's sense of humor. Then I decided her natural irreverence would be part of what gets her into trouble. The story started coming together as I built on the character, and I could probably go on for days about how the entire plot developed. As usual with my creative process, scenes come into my mind that somehow seem to fit or can be made to fit. And so it goes...

Unlike "Dreamer," "Faces" never suffered from multiple rewrites because the story is straightforward and the single POV makes it a lot less complex. When you've got more POVs, it can be a struggle to keep track of who knows what and when and who said what to whom and when etc. (I'm in that position now with "Changeling" and I'm not even through a first draft yet!)

Next time, I'll talk about casting actors for the movie, should that ever come to be. Usually, I have an idea of my characters' general appearance as I begin and then serendipitously see a TV show or movie with an actor who fits the description of one of my people. While "Faces" was in progress, my husband and I decided to go back and watch all the episodes of "Remington Steele," a show we had missed during its first TV run because we were both going to college while working full time. Pierce Brosnan and Stephanie Zimbalist in that series quickly were cast as two of my characters. I won't say which--I'll let you figure it out. Of course, for a movie made today, I'd have to select other actors, which I have. But that's for next time.

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