My Little Pocketbooks: Guest Post & Giveaway: How My Life Experiences Help Write My Books by Shirley Ann Wilder   

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Guest Post & Giveaway: How My Life Experiences Help Write My Books by Shirley Ann Wilder

Good morning everyone!  Today I have a special guest.  Author Shirley Ann Wilder is here joining us at My Little Pocketbooks during her book tour for Too Many Cooks. 
How My Life Experiences Help Write My Books
      I've mentioned in other posts and online exchanges that I literally become my characters when I'm writing a book.  Gender doesn't matter as I can crawl into the skin of a teen-aged boy just as easily as I can with a character of my own age.
     The trick is to have some idea about the feelings a young person might be having.  Well, in the case of a teenage, it doesn't hurt that I raised three boys and a daughter, each one with a distinct personality and none of them had many similarities; each a unique individual.  It also doesn't hurt that everyone was young once.
     I can still remember events in my life that absolutely threatened to kill me or at least damage my very soul.  Then as I matured and real tragedy visited me, I experienced events that truly broke my heart to the point that I thought it would never heal.  Of course, it does - maybe with a few chinks in it or a rack here and there, but the human spirit is hardy and usually can overcome sorrow and disappointment.
     The exception to the would be if you truly let yourself be stripped of all sense of hope.  Hope is what carries most of us through the hard times.  We always wan tot think that things will get better.  And, they usually do - even if they have to get worse first.
     Authors must dig down inside of themselves and remember the pain  the bad times caused and basically re-live them to be able to put those same emotions and feelings into their characters.  It would be hard to imagine how it felt to lose a much-wanted prize or promotion if one had never suffered from failure or disappointment.  How could you possibly relate?
     This was brought home to me when I lost my husband to cancer.  Almost immediately, my thoughts went back to times when I'd attempted to comfort friends who had suffered a loss of a loved one.  I made the proper comments, extended my offer of help and then not too long afterwards, didn't give much thought to their loss.  When it happened to me, I understood.  Most comfort came from those who had suffered the same loss as I.  They knew what I was feeling and understood.  This understanding is what we as writers want to give our characters.
     While I've dwelled on the sad feelings. the opposite would be the ability to express unlimited joy in our characters.  Watching the Gold Medal winners at the recent Olympics, their unbridled joy and happiness was so evident on their faces that it wasn't a big reach to imagine what they must have been feeling.  The racing heartbeat and the euphoria that mus take over could be the same as a new mother feels when holding her newborn for the first time.  Or the businessperson who just made the deal of the century, which will garner a bonus that will get them out of deb.  The relief, the happiness, the felling of accomplishment for a job well done is not unlike the feeling a writer gets when on the last page of their book, they key in:  The End.  
About the book
Bitter news leads a San Diego widow and widower to true love—and to a scheme to marry off their adult children, a plan that goes deliciously awry.
Gaetano Lorenzo was the sweetest man that the widowed Estelle Bennett had ever met. That morning began terribly, with awful news, but now the owner and head chef of a local San Diego ristorante was offering up Italian delights: red wine, delicious food, walks on the beach, laughter when she’d never thought she’d laugh again…. Estelle felt twenty-five. She and Gaetano had found the recipe for love, and a simple variation might just get their adult children to settle down, too. A scoop of sugar, two ladlefuls of lust, a pinch of deception and a whole 24 oz.-can of danger— Suddenly, ingredients were coming from everywhere! But kitchens are crazy places, and variety is the spice of life. And for anything to get cooked, things have to get hot.
Please fill out the rafflecopter form below to win one of the 20 e-books of Too Many Cooks.  Giveaway ends 9/6 at midnight.  
Good Luck!

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