Why Writers Fall In Love with Their Characters ~ Mindy Halleck @Mindyhalleck
Why Writers Fall In Love with Their Characters
By Mindy Halleck
When writers begin a story, or at least this is true for me, they fall in love with their characters. I find I have to love them to create them fully. Even the bad guys. I totally enjoyed writing my villain Genghis Hansel who was named after a true ghost story from the Oregon Coast where Return To Sender takes place. I grew up hearing this, and many other ghost stories. And I enjoyed all my other characters, but my protagonist stole my heart from the get go. One of the things I loved most in creating Theo Riley was his take no prisoners, don’t give a darn attitude when dealing with the Bishop of Saint Patrick’s, and how he found ‘creative’ ways to balance the often lopsided scales of justice. Theo sees the world through a filter of desire for two things; righteousness and redemption, all else be damned. I really enjoyed writing him, probably because I like men like that. My family came from Ireland and I had some rough and tumble uncles who did what they had to do to make it through Prohibition, the Great Depression and in a couple cases, mob related prison sentences (That’s a long story my mom won’t let me tell), anyway, I garnered the essence of their rebel Irish spirits when I wrote my warrior priest in Return To Sender.
I think writers must fall in love with their characters so they can transfer that love onto the page and transform your reading experience.
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Return to Sender
by Mindy Halleck
1955 ~ Father Theo Riley never wanted to be a priest, nor a killer. The former boxing champion and Korean War veteran gave up more than a career when he went into the Army. He lost the only thing he ever wanted: his love, Andréa Bouvre. Friends thought Theo entered the priesthood to mend his broken heart or atone for the massacred orphans he couldn’t save in Korea.
However, the truth is much darker and more damning, tied to a blood debt and family secret that has haunted Theo since he was a boy. He drinks to forget he ever had a life of his own—waits for death, prays for mercy, and hopes for a miracle. He gets all three when a child goes missing, another shows up on his doorstep, and the love of his life drives back into his world; the seaside hamlet of Manzanita Oregon.
Theo’s dream reunion with Andréa becomes a nightmare when a serial killer who considers himself a holy man targets the town and everyone Theo loves. Drinking days decidedly behind him, Theo and some old warriors set out to send evil back to hell and a few good souls to heaven in RETURN TO SENDER.
POV of protagonist, Theo Riley:
It rained hard the night we evacuated the children from their orphanage, harder than I’d seen, even on the Oregon Coast. The smell of wet dirt, trees, and napalm. That’s the smell I remembered most, the chemical and petroleum of burning napalm. We scrambled with the kids up Korea’s dominating T’aebaek Mountain—the mountain was nearly the same height as Neahkahnie but had limestone caves tunneled deep within. Massive stalagmites hung heavy throughout the corridors. Ancient bamboo-roped bridges built across chasms linked the vast rooms of the caves to one another. It was otherworldly. But the surviving nun knew the place, the Karst Caves, and said we’d be safe. Water spouted from innumerable cracks and seeps; the sound of rain and falling water was everywhere.
We clawed our way up the hills and out of the valley of death. The CCF had entered the war that week and were as ubiquitous as the rain. The NK were ruthless and bloodthirsty and wanted those kids—and now us—dead. The kids and dedicated nun were too vulnerable for us to abandon for slaughter, so we, my buddy Lieutenant Peters and me, abandoned our orders instead.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Mindy Halleck is a Pacific Northwest author, blogger and writing instructor. Her short story, The Sound of Rain, which placed in the Writer’s Digest Literary Contest blossomed into her first novel Return to Sender. Halleck blogs at Literary Liaisons and is an active member of the Pacific Northwest writing community. In addition to being a writer, Halleck is a happily married, globe-trotting beachcomber, antiquer, gardener, proud grandma, and three-time cancer survivor.
Mindy’s Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/Mindy-Sitton-Halleck/e/B004W4LK90/
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