Tag Archives: Harry Potter

We Are Family

Happy Friday everyone!! Casey here.

One of the fun things about being a writer is breathing life into your characters. Imagining a back story, figuring out their goals, their appearance, and so much more. But my all time favorite act is creating the hero and heroine’s family and friends.

Often times, I don’t have to think too hard. They present themselves rather quickly and can be scene-stealers if I let them. Early on, I usually know if the heroine has siblings and whether they get along. Or maybe her parents were overbearing and smothering. Perhaps, they weren’t there at all and she’s been raised by someone else. Same goes with friends, colleagues and pets. My stories have them all!

Coming soon to a story near you!

When I think of my favorite books and television shows, I can’t think of a single one where the main characters don’t have family or friends in their lives. Often times, their loved ones can push their buttons like no one else. And on the flip side, no one understands them better than anyone else.

Imagine how dull and boring Little Women would have been if Jo didn’t have her sisters. Or how lifeless Stephanie Plum’s adventures would be without Lula or Grandma Mazur. Even Ebenezer Scrooge, super curmudgeon, has his faithful nephew Fred to anchor him to his past through his beloved sister Belle.

On the other hand, the lack of a solid support system is just as telling and can define the character’s actions and reactions. There are a lot of orphans in books – Oliver Twist, Cinderella, Harry Potter, James Bond, Heidi, Clark Kent, Jane Eyre, and Frodo Baggins – to name only a small fraction!

Granted all of the characters I mentioned rose above their orphanhood and went on to perform good and heroic deeds. But none of them did it alone (thank you Ron Weasly and Hermione Granger).

Gather round family and friends!

And that brings me back to family and friends (aka secondary characters). For me, secondary characters are just as important. Like in real life, we would all be lonely if we had no friends or family. We are social beings by nature. Even if your character is mostly a loner, there is usually someone (either human or animal) in his or her life.

If you need inspiration, <ahem>, borrow bits and pieces of personality from your family and friends. Now that we’re in the full swing of the holiday season, there are more people than ever around. If you don’t mind the crowds, people watch!

Life is boring without friends. . . and wine!

So remember, when you’re creating your world, populate it with more than just the hero and heroine. Otherwise, all you’ll have is an empty and lifeless world.

Who are your favorite supporting characters? And without naming names, have you ever “borrowed” traits from friends and family?


The Book or The Movie?

Hidey-Ho Scribblers!  J Monkeys here with the time-honored question: Which do you like better, the book or the movie?  How’s this for a diplomatic answer?  I like both…  Of course, I’m inspired about today’s topic because of the opening of a movie I’m SO excited to see: The Hunger Games, based on Suzanne Collin’s best-selling book series.

I devoured this book last summer.  I loved it!  I loved it so much that I abandoned my other responsibilities to finish it.  I loved it so much that I used it as a cattle prod to finish writing the first draft of my own second novel.  I wouldn’t allow myself to buy the second and third books in the Hunger Games series until I finished my work.  I had to wait a whole month.

And, like is often the case with action oriented stories, I’m thrilled to see this one brought to life.  Hubby and I have a date for next week to go to the theater.  We have a babysitter and everything. Exciting times!

But what about other book/movies?  I lived the grittiness of Timeline by Michael Crichton…both the movie and the book.  I loved the sweeping views of Jurassic Park (the movie) and the terror of those scenes with the T-Rex…I had nightmares for months. 

Incredible cast of A Time to Kill

I remember being curled up in as small a ball as possible in my movie theater chair and freaking myself out with the noise of ice in my empty soda cup during a scary scene.

I thought the movie version of The Firm and A Time to Kill were better than the books by John Grisham, but I thought the book Skipping Christmas was much better than the movie, Christmas with the Kranks. 

I liked the Twilight movies just as much as I liked the books, which was very much, indeed. 

I thought the first two Harry Potter Movies were great, but I thought movies five and six had to cut so much of the story to fit it into a 2-hour movie that it barely hung together if you didn’t already know the plot.  There were aspects of the movies that I loved, though.  I loved seeing the Dementors brought to life…and the Thestrals.

Today’s Secret: I’m almost as much of a movie junky as I am a book junky!  Either medium is fine with me as long as it tells a good story.

Today’s Question: What about you?  What books turned movies did you love and which did you think didn’t work?


Word of Mouth – Power to the People

Happy Friday! Casey Wyatt here.

Today’s topic is good, old-fashioned word of mouth. Like any avid reader, when I find a book I really like, I want to tell all my friends about it. I believe that word of mouth is still a powerful force in the book reading world.

Many of my favorite books were suggested to me by someone else. A few examples: The Lord of the Rings given to me by my cousin when I was fourteen. I loved them! I still own that original boxed set. Another is Garden Spells by Sara Addison Allen, a magical romance about love and family. And a children’s book about a boy wizard, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, ’nuff said there.

In the spirit of passing on a good read, I’d like to share one with you. Recently, I had the pleasure of reading a fantastic contemporary romance – Beauty and the Feast by Julia Barrett. This book has it all, great food, sizzling sex scenes and engaging characters.

Sparks fly when Eva Raines, a country girl with killer cooking skills, is hired by wealthy entrepreneur and philanthropist, Gabriel Abbott. He is quickly seduced by her amazing culinary creations. Eva, eqaully smitten, is a bit overwhelmed by the handsome man’s interest in her.

Once I started reading this book, I couldn’t put it down. The sex is hot and had me squirming in my seat (so adults only, please). If you’re looking for a romance with spicy scenes, witty dialogue, and a heartwarming plot, this is the book for you. Check it out!

What good books have you read lately? And what initially drew you to pick up that book in the first place (word of mouth, the cover, the blurb)?