I’m a naturally talkative, gregarious person who thrives in the company of others. Having spent the first three decades of my life on the stage and screen, I admit I still miss the buzz of performing and the joy of directing. Since writing is a solitary profession, I’ve had to adapt to spending hours alone at the keyboard. However, magic can still happen, even alone.
Just like directing a big show or performing on stage, when I’m developing and writing a story, I have ultimate creative control over my cast, location and direction.
For example, in my most recent book, Island of Secrets, I have a large cast of characters in a multi-generational story spanning forty years. With two different heroines, Cecilia in 1973 and Tina in 2017, the actress in me is challenged to portray both roles as I tap away at the keys. I must make sure these women are individuals and indicative of their times. Then there are the secondary characters in Island of Secrets, many of them powerful feisty women, whose lives and legacies weave through both stories. Many times, I hear them performing in my head, and I see them in my mind’s eye. They are as clear to me as when I directed shows in my theatre career. It’s as if I am once more directing a cast of exquisite players, except they are not in human form.
The young woman on the cover of the book is Cecilia, my first heroine. She is a strong-minded feminist of the ’70’s, who I fashioned on rock music legend, Stevie Nicks from Fleetwood Mac. Having spent so many hours with Cecilia, she is as real to me as if she were alive. By the end of the story, she is in her eighties and a truly remarkable woman. It’s a shame I never had the chance to meet her in real life. Cecilia, like all my characters become my friends. Even the nasty antagonists and villains hold a place in my heart, for without them my stories would have no pace, tension or stakes. So, although I miss the stage, the lights and the applause, writing has given me another outlet for my passion of storytelling. I am not alone, I am at one.
Insight…No one can be lonely if they tap into their genius within.