I’m reading AFTER THE STORM by Amy Knupp. Amy’s a friend and a wonderful writer. She also has allergies and, because of this, eats a gluten-free diet. So I’m reading her book, thinking the characters would be eating healthy foods.
Wrong. It has cookies. Ice cream. Cakes. Junk food. These foods aren’t mentioned just once in a while, but mentioned often. And as I’m reading this, I’m getting really hungry. And it makes me laugh, because I’m guessing that when Amy wrote this book, she got a vicarious thrill out of this forbidden food.
I don’t eat a gluten-free diet, but for the most part, my diet is pretty healthy. I don’t want to cut out sweets and chips. I do it because I want to be healthy. Lucky for me, my characters don’t have to eat healthy. So I wrote MIRACLE PIE, with a heroine who makes pies. After that, I wrote MO’S HEART, most of which takes place in a restaurant, with many references of food. And near the end, there’s a luscious feast. I indulge myself through my fiction.
It’s not only food. I write in very deep point of view. When I write tense scenes, my neck and shoulders hurt afterward because my muscles tighten so much. This morning, I wrote a sex scene. At the end of the scene, I was panting and wiped out.
And then there’s the way our characters look. For the most part, they’re younger, prettier, thinner, and often richer than we are. Sure they have terrible problems – but they look great while they’re going through it. And since I’m in the characters’ POV, that means as I write, I’m gorgeous and young.
It’s even more fun to write the heroes… I sometimes base my heroes on favorite actors. Hey, it’s my book. If I’m drooling over the hero, it makes it easier for my heroine to fall for him.
Are you like me? Do you live vicariously through fictional characters while you’re reading a book?