Lily Iona MacKenzie's Blog for Writers & Readers

MY BLOG POSTS COMMENT ON SOME ASPECT OF WRITING & READING.

The Ripening
The Ripening:
A Canadian Girl Grows Up

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" Tillie’s grit and ability to face life’s challenges are inspiring, the seeds for later discovering her artist self. Tillie takes readers on a wild ride. Join her if you dare! "

Lily Iona MacKenzie Books
Curva Peligrosa
Curva Peligrosa

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

Image is not available
FLING!
Fling!

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

"Fling! is both hilarious and touching. Every page is a surprise, and the characters! I especially loved Bubbles, one of the most endearing mothers in recent fiction. A scintillating read."

Lily Iona MacKenzie Books
Freefall
Freefall :
A Divine Comedy

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" These fascinating characters will fill your imagination, defying expectations about aging, art, and what truly matters in life. "

Lily Iona MacKenzie Books
All This
All This

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" Indicative of the title, the poems in All This range from the conventional lyric/narrative that captures an intense moment of emotion, an epiphany glimpsed briefly out of the corner of the eye, to the more experimental. "

Lily Iona MacKenzie Books
No More Kings
No More Kings

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

Each finely crafted poem in this powerful collection comes alive on the page while she traces the days’ journeys with a painter’s eye, a musician’s ear, and the deft pen of a poet.

Lily Iona MacKenzie Books
previous arrow
next arrow

Where do characters come from?

flamingo-3334359_1280During a recent interview, I was asked how I start a novel and create characters. Unfortunately, I couldn’t give this person an answer that was universal. Each book puts different demands on me and has its own particular origins. So I’ll focus here on my most recently released work, Freefall: A Divine Comedy.

This novel called to me when in the 1990s I had a mini-reunion with two of women I’d been close to in my late teens. There had been four of us altogether, and we moved from Calgary to Toronto where we ended up living for a couple of years. We called ourselves the Big Four and thought we were hot stuff. Under financial stress and personality differences, the friendships broke apart, and Toronto was the last time we four spent time together.

During the mini-reunion, I wondered what would happen if all four women got together. Would they recapture what had originally united them? Or would the disputes predominate, preventing any deepening between them. This question drove my quest in what became Freefall. The results surprised me.

While I used some elements of these former friends personalities, I embellished them extensively till they would be unrecognizable if the three other members of the Big Four were to read the book. I wanted each one to be distinctive, adding to the potential tension between them. I had in mind the color wheel where some colors are complimentary and others are totally opposite. As for Tillie Bloom, the narrator and main character, while her name rhymes with Lily, she only loosely resembles me and is my total opposite—perhaps my alter ego.

The test, of course, was assembling all four women in the same narrative and seeing what would transpire. The fun for me, the author, was in discovering how they would interact and what aspects of their personalities would dominate. When I started out, I had no idea these characters would take me to Venice for the last two thirds of the novel, a mysterious city that I love. It was a perfect setting for the magical realism threads that appear in Italy.

 

 

 

 

Previous

Fairy tales rock!

Next

What’s It Take To Be A Novelist?

2 Comments

  1. It’s always hard to say how characters are created! Mine tend to erupt fully formed in my mind…

Comments make my day. Please leave one!

%d bloggers like this: