Thursday, May 22, 2014

Kate Moretti is full of character(s)...plus a book giveaway

We're thrilled to have New York Times bestselling author Kate Moretti here for a visit. Melissa A. was blown away by her debut novel, Thought I Knew You (reviewed here). Kate's sophomore novel, Binds that Tie, is darker in nature, but it definitely looks intriguing! She's here today to talk about her characters from both novels and show what it's like to write two contrasting women. She even has one signed copy of Binds that Tie for a lucky reader anywhere in the world. In addition, her publisher, Red Adept, is doing a swag giveaway over at their website, that also includes e-books of Thought I Knew You.

Kate Moretti lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two kids, and a dog. She’s worked in the pharmaceutical industry for ten years as a scientist, and has been an avid fiction reader her entire life. She enjoys traveling and cooking, although with two kids, a day job, and writing, she doesn’t get to do those things as much as she’d like. Her lifelong dream is to buy an old house with a secret passageway. You can find her at her website, Facebook, and Twitter.


Writing My Less-Than-Perfect Female Characters
Creating characters from thin air is hard. Every writer has her tricks. For Thought I Knew You, I loosely based Claire Barnes on myself, a classic rookie move. Some of the critics have called her “boring”. Touché. But, I was going for real. I am boring. I’m a mom of two little girls. I work in the pharmaceutical industry, along with my husband. I live in an old farmhouse, and at the time I wrote the novel, I had a dog (sadly, she’s since passed away). Many of Claire’s worldviews are not mine. Her rigid selfishness is not mine (I don’t think) and her lack of self-awareness is not me. I know this to be true: I am unflinchingly, torturously self-aware. I wanted Claire to be relatable, although flawed and not entirely likeable. I wanted her to be in pain and emotionally drained. I wanted her to act out. It was difficult to determine where this line would be drawn: erratic behavior based on life circumstances or unpredictable character?
Creating the novel around Claire was easy. She’s similar to a lot of us; concerned with soccer and the PTA, playground safety, Girl Scout cookies, playdates, and church rummage sales. She’s a working, middle-class mom, thrown into a tragedy. Her perfect little life is upended. What would we do? I probably made her drink a bit more than I should have, along with some other questionable behaviors.
For Binds That Tie, I knew I had to “man-up” and explore character development. I wanted a character who was almost the complete opposite of me. I learned the trick of basing characters on celebrities. I actually have no idea if this is a well-known trick, but it worked like a charm. When I started out, I based Maggie on Gwyneth Paltrow (this was pre-working mom rant, when she was still at least a little bit likable). Whenever I was stuck on what Maggie might say or do, I tried to imagine Gwyneth playing Maggie in the movie. Maggie, like Gwyneth, is beautiful, yet cold and distant. I then took it a few steps further. I created a character who was emotionally unavailable and self-reliant, yet terribly insecure. By the end of the novel, I honestly just loved Maggie. I still do. I think about her, wonder how she’s doing in her continued life. But I knew that I might be the only one.
Maggie fascinates me. She’s been rejected or used by almost everyone around her. Her parents were ill- equipped for parenthood and doted mainly on her sister, who then marries Maggie’s ex-boyfriend. Maggie’s husband is unfaithful. For these reasons, I was insistent on making Maggie beautiful. People think that beautiful people are empty vessels. Why should they hurt? Why should they be insecure? Why should they ever feel lonely? I imagined that being extraordinarily good-looking could be isolating, because people assume your distance comes from snobbery or superiority. Then I gave Maggie the inability to really connect with anyone because she felt different. To me, Maggie is so wonderfully honest and broken. I wanted to hug her. She needed a friend, in the worst way, the poor girl.

It was fun to write two completely different characters, one I could relate, the other I couldn’t. I much prefer my second method, which is a good thing since I think autobiographical characters are a one-time use. I found that I much preferred deeper development of Maggie over her husband, Chris. And while it is dual point-of-view story, I felt a much stronger connection to Maggie. I think I’ll always gravitate towards female driven plots with strong, but somewhat, damaged main characters. To me, the real meat of life lies in the flaws. Bad decisions, selfish choices, the way people react when pushed to their limits; the best stories lie in the blurred space between good and evil.
Thanks to Kate for visiting us and sharing her book with our readers. 
Enter to win an e-book or swag from Red Adept Publishing and see the rest of the blog tour stops here.

How to win Binds that Tie: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Worldwide. Giveaway ends May 27th at midnight EST.

18 comments:

Janine said...

In Kaira Rouda's book In The Mirror, I am impressed with how strong Jennifer stays. Her family and friendships are very important even through all she is going through.

Anonymous said...

I LOVED Thought I Knew You, it was the first Kate Moretti book I read and it will not be the last!

Connie said...

I just finished I've Got You Under My Skin by Mary Higgins Clark and I admire both the intelligence and tenacity of the main character, Laurie.

Karen Hambly said...

I just finished Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden. This is not chicklit. The main character is a First Nations man who serves Canada in the First World War.

Kate said...

Thanks for having me on Chick Lit Central! Love this blog! :)

Leslie Rodriguez said...

I just started reading The Professional by Kresley Cole. I like how Natalie is going to school and working 3 jobs and that the love interest is an enforcer for her biological father

Hailey Fish said...

The last book I finished was The Sister Season by Jennifer Scott and my favorite character was Maya because she showed her jerk of a husband who's the boss!

fishiegirl22@yahoo.com

bn100 said...

the main character was a rock star

Web Design said...

I found your blog while searching in search engines, and it is a wonderful one.

Connie said...

Violet Morgan in "Lady of Ashes" is an undertaker in Victorian England. Her strength to not only do this job well, but to face the shock/discrimination of people for a "woman" to be doing this job is astonishing. This woman and all of the trials she faces in this novel is beautifully written.

Mary Preston said...

In GOING POSTAL by Terry Pratchett the "hero" is the biggest con man, but you come to love him as he finds the goodness in himself.

Maureen said...

I just finished The Will by Kristen Ashley and the hero Jake has already been married three times when the heroine meets him.

donnaing said...

I just finished "Time Flies" by Claire Cook and enjoyed the friendship between the main characters Melanie and B. J.

Melanie Backus said...

Blake O'Hara Heart gets the job done with great energy and humor to boot. Saved by the Belles by Beth Albright is a great novella. All of the Sassy Belles are a must read. The friendship that Blake and Vivi have is priceless!

mauback55 at gmail dot com

Nova said...

in "Sweet Home Carolina", Darcy doesn't let things stand in the way of her dream...she overcomes them and finds love as an added bonus!
sparkle40175@hotmail.com

Sarah Fox said...

Finished the Book Thief and reading Chickens in the Road. The main characters are determined women.

Vivian Vereeke said...

The last book I read was Dee Henderson's Full Disclosure. I really like the main male character, Paul Falcon. He meets a woman who is really damaged, but all of their mutual friends say she is worth the extra effort. He VERY patiently pursues her all the while they are solving murders.

Janine said...

Thank you so much!