Thursday, March 10, 2016


The question this week is: “Do any of your characters share your faults, your fears, your foibles?”   

If you have a question for us, leave it below. You could win a book by one of today’s top suspense/mystery writers – or a gift certificate to Amazon! (Questions submitted without contact information won’t be considered.)  

I don't know any writer who doesn't put their own characteristics into their heroes/heroines.

But if you're in the business a long time, you also use the attributes
of those you love...or loathe in life. Lately I've been adding traits to my heroines that are the dead opposite of mine. Such as a heroine with hair so thick it's unruly, who's fearful of water but can walk along a cliff fearlessly. (I love to swim, but I'm afraid of heights....)

Mary Ellis

All of my characters contain a piece of me. Most of them react similar to how I would act in such a situation, and they all share my fear of not measuring up and losing a loved one. What a transparent question!

Cynthia Hickey (Melton)


My character, Amelia, is like me: particular about grammar, a lousy cook, a really lousy swimmer (nearly drowned a few times) and at times, a bit prissy. On the plus side, we both have good marriages and adorable daughters. Amelia's a teacher. I was a substitute teacher, so I have a good idea of the challenges of that profession and, to my surprise, I came to really care about my students, just like Amelia.

E.E. Kennedy

I think there is a little piece of me in all of my heroines, but I don't usually see it until I'm reflecting on the finished story. Dani Foster, in my Grime Fighter Mystery novellas, is about as UN-like me as she could be, but we share a love for photography. Noelle Arcolli, from my novella in the collection WARM MULLED KISSES, was a bit of a workaholic. 'Nuf said, there. Kate Rylander from my upcoming novella in the collection APRIL...LOVE releasing April 1) tears at her fingernails when she's nervous. Definitely a trait she "inherited" from me.

Marji Laine

I don’t specifically paint any of my characters with my own characteristics, yet the only way we can write realistically is by incorporating what we’ve learned through personal experience orobservation of others. Because of that, I’d say almost all my heroes and heroines share some of my hang-ups, and—if I have any—some of the good traits I’ve learned over the years.

Richard Mabry, MD

I know many of my characters share my traits. We tend to write “what we know.” Also, our own experiences give us insight into the human condition. However, I think it’s important to branch out past
our own understanding and create characters that are unique. For example, I may be writing about a police officer, but since I’ve never walked in his shoes, I can’t write believably about him unless I'm willing to do the necessary research.

Nancy Mehl


  1. Just curious what books do you guys read when you are not writing.

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  3. I love to read from all the suspense authors listed above. And sometimes I wish you all would write faster. {smile} So I'm wondering how long does it take to write a book? And do you put yourself on a time schedule each day or just write it all at once?