Welcome Addison Brae!
Thanks for hosting me today, Mary. Readers often ask what inspires plots and characters. Here are my thoughts.
- How do you get ideas for plots and characters?
Life experiences, dreams, people I’ve met, and what’s going on in the world bring up the questions, ideas, and emotions that make up a story. Characters are based on stories I’ve heard, mashups of people I know, or inspired by real people like Whistle Bitch,a real bartender we met at an all-night diner in Seattle near the Space Needle. She whistled while she worked and earned the nickname from her coworkers.
- Have any of your characters ever shocked you?
Yes, but do they shock readers? Gillian is hell-bent on getting justice for what she believes was murder. She does things I never thought she’d do, but I couldn’t stop her. She’s 21, naïve, and invincible. She also wants to prove to herself she has the courage to do something important.
- Which comes first, the passion or the story idea?
With Becker Circle, definitely the passion to raise awareness about and stop domestic violence and inspire peopleto seek help. Becker Circle is about Gillian starting over without violence. Fresh starts come with doubts, but those doubts are rarely worse than what already happened. Like Gillian, we’re never alone. There’s always help from friends,family, co-workers, police, and organizations like Hope’s Door New Beginning Center. Here’sa scene from Becker Circle where Gillian grows stronger in her fresh start.
BECKER CIRCLE EXCERPT
“That’s what I hear.” I pour another round of shots. “Be right back. Just going to deliver these.”
On my return, I run into Bradweiser coming from the bathroom. “Give me a hug.” He opens his arms and squeezes me. It’s uncomfortable. When he loosens his grip, he slides around where his arm wraps around my throat. Tight.
I gasp for breath and my tray crashes to the wood floor breaking the somber near silence.
Everything rushes back. The night Connor left huge bruises on my neck then dragged me across the floor by my hair. All because I wasn’t ready to get engaged.
This time I’m not afraid. I’m ready to fight. Feet firm on the ground I wrap one leg behind Brad and slam my knee into the back of his. His knee bends and I twist out of his tight hold.
“What the hell are you doing?” I pick the tray up off the floor and step back to a safe distance, my heart still racing.
“I’m sorry,” he begs. “I’m so sorry, Gillian. I just wanted to hug you.”
“Gillian, are you hurt?” Steve asks, stepping between us with Joey right behind him.
“I’ll make it up to you. The best restaurant in town. Sunday?”
I don’t care how much Brad’s sleepy eyes beg, it’s not happening. “I don’t think so, Brad.”
“Brad, time to go home.” Steve leads him to the door. “I’ll close out your tab.”
Rule seven of my new life—violence is a deal breaker. No exceptions.