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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

GUEST: Richard Aaron

Today my guest is Richard Aaron, who has written a really intriguing and fascinating book - I'm into it now and will post a review once I'm done - but don't wait to hunt it down and buy it, because I can tell you now, this one is GREAT!!! So, over to Mr. Aaron....

RICHARD AARON lives in a cold, northwestern city with his wife, four children, and various dogs and cats. He has a university degree in mathematics and a masters in law. Neither have anything to do with his burgeoning career as a writer. He worked in the real world for two decades before realizing that he was actually meant to be a writer. Gauntlet was produced soon thereafter.

You can visit his website by clicking here.

CREATING STRONG CHARACTERS IN FICTION

I have been fortunate. Having been a lawyer for 28 years, I have met some of the most extraordinary characters. I’ve known everything from paupers to billionaires, illiterate people to scientists with the most complex of specialties, depraved people, spiritual people, psychopaths, idiots, and savants. I draw on that huge filing cabinet of characters, taking a few traits from here, a few from there, but always using a mix of several different people to build the most complex character possible.

In most cases, there is no such thing as pure evil, unless you’re dealing with the genuine psychopath who has zero empathy, who will never know right from wrong, and who will never be cured. Most of the bad guys I have met have streaks of good within them. Most of the good people I have met are flawed in some fashion. Remember this when you create a character. When we sat down in the editing process for Gauntlet, I was told that my editor loved the fact that my “heavy” had shades of gray, and we really tried to play that up. Richard Lawrence, a very good guy, is also a drug addict. Yousseff, the brilliant, scheming bad guy is actually kind of cool to be around. He helps out poor and disadvantage people, he is fair and kind to his employees, he’s honest. Within his boundaries of what honesty means. He is respectful, and only kills when it is absolutely necessary. I say that tongue in cheek, as it seems a nonsequitor, but characteristics like that make the people in your book stand out from the crowd, so to speak.

When you’re creating a character, look at the people around you. Look in the press, the people on TV, cyberspace, and what you’ve seen in history. Always make their characters consistent, and make sure that they stay true to themselves, regardless of what your plot’s doing. Do full character sketches of ALL your characters before you start the novel. And have good readers – people who aren’t afraid to tell you that your good guy has suddenly started doing things that he NEVER would have done in the last book. It’s incredibly important to listen to feedback like that, especially in regard to the people who are for all intents and purposes carrying out your orders in the plot of your making.

GAUNTLET blurb:

Six hundred sixty tons of Semtex is detonated in a massive explosion in Libya – the last of a deadly stockpile. The operation seems to have gone smoothly, but within minutes of the explosion, CIA agent Richard Lawrence discovers that one shipment of the explosive was hijacked en route to the destruction point. Days later, a glory-seeking “Emir” broadcasts to the world that he is planning a massive terrorist strike against a major U.S. landmark. And he gives a timeline of one month.

Now a desperate chase covers four continents, as the men bent on attacking the United States use every weapon at their disposal to evade the American authorities. Time and again they prove willing to destroy anything – and anyone – standing in their way.

But Hamilton Turbee, an autistic computer mastermind at the secretive and newly created TTIC agency, discovers a way to follow their tracks. His flawed genius gives the nation its only chance at stopping the attack … if the American leadership will listen. As the enemies near their destination, and an attack becomes imminent, it is up to the TTIC team, still without a true leader, to stop the massive explosion that could destroy the lives of millions.As the world watches in horror, the President asks TTIC two questions …

Where will the attack be?

And can it be stopped…

EXCERPT:

Richard saw that the leader was loading another RPG into his launcher. The Thuraya telephone was still with him, and still on.

“What the hell is going on?” asked Big Jack.

“We surprised them. We fired an RPG into a gas drum in the terminal just as the bastards were entering it. We’ve killed or disabled about half of them. The rest are regrouping. They’re getting behind their trucks. I can see at least one RPG launcher from here. They’ve got the high ground now. Where the f**k are those planes?” snapped Richard.

“We’re two minutes away,” said Sebatier over the communications link. “Look, we’ve got all kinds of armaments here. We’ve got Sidewinders. We’ve got AMRAAM’s, we’ve got Vulcan Canon. But how far are you from the enemy?”

“About 70 or 80 feet,” said Richard, quickly realizing the problem Sebatier and the other pilots were facing.

“This is not going to work. If we fire anything, you guys are at risk. We’re a minute away, but if we let go with missiles, if we fire anything, we’ll take you out with the bad guys,” said Sebatier. “You’ll be nailed by friendly fire.”

“Here’s what we do,” said Richard, “and we’ve got to do it fast. You’re coming up behind the terminal. The bandits are in front of the terminal and we’re on the other side of them. The four of you will make one hell of a racket if you go over the terminal at Mach 1.7. How low can you fly?”

“Well, it ain’t responsible flying, but the landscape is pretty flat. We can get down to 50 feet or so,” Sebatier answered.

“Do it,” said Richard, as he watched the leader of the Bedouin group casually attach a grenade to the end of his RPG launcher. “For God’s sake, do it now! Go max speed! Do it now!”

WIN: As a special promotion for all our authors, Pump Up Your Book Promotion is giving away a FREE virtual book tour to a published author or a $50 Amazon gift certificate to those not published who comments on our authors' blog stops. More prizes will be announced as they become available.

5 comments:

  1. The cover on this book is great!

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  2. Denyse, you did an excellent job and thank you!

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  3. As far back as I can remember, as a reader I have always preferred 'gray' characters - completely black or completely white characters only work in satire, broad humor, or as comic relief, and even then they can't be around for long. So, I enjoyed Mr. Aaron's statements, and I very much agree him.

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  4. I too have to agree in liking that gray area. I believe it's what makes a completely believable characters!
    Looks like an outstanding read! :)

    Colleen

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  5. Quite often, in real life, you find that odd mix of 'moral' code in the strangest places - Honour Amongst Thieves really does exist!

    There is a balance of 'good' and 'evil' in everyone, and without this, to me at least, a story just doesn't ring true.

    Looks like a fascinating read!

    Lisa xx

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Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.