Any serious writer with a long and prolific career is eventually going to find themselves writing about character situations that they have never personally encountered, and that stops them (hopefully temporarily) dead in their tracks. In some ways, I’m lucky. At various times in my life I’ve ridden a horse at full gallop, beheaded a dummy from a moving horse, handled a hawk, raised a wolf, danced at an Irish ceili, danced Regency-era English dances, shot a bow, and shot a pistol (though not as often as the bow). My debut novel required a reasonable knowledge of wine, but I live in the heart of Oregon’s wine country, so that was easy enough to acquire. (And I had fun doing it). Although I am not a musician, I spend enough time hanging with musicians, and got enough technical advice from them, to fake it convincingly with the bard protagonist in Where Light Meets Shadow.
And then the major female character in the Ravensblood series decided it was time to start a family. The idea has been kicking around my head for years. After an early draft of the first novel in the series, my most loyal beta reader and I were kicking around ideas for the future of the world I was writing. I’m pretty sure she’s the one who put the idea in my head, but it seemed a natural extension of where the characters were heading. Plus I have some ideas of who and what Raven’s son would be when he was all grown up, and he intrigues me. I’m working on the draft of the forth book of the series now (in between edits of the first book of a different series), and the idea has come to term (pun thoroughly intended).
The problem is, if Cassandra has a baby, then I have a baby (albeit a fictional baby) to deal with. You have to understand. Not only do I not have children, I have never wanted children. I do not want to hold my friend’s infants, let alone hear about diaper changes and 2 AM feedings. Don’t get me wrong; I don’t wish the little monsters harm. I just wish them to be well somewhere else at least until their late teens.
My friends are becoming used to me IMing them weird questions at all hours. (Would the crib be in the parent’s room or a separate room? How do you introduce baby into a household with a cat?) There’s all sorts of little bits of what actors call ‘stage business’ to sort through. (Does she put the baby down when a friend arrives bearing bad news?) I suppose I’m fortunate that one of my betas is a writer and a mom. (Come to think of it, she’s the one who put this idea in my head to begin with. . .Alanna, if you’re reading this, you got me into this mess, now get me out!)
Learn more about the author at www.ShawnaReppert.com
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