I like pie.
I just wanted to get that out of the way first. It’s an important part of who I am, and one of my defining characteristics. The thing is, there are a LOT of different kinds of pie, and I like them all.
I like cream pies, like coconut, banana and chocolate (mmm, chocolate); I like fruit pies, like apple, cherry, peach and strawberry/rhubarb (though not just rhubarb); I even like pizza pie, though I am, I will admit, a bit of a pizza snob. But that’s a different topic for a another time.
So my passion for pie depends on my mood, I suppose. And that mood shifts considerably, depending on circumstances. That’s no surprise, though.
I’m a writer; I have multiple personalities.
I suppose that’s not an absolute truth. I am, by choice or by nature, a fiction writer. I imagine writers who focus on, say, travel or quantum physics may not have voices in their heads (though if quarks started speaking to me, I would not be surprised). But as a novelist, more often than not I feel like my brain is an old rerun of Herman’s Head.
No? No one remembers that gem of a show?
Fair enough. Suffice it to say that I have characters living in my head, talking to each other. Sometimes they argue, sometimes they agree, sometimes they monologue (and a couple of them are pretty long winded, so that happens a lot). Write now, I am in the midst of writing a series of novels about a supernatural private investigator, her colleagues and enemies, so I have some pretty odd characters rattling around (clay assassins, vampires who are afraid of the dark, a 900-year-old obstinate woman).
You fall into one of two categories, I imagine. If you are not a writer, you probably think I’m a wee bit nuts. If you’re a writer, or an aspiring writer, then you are probably nodding your head (causing the people who live in YOUR skull to go tumbling around. Be prepared to face their wrath later).
Writers often admit that they base their protagonists on their own personality. For me, I go a step beyond. Each of my characters is a facet of me (I do have many personalities, you recall). My two leads, Misty and Dru, represent the two major aspects of my personality. One is fun, friendly and goofy; the other is tough and stubborn and irascible. Those are my two dominant modes of behavior. Its their voices that I hear the most. The others represent more specific areas of my psyche: my fear, ambition, determination, etc, and sometimes, when I am not writing, they come to the front.
But when I sit down at the keyboard, pie in hand, they start to talk to each other (and me), and they guide my hands on the keys, and they are the ones who guide my stories, often in unexpected directions. Who am I to argue with them?
I just shut up and eat the pie.