This is what she has to say for herself:
It seems like everywhere you go, there is at least one difficult person to contend with. You know who I mean. That loud person, or that bossy person, or that downright mean and crazy person can drive you up the wall. I can overlook all of that, but if you come after me, my family or friends, I am going to kill you – in my next book.
The gossip appears in a lot of my books. She is a useful tool to distribute information to my characters. In real life, she often comes out smelling like a rose, but in my books, she gets called out for her nosiness and for spreading rumors.
The gossip isn’t actually a character I tend to kill off in my books. The gossip does die a social death though, as her true nature is revealed to those around her. Readers often ask me if my characters are based on real people. While each character is completely unique, bits and pieces are based on people I’ve encountered. Sometimes, it is simply someone who sat behind me in a restaurant and proceeded to talk about everyone on her contact list.
The sociopath… ahh where to start with him or her. When this person appears in my books, it is based on a real person. I don’t write and tell, but suffice it to say that this person hurt me and my family and anytime I can write her into one of my stories, it adds another layer to the book.
Life is a good teacher and while I’m working hard at forgiving this person, I am not quite there yet. Therefore, the anger I feel comes across on the page and my characters experience real emotions. The sociopath goes farther than the gossip. She doesn’t just call the neighbors and tell them that she thinks you’re an alien… she sneaks across to your yard in the middle of the night and plants a space ship there.
This character adds so many layers to a book as the main character battles the sociopath to survive. The sociopath appears in The Elixir and Dear Viking. The two villains in these books are quite different, but the underlying psychosis is the same. I usually kill off the sociopath in my books, but in real life, I’ve simply killed any and all communication, because that is the only way to survive a sociopath.
I’m fortunate to be married to a wonderful man, but I’ve seen friends go through infidelity and the pain it causes. I’ve also seen my daughters’ and their friends deal with heartbreak. The MO of the cheater is always the same.
We don’t want to kill the cheater. That is too good for him. We want to make him suffer. If you’ve ever seen the movie with Diane Keaton called the Ex-Wives Club, then you know what I mean. Dying is too easy for the cheater.
The cheater appears in my book The Lipstick Diaries. Like the gossip, he dies a social death. If he cheated on my heroine, then she may get revenge and then kick him to the curb. Of course, sometimes he didn’t actually cheat at all, as is the case in that book.
The Mean Girl
You went to school with her. You work with her. She might be a family member. The mean girl is out for number one. She doesn’t care about other people’s feelings. She is selfish. She cares mostly about appearance. She makes a great villain. In my romances, she is usually the other woman that is trying to grab the hero’s interest. She never wins, because she is a shallow character, but she can be used to make the heroine realize what she really wants. You can kill the mean girl if you want, but you don’t have to. She’s already her own worst enemy.
Writing Is Therapeutic
Writing is very therapeutic for working through feelings and difficult situations. I’ve kept journals off and on since I was in third grade. I almost always work through grief, pain and even joy through the pages of my books. If I can dig deep and share that sorrow that comes only from losing a beloved pet or a young cousin and it helps just one reader work through their own grief even in a small way, then I feel that I’ve accomplished far more than just writing out my feelings.
Lori Soard has a PhD in Journalism but she's hardly the stuffy professor type. She enjoys writing romantic comedies, such as Finding Ms. Right, gets excited over a good comedy and has even seen one of her books turned in a Manga comic. When she isn't working on fiction, she is writing articles, designing websites and promoting authors.
Lori is a busy woman. She has been helpful to my career with promotion. Thank you, Lori, for joining me today.