Monday, January 07, 2008

Make-Believe Mondays With Denise Eagan

I'm happy to be able to kick off the New Year here on Make-Believe Mondays with a visit from my American Title II sister, Denise Eagan, who we affectionately call Dee.

Dee, is there a point when your characters begin to come alive and you can see and hear them?

Dee: Yes, but sometimes not soon enough. It's not until they are actually talking to each other in my mind - sort of like a movie in the mind - that I can write anything. Still, I'm not completely "there" until I can imagine how they speak, how they interact after the end of the book. Another way I know if I "know" my characters is if I imagine them at a party together, and I know how they act at that party. For some reason that solidifies them for me. Everything else is learning exactly how they act at that party. For some reason that solidifies them for me. Everything else is learning about how they got to be the way they are.

Sometimes for me this is a matter of creation. Sometimes they are just there. That’s how both Wicked Woman and Wild Card were for me. I had the characters talking to each other in my head—the scenes rolling through my mind—before I had any thought of writing those books at all. Those of “gift” characters and “gift” books. Not that they don’t have their own challenges, they just “come” easier then ones where I have to sit down and figure out why this character is behaving this way or why that character won’t behave this way.

Debra: Tell us a little bit about the manuscript you are working on now.

Dee: The working title - sure to be changed because I'm very bad with titles - is Stalking Star. It's sort of a sequel to Wicked Woman and Wild Card, as in the heroine, Star, is the daughter of the hero and heroine in Wicked Woman, and starts talking about the hero, Nick, in Wild Card. Star is a woman's rights activist who has forgone marriage to pledge her life to the movement. But she doesn't want to forgo the intimacy of the marriage bed. Unfortunately, the conservative, uptight society men of Boston and New York are not willing to assist her in this endeavor. When she and her family visit with Colorado rancher Nick McGraw, she assumes that a Western man will be less uptight, and he become her latest target. It’s not until she has developed feelings for him that she learns he is not going to concede to her wishes, certainly not while they are inhabiting the same building. He may not be high society, but he does know right from wrong. As they the book progresses and the characters dance to the music of stalker and prey, Star’s secret admirer, unhappy with her association with the harridans of Women’s Right’s starts to do some stalking of his own. Only his comes with physical threats. . . .

Debra: The heroine sounds like a fascinating woman. I will be waiting for this one to come out.

For some writers, dreams play a role in creating fiction. Has this been true for you? Have you ever dreamed a scene or an image that later wound up in one of your books?

Dee: Oh yeah, I wrote one whole book based upon a dream I had. It was very warm dream and the “hero” of the dream was a vampire. I can’t see myself ever writing a vampire, book, though, so I took the characters of that dream, twisted and turned them, and came up with a book, Heart and Soul. Just so I could write that scene! Funny thing, though, I never put the scene in the book. In the end, the dream mostly just set the tone of the hero and his journey, dark and menacing, which I mixed with a heroine who is all light and humor. Eventually the book went on to take second place in WISRWA’s Fabulous Five contest.

Debra: Sometimes the writing of a book is a story all on its own and just as fascinating. :-)

Dee, thank you for visiting with us here on Make-Believe Mondays. It is lovely to be able to share the success of my ATII sisters with our readers.

Readers may email Dee at

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