#Feature Post – Minds of Their Own By Lisabet Sarai #CharactersBehavingBadly

In real life, I’m a pretty assertive person. I’ve learned over the years that if you want something, you have to be willing to ask for it. I’m also the organized type, though not totally obsessive like some people. I’ve got systems in place for handling the various complexities of
being
an
author,
an
editor,
a
blogger,
a
website
contributor,
and
so
on
(not
to
mention
the
responsibilities
and
deliverables
associated
with
my
day
job).
Email
gets
filed
in
one
of
several
dozen
folders.
Guest
post
material
gets
saved
in
directories
with
standardized
names.
The
day
begins
with
a
survey
of
my
calendar
to
see
what
deadlines
are
approaching.
I
try
to
stay
in
control,
because
I
really
dislike
feeling
stressed.
Normally I carry these traits over into my writing. I control my characters. When
I
begin
a
book,
I’ll
have
an
outline,
or
at
least
a
scene
list,
and
a
fairly
clear
notion
of
the
story
arc.
Writing
is
a
bit
like
directing
a
movie;
I
give
the
characters
cues
and
instructions,
though
they’re
responsible
for
the
details.

My new novel The Gazillionaire and the Virgin
turned
out
to
be
totally
different.
My
characters,
Rachel
Zelinsky
and
Theo
Moore,
really
had
minds
of
their
own.
They
refused
to
follow
directions.
When
I
tried
to
push
them
towards
their
happy
ending,
they
threw
up
all
sorts
of
obstacles.
I’d expected
the
book
would
be
a
20-25K
novella.
Rachel
and
Theo,
however,
wanted
more
time—more
time
to
come
together,
to
split
up,
and
to
reunite.
Indeed, they’re both a bit stubborn.
Rachel is a brilliant entrepreneur, founder
and
CEO
of
her
third
high
tech,
billion
dollar
company
though
she’s not
yet
thirty.
She’s used
to
issuing
orders
to
her
subordinates.
She
counts
on
getting
her
way.
It
may
seem
a
paradox
that
she’s also
sexually
submissive,
but
her
approach
to
satisfying
those
desires
is,
at
the
start
of
the
tale,
as
organized
and
deliberate
as
everything
else
she
does.  Rachel contacts Theo because she wants to incorporate his
revolutionary
artificial
intelligence
software
into
her
company’s products.
She
has
no
doubt
she’ll
succeed
in
that
objective.
Theo, at first glance, seems like no match for Rachel. A professor of computer science, he’s equally

intelligent, but
he’s shy
and
socially
awkward,
with
touches
of
agoraphobia
and
obsessive
compulsive
disorder.
He
doesn’t approve
of
Rachel’s business,
which
he
considers
to
be
predatory,
or
her
lavish
lifestyle.
When
the
billionaire
executive
tries
to
charm
him,
he
pushes
back.

I wanted them to become lovers. It took many chapters for that to happen. Rachel and Theo were not about to let me boss them around. When
they
finally
got
together,
I
tried
to
move
the
story
forward,
but
they
resisted.
They
wanted
time
to
explore
their
mutual
attraction
and
to
build
their
relationship.
Finally, I threw up my hands and allowed them to do what they wanted. To be honest, I’m delighted by the results.
Here’s a quick excerpt that highlights how opinionated they
are!
~ ~ ~
“I appreciate
your
taking
the
time
out
of
your
busy
schedule,
Doctor.
I
know
Looking
Glass
Inc.
is
a
bit
off
the
beaten
track.
Did
you
have
a
comfortable
trip?”  I’ve gotten plenty of flak for establishing my
company’s campus
in
Santa
Cruz
rather
than
in
the
heart
of
Silicon
Valley,
but
I
don’t care.
This
is
where
I
want
to
be.
“Oh,
yes
indeed.
That
was
one
of
the
most
comfortable
limousine
rides
I’ve
ever
experienced.”
Sarcasm
drips
in
his
reply.
“With
a
ride
that
smooth,
I
was
almost
convinced
that
your
company’s latest
technology
coup
was
an
anti-gravity
device.”
“Not
yet.”
My
laugh
sounds
forced.
His
social
awkwardness
is
affecting
me.
“That’s on
our
agenda
for
next
year.
Would
you
like
some
coffee,
by
the
way?
Juice?
Water?”
“Nothing.”
He
yanks
his
eyes
away
from
the
view
and
stares
over
my
head,
focusing
on
the
Klee
original
hanging
behind
my
desk.
“I
drank
my
fill
from
the
complimentary
bar
in
your
limo.”
I find myself in the unaccustomed state
of
being
temporarily
at
a
loss
for
words.
Despite
his
lack
of
social
skills,
Moore
somehow
has
gained
the
upper
hand
in
this
conversation.
I
swallow
my
annoyance
and
begin
again.
“About
your
charity—”
“I don’t approve
of
you,
Ms.
Zelinksy,”
Finally
he
looks
at
me,
though
he
seems
fixated
on
my
mouth
rather
than
my
eyes.
“You
and
your
kind.”
“It’s Dr.
Zelinksy,
actually.”
Guess
he
hadn’t bothered
to
Google
me.
“And
what
do
you
mean,
‘my
kind’?”
“You
Valley
billionaires,
who
think
your
money
can
buy
anything,
including
the
human
soul.
You
use
technology
to
enslave
the
poor,
benighted
masses.
You
lure
them
into
spending
their
time
and
money
on
devices
and
services
they
don’t need.
You
suction
up
their
personal
data
so
you
can
slice
it,
dice
it
and
use
it
to
sell
them
more
trash.
And
then
you
brag
about
how
you’re
ushering
in
a
brave
new
world
of
hi-tech
miracles.
Hmmph!”
Suddenly he’s on his feet, towering over my chair, his full lips twisted into a black scowl. For an instant I think he’s going to hit me. Instead he turns his back on me to stride over to the window. Sunlight filters through the boughs to dapple the earth below. The view appears to calm him somewhat. His fingers uncurl but his shoulders are still hunched and tight.
“‘Enslave
the
benighted
masses!’
Don’t you
think
that’s a bit
melodramatic?”
I’m tempted
to
cross
the
room
and
stand
by
his
side,
to
soothe
and
coddle
him.
I
refrain.
He’s too
skittish.
“Melodramatic?”
He
glances
over
his
shoulder
at
me.
“I
know
one
kid,
from
South
Central
LA.
A
former
member
of
Code
in
the
Hood.
He
beat
his
mother
senseless
when
she
wouldn’t give
him
money
to
buy
the
latest
iPhone.
Another
guy
died
of
a
stroke
after
spending
three
days
and
nights
non-stop
playing
Grand
Theft
Auto.
Then
there
was
young
Aurelia—her
brother
came
to
a
couple
CIH
meetings.
She
killed
herself
after
her
boyfriend
posted
naked
pictures
of
her
on
Facebook.”
“There
are
always
unstable
individuals
in
the
population,”
I
begin.
“You
can’t hold
technology
responsible—”
I
stop
short.
Why
in
the
hell
should
I
defend
myself?
~ ~ ~
I hope you’ll check out The Gazillionaire and the Virgin. If
you
like
it,
though,
I
really
can’t take
the
credit.
My
characters
did
all
the
work!
Lisabet’s Fantasy Factory: http://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com

One Comment Add yours

  1. Thanks for featuring my new release!

    Like

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