29 Apr '13

#LGBT Event Day 29 : Getting to Know My Characters by Kerry Freeman (Incl. Giveaway)

Posted in Uncategorized / 11 Comments

When I begin working on a new story, I start with the characters. I can’t get anywhere until I feel like I know my guys. While I continue to learn about the characters as I write, I need a good idea where the characters have been and where they are at the beginning of the story.
My latest book Pine Tar & Sweet Tea started with an idea based on two friends from high school. What would happen if a man in the closet to appease his religious family fell in love with a man who is out, proud, and unashamed? I made them high school baseball coaches because I love baseball 🙂
From there I constructed histories for the main couple. Matt Hawley recently left the Minor Leagues to coach his old high school team in a small northern Alabama town. Rene Dias left behind a promising Major League career to coach a team in Mobile. Matt is in the closet and the son of a popular minister. Rene is comfortable with who he is, and so are his family and friends.
I have a list of questions I answer about each character. I figure out their birthdays, their favorite colors, what they prefer to wear on a normal day. I also find out what their fears and dreams are, what they want their lives to be and mean. By the end of the questionnaire, I also have a pretty good idea of how the guys look. I’m one of those writers that likes to have pictures of people who look similar to the people in my head.
I knew Matt was tall and thin. Rene is a bit of an opposite. He’s an average height, but he’s a solid, muscular man. Sometimes I know exactly who my characters look like, but it took me a little while to find Matt and Rene’s doppelgängers. If you want to see my Matt, click here (http://www.fanpop.com/clubs/tom-felton/images/7888855/title/tom-felton-photo). Click here (http://en.paperblog.com/video-kevin-alejandro-discusses-jesus-and-lafayette-s-relationship-with-watch-with-kristin-43414/) to see my Rene.
At that point, I was ready to put the guys in the same room and see what happens.

The gracious greeting René planned stuck in his throat the instant he turned and gazed into a pair of intense blue eyes. René forced himself not to gaze up and down the opposing coach’s tall, tight body, but he couldn’t help following as Hawley slowly licked his lips. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, the man had the most incredible wheat-blond hair just begging to be pulled.

David cleared his throat. “Um, Coach Hawley, I’m David Reynolds, Mobile’s first-base coach.” He shook Hawley’s hand. “This is René Días, our head coach.”
René finally remembered he was supposed to talk. “Nice to meet you, Coach Hawley.” René held out his hand.
Coach Hawley wrapped his long fingers around René’s hand and held on to it. “Nice to meet you too. Call me Matt, though.”
“We’ve been looking forward to playing your team.” René smiled when Matt’s grip tightened. “I’ve heard great things about how you’ve developed the team since you took over this year. Congratulations on your first state final.”
“Thank you. This is your school’s third year in a row here. That’s a sure sign you’re doing something right down in Mobile.”
If there was a sure way into René’s good graces, it was to compliment his team. He could think of plenty of other ways the gorgeous Matt Hawley could impress him—most involving them being naked together—but they had a few baseball games to play. René released Matt’s hand and tried to ignore David’s bug-eyed look at his side.
The meeting with the umpire was a formality. They discussed the rules of the best-of-three series and the umpire’s definition of the strike zone, and the coaches gave the umpire their batting order. René concentrated on each word of the umpire’s speech and blocked out the coach next to him. Baseball was serious business, and he couldn’t let Matt, however tasty he appeared to be, distract him. But as soon as the meeting was over, René found himself locked into that deep blue gaze again.
Matt swallowed slowly. “Well, René, it was nice meeting you. Good luck.”
“Thanks.” René could feel his cheeks heat. “Good luck to you guys too.”
Taking two steps back, Matt pulled on his baseball cap and smiled before turning to walk away. René couldn’t take his eyes off the slow sway of Matt’s hips. For just an instant, he imagined digging his fingers into those hips and the kind of bruises it would leave on Matt’s fair skin.
“Down, boy!” David punched René’s arm. “And retract your tongue before you close your mouth.”
René suddenly remembered where he was. “You think he noticed?”
“You’re kidding, right? I would say he noticed you every bit as much as you noticed him.”
“I meant— Oh!” René stared toward the door. “Cool.”

Pine Tar & Sweet Tea

I’d like to give one lucky commenter a copy of Pine Tar & Sweet Tea (ebook only). Leave a comment below by (date), and I’ll pick a winner.
And thanks to Nix for allowing me to be a part of the LGBT author event!
Kerry’s Website (http://kerryfreeman.com)
Kerry on Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/kfwritesbooks)

Kerry on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/authorkerryfreeman)


11 Responses to “#LGBT Event Day 29 : Getting to Know My Characters by Kerry Freeman (Incl. Giveaway)”

  1. The book title is so unique and appealing to me. Your post was very interesting about how well you get to know your characters by making histories etc.

    strive4bst(AT) yahoo(Dot) com

  2. I love the title, too! The excerpt made me curios about how these two hotties eventually get together. Thanks!
    brendurbanist at gmail dot com

  3. Wow, what an interesting process you go through with your characters! I’ve been eyeing this book for a while now but funds have been lacking. Perhaps I’ll be lucky… so please count me in for the draw!

    qbeeqt @ yahoo . com

  4. This is the first time I’ve seen this book. It’s always interesting to read how authors get to know their characters. Thanks for the chance to win a copy!

  5. Nice excerpt! Even though I don’t watch sports IRL (unless one of my nephews is playing, the oldest 12), I do like reading books with sports players and m/m stories just send my mind into the showers and all the fun there 😉
    manning_J2004 at yahoo dot com

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