My dear friend Belle Anne from Worlds Of Ink And Paper created a tag. Not only did she create a tag, but she said she was inspired to do so because I created a tag you might remember called the Evil Writer’s Award which basically made me melt into a puddle of happiness and evil writerly feels. Her tag is called the Motherly Writer’s Tag and it looks like more fun than is legal in most states, so without further ado and with many thanks to Belle Anne for tagging me, let’s plunge into these frothy waters of parenthood…
How motherly are you to your characters?
I definitely “play mother.” My characters are my playthings, friends, and yes, my children. I refer to them that way when talking about them to other writers and mimic a mom’s attitude. But it is all in fun… I wouldn’t want to be burdened with actually raising any of my characters.
That would end in disaster, certainly.
What sort of a mother? Strict but attentive? Spoiling and soft? Tender but cautious? Or perhaps you are one of those writer mothers who is not so motherly?
They can all blow stuff up and race around trying to save the world and I just cheer vaguely from the sidelines while simultaneously being way more interested in my chocolate-covered pretzel snack.
I also think they are adorable when they build ships and sail off into the sunset together… even if I told myself there would be no ships in this one.
Do you fret about your characters’ fates? Their dates? Whether or not they get kids of their own?
No, they’ll figure it out. I like giving them kids, but otherwise I remain calmly unperturbed about how their social lives are going. Awkward dates just make me laugh at them.
Are you sad when your characters are hurt? How sad on a level from one to ten are you when one of your characters in injured physically or emotionally? Spiritually? What about if they die?
I’m not sad at all. Maybe grossed out, depending on how gruesome I am with the injury. But it seems counterintuitive to be sad about something when I’m the one responsible. Not to mention that I know it will all turn out alright in the end and that putting your character through a difficult time is what makes the story worth reading in the first place.
If nothing bad ever happened to my children, I would be bored. We would all be bored.
Are you aggressive or do you retaliate when someone insults or doesn’t like your characters/book? To what extent?
I don’t share my books with a great number of people. In fact, just my beta team. And I know that anything critical they say is to help me.
I would never retaliate if they criticized my work.
Which of your characters do you “baby” the most?
Oddly enough, I coddle the boring ones.
My philosophy is long and involved and it goes something like this… If I like a character, then it will be sad if they get hurt or die. So I hurt them. A lot. If a character bores me, on the other hand, I’m doing something wrong when I write them which means that they need to live so that I grow to like them more.
Boring characters can’t die. It’s way too easy.
Boring characters must live so that they can be developed and become lovable. And then they too can die.
Besides, you don’t want to be predictable.
Which one of your characters do you let fend for themselves the most?
All of them.
But actually all of them.
Do you tend to cling more to your older children and stories, or your youngest ones?
Cling? I’m attached to The Songless from a writing perspective… I’ve been working on it for so long that it’s hard to move on and write something new. I constantly find myself going back to it.
So I guess I’ll say my older children and stories, but I’m not protective. Just obsessed.
Do your characters have any habits or styles that you disapprove of?
Absolutely! I don’t condone murder, theft, alcoholism, homosexuality, or blowing things up. Basically everything my characters do.
I definitely don’t think it’s okay to rob a bank just because you want candy. No.
Which of your characters are you most proud of?
Makovu is definitely a favorite. Who doesn’t love an awkward sniper who was raised in a monastery, right?
But Hansel is a cinnamon roll of epic proportions as well and some of my yet-to-be-written characters are sure to steal my heart as well.
How many of your main characters have actual mothers?
Well, they came from somewhere…
Okay, so I have a lot of orphans? Especially in The Songless.
Notably, Aleks has a mother and Thalia has a mother. That appears to be all.
Wow, Kate. Wow.
How many of your main characters are mothers?
Almost none. Lulu is a mother and I considered giving Endelyn children many, many times so I always sort of think of her in that light. Even though she is currently unmarried and childless, I view her as a more potential mother than I do most of my other characters.
Although in my new Russian royalty story, Angel is constantly toting around a baby. It’s her sister, but in the absence of both her parents, she does become a mother-figure to Snow.
Have you ever had pressure to kill off a character? Have you ever downright refused?
Pressure… I’ve told myself that I needed to kill a character, but other than that… I don’t receive a lot of “you should totally kill that dude” advice.
I don’t actually get a lot of advice, unfortunately. Probably why my stories are a train wreck and everyone is dead.
And no, I have never refused. I give myself solid advice and the harder it is to kill someone I know I ought to kill, the more I know that it is the right decision to kill them.
Don’t get too attached to your darlings, as they say.
How many of your characters are children?
Though I suppose that is quickly changing with the Russian royalty story – a great many of the kings and queens are children. About half are under 20.
And of course there is my baby Parker. He’s just 2 and has been around for a while.
Are you loath to kill characters? How much so?
No. Not at all.
Are you biased for your own characters?
Biased to think that they are gorgeous and brilliant and the best characters ever to be written?
Biased to let them live and have happy lives?
How well do you care for your characters?
Badly, I’m afraid.
In case you haven’t noticed, I am a terribly abusive mother. My children hate me.
And do you intend to be more motherly, or less motherly with your characters in the future?
I think I’ve stricken the perfect balance, actually. Between being too kind and letting them have what they want and… you know, not writing.
Good job, Kate.
Now! All my secrets are in the light and I won’t rest until you join me!
And don’t forget to tell me in the comments what kind of writerly mother you are!