Thank God for all the lessons I learned from reading the blog, Shrinking Violet Promotions: Marketing for Introverts. If you are introvert and the thought of promoting your novel gives you hives or make you want to hide under your bed, head on over to this very useful site for all the information you need to become an effective advocate for your work.
Now, one of the blog posts I had to write during the tour was an exercise called: “Five Things You Didn’t Know About ___” (fill in the blank with one of your character’s names.)
At first I dreaded writing about this I think because writing in Grace's voice after being away from her so long felt a little odd and I was fearful I couldn't do it anymore. However, once I got into it I found it very instructive and I think this exercise might also prove helpful to those of you who feel they need to flesh out the characters in their own work.
Five things you didn’t know about, Grace Johnson from Act of Grace by Karen Simpson.
I am not fat. People, I tell you my size in the first chapter of the novel so all you folks who think I’m tipping the scales at three hundred pounds, please. My author mom should have listened to her friend Sherlonya who told her to make me a size 14 instead of 16, Sherlonya knew that just like appearing on TV, appearing in a novel makes you look heavier than you are. I’m full figured but healthy. I’m not as beautiful as my sister, Jamila but then who else is? I guess I’m ranting about this to get to what’s important because what I look like had nothing to do with the reasons why I took bullets to save the life of that racist, Mr. Gilmore.
Being able to talk to the dead isn’t all cake and candy. The ancestors remind me that I have been given the power to talk to and for them so that I might help others live better lives. This explanation is supposed to be my balm from Gilead. I would be lying though if I said this knowledge completely soothes my soul or makes me feel more whole and less wounded as I try to help other with their problems.
I’m learning to cook. My aunt Peaches is teaching me how to make my favourite dessert, Better Than Sex Cake. It’s this flourless chocolate cake slathered with caramel, topped with cumulus mounds of whipped cream, flakes of toasted coconut, and huge twigs of chocolate shavings. It’s great. Now, I don’t know if it’s better than sex… um at least not yet. Anyway, if you ask my author mom she’ll hook you up with the recipe for the cake.
I am all about my music. If you want to know about me, and why I do things, marinate on some Coltrane because for me it is as he said, “No matter what … it is with God. He is gracious and merciful. His way is through love in which we all are. It is truly – A Love Supreme.”