Saturday, July 24, 2010

Interview with Angie Frazier on character creation + EVERLASTING giveaway!

Some months ago, I was talking to Angie Frazier within some blog comments about writing longterm about characters, and writing outside of the novel in which they appear. Angie told me that she had been writing about Oscar Kildare, the hero/love interest of Everlasting, going on 10 years, and has written side stories about Oscar and Camille outside of the novel.

I LOVE hearing that I'm not the only author who does this. The characters in Magic Under Glass are relatively new and don't "exist" outside the book, but I'm excited to see books on the shelf with some of my longterm characters. But also nervous. VERY nervous. They've been private to me for so many years, it feels like sending your children to college or hope they'll be okay when they leave the nest. I asked Angie if I could interview her about Oscar and Camille and her experience, so here she is.

--How did you first get the idea to write about Oscar and Camille, and how have they changed over the years?

I honestly don’t remember how Oscar and Camille came into my head. I’ve always been drawn to star-crossed love stories, so I am sure I just wanted to create one of my own. What I do remember though, was falling very quickly in love with Camille and Oscar’s story. They were so different from one another—raised differently, lived differently—and yet they fit together so well.
Over the years, Oscar has done the most changing (which I’ll talk about in response to your next question!) but Camille has also done a lot of growing up. I have read a few reviews saying Camille frustrated them with her stubbornness, but that’s actually a quality that I’d worked to layer into her character over the years. I can’t feel sorry for it! I needed to test her mettle in order to develop her and I discovered she could handle a lot more than I originally thought. In the first few drafts I remember her crying way too much, and being much too dependent on Oscar and Ira and “chance.”
I feel like Camille’s character has grown stronger as I’ve worked with her the last decade.

--Is there an aspect of Oscar you didn't get to convey within the book that you wished you could? (Maybe in the future?)

This is the first time I’ve ever talked about this online, but there is an Alter Oscar. The very first Oscar I created had a TOTALLY different history than the Oscar that is in the final version on bookshelves. For one thing, he was much older—about 30 years old. He had been married to a girl in Ireland who had died, and feeling he had nothing left in Ireland, Oscar and his brother had immigrated to Boston. Only, on the way to Boston his brother had died. Oscar arrived in Boston alone, and soon became a thug for an Irish mob boss. When he ended up killing this mob boss (for reasons that would take too long to explain) he set out across the country. He stopped in California where he met Camille and her father, and then the rest took off from there.
I really love this past Oscar. Even though I edited him to be younger and without the dark and stormy past while doing revisions with my agent, this is still the Oscar I live with in my head.

--Ooh. I understand why you had to change it, but I like that Oscar backstory a LOT... Can you give us an idea of some of their side adventures that aren't in Everlasting?

There are some that are like little vignettes and others that could be a whole book if I wanted to take the time to write them. Let’s see…one of the best ones for exploring Oscar’s dedication to Camille and her father, and Camille’s own strength, was the one that involved a mutiny at sea. Who doesn’t like a dangerous mutiny at sea? ☺ Some take place on land, back in San Francisco, and work in Camille’s fiancé, Randall, more than what I was able to write in the first book. (There is a lot of Randall in the second book!) I really like those San Francisco stories, seeing Oscar and Randall at odds and Camille trapped in the middle. Yes, I do love a dramatic love triangle!
I kind of hope one day to have the time to write a few of these “episodic” stories, even if they are just for myself.

--Sounds like good website extras... By reading your guest post at Tempting Persephone, it sounds like you started imagining these side stories as a character development exercise that got out of control (well, or just turned out really awesome). Have you, or do you plan to, use this technique for future stories, or is it sort of special to the characters in Everlasting?

I haven’t used this method for any other story yet. In my middle grade novel out next March, Suzanna Snow is the main character and I clicked and connected with her right away. I didn’t really need to explore her and her relationships this way.
However, with a YA that I wrote last year, and plan to get back to soon and hopefully sell at some point (**crosses fingers**) I can definitely see myself creating side stories for the characters. They are very complex characters with a lot of personal demons. I can tell I’m going to need to handle them with care ☺

--Good luck with your new YA. Who doesn't love characters with lots of personal demons! Do you think getting to know the characters so well and think about them in different situations made revisions easier? Or harder?

I think it definitely made it more difficult to make massive changes, especially to Oscar’s character. By the time I was doing revisions with my agent, these characters were so close to me. They felt like my babies, really, and then needing to change Oscar’s backstory so drastically felt like I was betraying his character a little! But once I settled in with his new story, I was definitely happy with it.
Camille didn’t require a whole lot of change, but she did need to come to life a little more on the page. Hands down, she has been the most difficult character to write. But I also think she’s the most rewarding character for me, too.

Awesome answers, Angie. Thanks so much!

Also, when I asked Angie if she would do this interview months ago, it was in a picture post I'd put up on Livejournal of my own characters. I promised Angie I'd draw Oscar for her, so here it is! Of course, now that I've scanned it, somehow I can see that his head is too big and the lower half of his torso seems to be missing, but I hope she enjoys it anyway. ;)

Finally, I'm doing a giveaway for my Everlasting ARC! I will warn you, all the pages with physical descriptions of Oscar are dogeared for the purpose of doing the above fan art... But if you'd like to win, just comment on this post for an entry, and for an additional entry, follow me (@jackiedolamore) and Angie (@angie_frazier) on Twitter and let me know you did in your comment. Make sure you give me a way to contact you. This giveaway is US/Canada onlyl, I'm so sorry! I've been spending too much money lately. It will end 8/7.


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  2. Fun interview, Jackie! I do follow both you and Angie on twitter. :) I can't wait to read this one! :)

  3. Oh, what a fun interview! Would both of you and all your characters like to come to dinner sometime? :)

  4. Just coming back to say--I already have Everlasting, so I'm not entering--just saying hi. :)

  5. Lovely interview! I adore the cover of Everlasting. I follow you both (@thebookologist) on twitter. I'd love a chance to win! Thanks!

    bookreviewsya atyahoodotcom

  6. Ooooh, very nice interview ! And I love your drawing :D Everlasting sounds like a very cool book ! Please enter me in this giveaway :D Oh yeah, I'm following you both on twitter !


  7. Great interview! I follow both of you on twitter @throuthehaze
    throuthehaze at gmail dot com

  8. Awesome interview!! I love how Angie has her alternate Oscar in her head, still, after a decade of writing him. Can't wait to read and discover Oscar and Camille and their world!

    I follow both of you!

  9. I loved the interview! Everlasting sounds like an awesome book. Please enter me in the giveaway :)

    melodiousrevelry (at) gmail (dot) com

  10. Following already. I hope somebody I know wins!

    9 Days before the start of 2010-2011 school year!

    Paul W. Hankins

  11. LOVE the interview and would LOVE to win Everlasting! You rock girl!

  12. Oh! I really really want this book!

    I already follow you both on twitter!


    Thanks so much for doing this!

  13. Great interview! I've been wanting to read everlasting. I follow both of you on twitter. Thank you for this giveaway!

    chelleyreads AT gmail DOT com

  14. Hooray! This book is actually in my library to-be-read pile back home! I didn't know anything about it, just picked it up because I like the cover. Now I'll definitely read it next. :)

    Great interview guys. And I am now stalking both of you on twitter. (you can email me from my blogger profile)


  15. This book sounds fantastic! Please enter me.

    -Lisa B.
    angel28140 (AT) yahoo (DOT) com

  16. I'm drawn to star-crossed love stories, too. Alter Oscar. Love that. Great interview. I follow you both on twitter. (@Laurie_Lamb) My email is

  17. I've followed u on twitter for a while, and now am following Angie too. I Would love to win the dog eared ARC.

    cassidyfinn (at) comcast (dot) net

  18. Great interview! The story I'm writing started as a writing exercise to get me into the habit of writing daily. It's nice to see writing exercises helped someone who's actually published. ^_^

    Also, following both of you on Twitter (@sillylilmegan)


  19. Great interview! I follow you on twitter (@jmarcinikglsd)

  20. Thanks for the giveaway...i totally meant to enter earlier and i forgot :S but i follow both @CassayC

    Cassandra C
    cassandra dot crouser at yahoo dot ca

  21. Wow, awesome drawing. And thanks for the giveaway.

    I follow you both on Twitter (@Lena1xoxo)


  22. Ooops! I forgot to say that I follow you both! lol rcchildrenslibrarian(at)yahoo(dot)com

  23. I never actually finished a story (which is a big problem haha) but I get so attached to the characters in my head. Wow I sound slightly crazy. Well I'm still in high school, maybe I'll actually write out these characters sometime in the future.

    Anyway I follow both you and Angie on twitter :) my email is