So, this morning, I’m not surprised when the guest author shows up at my doorstep. Yes, this time she was expected. I’m all ready to whisk her away to destination unknown (her choice) and conduct an interview, but instead, she shows my her guest blog.
“But, I had an interview all ready for you. We’ll sit on the beach or at a bistro or on top of a tall mountain-”
“Please!” she drawls. “I’m am not going up any mountain, least not today.”
And, you know what happens next. Yep, I’m nudged aside and she sits at my new laptop and, well, no mountain top for me today.
Readers, reviewers, family members – let’s just say pretty much everyone – assumes that writers use the people they know as characters in their novels. Friends and acquaintances will spend hours debating which character was them. The discussions can get a bit heated.
Of course, writers use their own lives as fodder for their writing, but that doesn’t mean we use our personal contacts as actual characters in our novels. How in the world would that even work? If you write several books a year, you’d have to move every other year to ensure you have enough material for your writing. Or set up a social circle so that you can constantly meet new people. And how would fantasy and science fiction writers do that? Have they actually met aliens or figured out the secrets of Area 51? (If you have, please share.)
While I remain adamant that I don’t base characters in my novels on actual people (no matter what my mother-in-law thinks!), I have to admit that I take pieces of a person’s personality and use them as the ingredients upon which I concoct a character. I take those little characteristics, add in my own active imagination, and off I go! I throw in exaggeration as well as characteristics from other persons and before you know it, the character who emerges at the end of the writing process doesn’t resemble the initial person – at all. No, really, not at all. Whenever I actually allow a reader to guess who they think a character is based upon, there are wrong. Every. Single. Time.
Although I don’t steal characters for my fictional world from my friends and family, I admit to totally stealing events and happenings. When I arrived back in the Netherlands last year, I was at my heaviest weight ever and – just like Everly in Fat Girl Begone! – I started the diet and fitness plan to end all diet and fitness plans. I joined three different tennis groups, a gym, and a boot camp. Let the stealing commence!
Fat Girl Begone! is a romantic comedy and, in addition to what I hope is witty dialogue between Everly and her male pursuers, I wanted to add in some funny gym scenes. I am not the most coordinated person in the world. In fact, today I formed a faction with another uncoordinated person at boot camp class, and we flat out refused to do a few exercises because we just knew we’d end up on our asses.
Being uncoordinated may be embarrassing but it’s also a gold mine for writing ideas. I take actual occurrences that may or may not have happened to me and embellish the heck out of them. So, instead of Everly tripping on her own feet, she trips because she’s checking out some hunky guy working out in the gym. She also gets slapped in the face by a jump rope because someone surprises her and not because she hasn’t managed to figure out that she needs to jump up to avoid the rope before it trips her.
Writing a novel about getting fit and losing weight while trying to do the same in real life was a great way to turn real life into fiction. If you happen to read Fat Girl Begone! and think the author is a total klutz, you wouldn’t be entirely wrong.
Fat Girl Begone!
Genre: Romantic Comedy,
Published: May 1, 2017
Number of pages: 240
Word Count: 71, 387
Genre: Romantic Comedy, Contemporary Romance
I’m a total mess. My boyfriend dumped me – get this – because I diet too much. Not because I’m fat, mind you. Of course, this spurs me into the diet-fitness-revenge-plan of the century, which leads me to the gym and a scorching hot personal trainer. I even manage to make some cool new friends, including a millionaire if you can believe it.
Things are looking up! Naturally, that’s the moment my ex decides he wants me back, the personal trainer asks me out, and my millionaire male buddy decides to throw his hat in the ring. But that’s not enough drama. No, not for me. Because I’ve also lost my job and decided to start my own business.
Just call me Ms. Drama.
Warning: Bad language, bumpy roads, and embarrassing moments ahead. But there’s also more than a bit of romance and even, if we’re lucky, love. Fingers crossed.
Not endorsed by or affiliated with any brand of tequila.
“You should totally jump that, chica.”
It’s Monday, and I’ve just survived another Zumba class. I only hit Tara once. Okay, twice, but who’s counting? I’m still trying to catch my breath and stop my heart from jumping out of my ribcage. None of which stops me from panting after my personal trainer. Before I get a chance to respond to her comment or tear my eyes away from Gabe’s epic ass, the rest of the gang joins Tara and me.
“What are you bitches yapping about?” Oh great, Charise didn’t just say that at maximum volume or anything.
“Everly taking her personal trainer for a ride.”
Oh my god. Please tell me no one else heard Tara announce that I’m lusting after Gabe. I hear giggles and murmurs of agreement from the other exercisers exiting the group exercise room. Of course, everyone heard. Charise, Tara, Naomi, and Jessie have one volume – embarrassingly loud.
I ignore them and head to the locker rooms with my head down. Of course, I can’t help but sneak another glance at Gabe. He’s doing squats for God’s sake! I defy any woman – or man for that matter – to not look. I keep my eyes glued to those glutes as I walk in the opposite direction. My foot hits something and before I know it I’m going down.
I end up sprawled on the floor of the gym. I look down at my outfit and sigh in relief. Good. No rolls of fat are showing. Thankfully, I had put a long sweatshirt on over the loose tank I was wearing during class. A hand appears in front of my face.
“Let me help you up, babe.”
I look up to see yet another example of male perfection. Does this gym have a portal to Mount Olympus for the Greek Gods to come and go as they please? Because damn. This is one fine specimen of manhood in front of me.
His voice startles me out of my perusal of his perfection. I reach out and he grabs my hand to pull me up. Only he doesn’t stop there. He pulls me flush to his body and then leans down to whisper in my ear. “It’s okay, babe. Happens all the time when girls look at me.” And crash. There goes my adulation of the man. I knew there was a reason no one believes in the Greek Gods anymore. Vanity is not attractive.
I pull on my hand until he releases me. “Thanks.”
“You okay, sweetheart?” As if I couldn’t be embarrassed enough, now Gabe’s here.
“I’m fine. Just wasn’t paying attention to where I was walking.” Out of the corner of my eye, I see the former Greek God puff out his chest as if I had paid him a compliment. I can’t help it. My eyes narrow at him, and I attempt to engage my eye lasers. Just like the two gazillion other times I’ve tried to use those lasers, they malfunction.
Gabe ignores the entire episode. “You here to do your exercise class?”
“Nope.” I shake my head. “I just put on some workout clothes and then ducked my head under the faucet to get my face and hair wet.”
My personal trainer laughs and grabs my shoulder to give it a squeeze. Why is he squeezing my shoulder? “You’re funny, sweetheart.” I wasn’t going for funny but whatever.
Someone shouts ‘Gabe’ from the other side of the gym. I look over to see the blond bimbo he was training staring daggers at me. Gabe squeezes my shoulder again. “Sorry, sweetheart, I need to get back to work. I’ll see you Wednesday, right?” I nod, and he winks before walking off.
“Looks like I’m not needed here.” I forgot Mr. Vanity was still standing here. I don’t bother responding to his obvious pout. I shake my head and walk to the locker rooms.
About the Author:
I grew-up reading everything I could get my grubby hands on from my mom’s Harlequin romances to Nancy Drew to Little Women. When I wasn’t flipping pages in a library book, I was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories which have thankfully been destroyed. College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along, robbing me of free time to write and read, although on the odd occasion I did manage to sneak a book into my rucksack between rolled up socks, MRIs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear.
After surviving the army experience, I went back to school and got my law degree. I jumped ship and joined the hubby in the Netherlands before the graduation ceremony could even begin. A few years into my legal career, I was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. I quit my job and sat down to write a manuscript, which I promptly hid in the attic after returning to the law. But being a lawyer really wasn’t my thing, so I quit (again!) and went off to Germany to start a B&B.
Turns out being a B&B owner wasn’t my thing either. I polished off that manuscript languishing in the attic before deciding to follow the husband to Istanbul where I decided to give the whole writer-thing a go.
But ten years was too many to stay away from adopted home. I packed up again and moved to The Hague where I’m currently working on my next book. I hope I’ll always be working on my next book.
Fat girl Begone! is my eleventh book.
Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/D.E.-Haggerty/e/B00ECQBURU/
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