Today, Diana Brandmeyer is back to tell us a little about the characters and inspiration behind her ebook, Mind of Her Own.
This story has a very intriguing hook. Mother of 3 and under-appreciated wife gets hit on the head with a George Forman grill, gets amnesia and thus the fun begins. How did the idea for Mind of Her Own come to you?
I had Louisa’s voice rolling around in my mind asking me to tell her story. (Please don’t advise psychiatric help. I hang out with a counselor. She has a lot of letters behind her name and she says I am fine.) I’m a mom of 3 sons and they needed to eat. I kept the George Foreman Grill on a high shelf in the pantry. One day I was getting it and the dog and two kids came running and almost knocked me down. I knew that was the opening scene for Louisa. I also put the grill on a lower shelf.
The characters feel very real and authentic, almost walking out of the page into your own life. Did you find yourself drawing inspiration for certain characters from your own life and experiences? If so, do tell!
It’s true. I did. Many days I wondered what it would be like to be a writer without responsibilities for even one day. Now that my sons are out of the house I would like to make them small. Never satisfied, that’s me!
If your book was made into a movie, what actors would you cast?
Jazz would have to be played by Kate Hudson. She’d be amazing in the role. Collin—Christian Bale.
For someone debating reading your story, what would you say makes it worth the read?
Hard question! It’s like asking a mom to tell you why her child is so much better than anyone else’s. I would say if you like stories about families with problems that has some humor you’ll like this one. If that doesn’t make you start immediately reading maybe I could say this…Ever wondered what it would be like to wake up and be the person you thought you were going to grow up to be? That’s what happened to Louisa only there’s more to the story. What sets it apart from other contemporary novels out there? Most of the novels out right now are about single people falling in love. A Mind of Her Own is about two people finding their way back to love.
When writing this novel, who was the most challenging character to write? Why do you think this was?
Collin. It’s hard to think like a male. My husband says there’s little thinking involved –it is what it is…I refuse to believe that. I spent a lot of time asking him questions, observing his behavior—like sniffing the underarms of his shirt to see if he can wear it again. Men are a mystery. I want to figure out the one that lives with me—I tell him he’s research material please be careful.
Do you find it difficult to write a novel, start to finish? Do you have any techniques you follow to ensure you finish?
I found the first one hard to finish because I didn’t have a contract or a deadline. Now, I don’t want to disappoint my editor or agent so I get it done.
In the larger sense, what do you hope readers learn from Mind of Her Own?
Don’t be afraid to be who God made you to be.
Did you ever find yourself stuck while writing? What inspires and pushes you to delve deeper?
Yes, I do get stuck sometimes. When that happens I find a road trip to Chicago helps me get unstuck. It’s a boring trip from Southern Illinois to Chicago. My husband drives and I’m there, sitting—can’t read, can’t write because I get car sick. So my mind entertains me and before we get to Joliet we have to stop so I can get it down on paper.
Do you find yourself attached to the characters from Mind of Her Own: Jazz/Louisa and Collin, in particular? Do you ever struggle to let go, wanting to continue your characters’ story long after the last page? Or do you think their tale has been told?
I’ve let Jazz/Louisa and Collin go but I wonder what Madison is going to be doing in about five years.
Though this story does have some outlandish and hilarious moment, there is a serious undertone of secrets kept and buried within one’s own subconscious. Did you find it difficult to mesh such different tones into one well-balanced novel?
No, it’s life. It doesn’t matter who you talk to, everyone has some kind of secret or upheaval they don’t want to talk about. If you take time to get to know them and you’re kind the story can be told in a way that doesn’t harm.
What’s next for you? Do you plan to continue writing novels?
I can’t stop writing. I’ve tried by working as an insurance agent. God has given me this wacky brain that asks, “what if” and I have to find the answer.
Interested in Diana’s ebook Mind of Her Own?