Deb Tawna wants you to love her man (just keep your hands off!)

One of the strangest things about having my book hit shelves is the way people discuss my characters.

A lot of reviewers have named Cookie – the former NFL player turned cross-dressing gourmet chef – as their favorite character. A few have referred to him as gay, which is fascinating, since I never made reference to his sexual orientation.

For the record, he wasn’t gay in my mind. However, neither of us care if he happens to be gay in your mind.

Many women seem to connect with Juli’s plucky, quirky nature or the different levels of social awkwardness displayed by her or by secondary character, Phyllis.

I can relate.

Then there’s Alex. I have to admit, there’s something different about having people discuss the hero in a romance novel I’ve written. The closest I can come to explaining this peculiar sensation is that it’s sort of like introducing a new guy you’re dating to friends and family. You sit back and bite your nails and hope they get him. That they pick up on all his sweet little quirks and adore him the way you do instead of suggesting he might be a good candidate for a straightjacket and a padded room.

And then when they do get him? When they praise some aspect of his character or appearance or that funny little trait you weren’t sure anyone else would notice? That’s the best feeling in the world.

OK, maybe not the best feeling in the world. But it’s close.

Can you identify with what I’m describing, either as a writer or as someone who’s introduced a new paramour to friends and family? If you’ve read Making Waves, did you happen to identify with one character more than the others? Please share!

Oh, and please keep your hands off Alex. He’s mine.

10 thoughts on “Deb Tawna wants you to love her man (just keep your hands off!)

  1. Sorry. You released Alex into the wild, so now he belongs to all of us! Bwah-ha-hah!

    But, yeah, I totally identify with what you’re saying. My book won’t be released until next summer, and I already hyperventilate when I think about people reading it. And then I hyperventilate even worse when I think about people possibly not reading it. (Geez. I may as well just breathe into a paper bag from here on out.) I DO worry about what readers will think of my characters. It’s scary!

  2. Hmm, I id’d with Julie, Phyllis AND Cookie! Cooking to show you love someone is molto Italiano, I get Julie’s quirky family (and how) and Phyllis’ struggle with her femininity.

  3. Cooking to show you love someone is also a Jewish thing – we Jews and Italians have so much in common, Kim!

    But I loved Juli and can totally identify with a smart, quirky character. Alex, well I didn’t identify with him as just wanted to roll around in the surf with him. And I’m NOT sorry about it, either.

  4. While I didn’t identify with Cody/Cookie, I LOL every time he appeared and thought of him as a teddy bear whose meals were divine! And he definitely wasn’t gay. Hmm, men who can cook are now labeled?

    Anyway, Tawna, I’ll gladly share the Divining Wand with you to conjure up Alex! 😀

  5. I identify with Juli’s aimlessness, career-wise, and with the reasons she’s attracted to Alex physically–I LOVE that he’s in his 40s and that she loves his crow’s feet and graying temples. I’ve had enough of reading about sexy teenagers, much as I do like YA. In a similar vein, his worry about his pension was easy to connect with. Add a little freak-out over health insurance, and you’ve summed up my life.

    I’m also crazy about the fact that Juli’s not baby-crazy. I have a daughter, and I love being a mom, but I don’t need that part of my life to constantly edge its way into my romance novels.

  6. I get that completely. Like Linda, I too have some trepidation about my characters heading out into the world. I am so fond of them, and love them for their failings as well as their successes, and I so hope readers will too!

  7. I loved all of your characters. What amazed me was that even the Uncle in the urn had a personality that came through. That took some mad writing skillz on your part, MS Fenske.

  8. I found myself surprised by how hurt I was when some people told me which of their characters was their “least favorite”. Probably because each one of my characters is a little bit of me, and also because I spent a lot of time with them, so I grew to love them, warts and all.

    I have a similar feeling when I recommend a book to someone and they don’t like it. So sad!

  9. Phyllis, Phyllis, Phyllis! I don’t identify with her per se, I just love her. Everything about her is so perfectly out of the loop, she’s spectacular.

    And don’t worry about people accepting Alex — he’s hot as hell.

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