I know that some authors respond to reviews on Amazon in the comments. But I have several who told me it is a very bad idea. Even when it is a good review. So instead of commenting on Amazon, I’m doing it here. I’m sure she doesn’t read my blog. I have had my first of what I am sure will be many bad reviews through the years. I mean it wasn’t too bad, she gave it three stars, not one. The story was okay, it was the characters she had issue with. There were some things she found not real/plastic. The funny thing is, they are very real.

‘ This was not one of my favorites. The characters were too plastic. I felt like I was reading the author’s dream life. They were rich, the kids were raised by a 1/2 sister, they lived part of the time in Ireland. They all lived together in a compound. I just didn’t sympathize with the characters at all. The story was ok.’

So let me address this. First, as some people know, there really was a Brigid Kildare. (Who hated her middle name and changed it from Kildare to Helen when she was 15.) Prosthesis. Real. (Oops, part plastic 😉 ) Fondness for wearing heels. Real. Real also: the blue eyes, blond curls, a bit of a tyrant, and so on. And yes, the family compound was real. Still is. My son lives there at the moment with some roommates. As does my ex, who is not his father, in another house. And the whole RI/Ireland/FL thing? Real. (She forgot to mention Florida.) In real life, it was Brigid’s aunt who won the lottery, I just changed the winner. It is fiction after all. And for all intent and purpose, Brigid did raise her half-brother (not that we ever consider halves in my family). I was informed when he was born that he was her baby and all I was allowed to do was change the messy diapers. I cooked, sometimes, and cheered at soccer matches. And she worked in a title company and planned to get her real estate license.

The funny thing is that people who know me have been calling me or messaging me every time they recognize a character. And there is a reason for that. I don’t know how other people do it, but I have my way of keeping track of my characters. I do have a “character bible”. A notebook where there is a page for each character on which I record all pertinent details. You have to keep track of your characters. I read a series once where a secondary character in the first book was a very petite woman. When she reappeared several books later, she was six feet tall! I go a step further than just keeping the character bible. I assign a real person to each character. That way, I ‘see’ the characters as I write. So I know what the characters look like and some of them have some characteristics of their real life counterpart.  Everyone who knows me personally, knows that George Haddad is sort of like my husband, Dick “hell of a guy” Thomas. He actually says that when he introduces himself to someone and I got his permission to use it. Of course, he doesn’t have George’s other qualities or vise versa. While my sister was reading the book, she called me laughing and said, “Does your husband know you hate him?”. My husband was laughing when he finished the book and his only comment was “I’m not lazy”. And he isn’t. Just the opposite.

Now the character of Mike Campbell is in real life named Mike Campbell and is really my handyman as well as friend. And he really is that slow, always having a smoke break, and loves ducks. No, he does not live at the family compound. He lives in the same condo complex where I currently live so he is actually that close by.

So not everyone has the same reality. Some people, even ones not named Kennedy, have a family compound. And some people are rich. And some people are indeed bi-continental. And at various times my kids were homeschooled because we just weren’t the most stationary people. I feel like I’m Kelly LeBrock apologizing.

Published by Kate Eileen Shannon

Artist, Crafter, Writer, purveyor of ephemera and bagatelle

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