I always try (with good intentions) to create characters who don’t mirror me, but I have discovered that’s easier said than done. For instance, when I started writing Breathless, Sedona had a cat. It wasn’t until the book was completed that I realized I had only mentioned her pet one time the entire book. I had to go back, add some appearances and weave that cute little sucker into the story. However, if the heroine had a dog, like my beloved Rudy, then he would have been all over that damn story! The same goes for creating characters with habits, likes, and dislikes that I might not agree with, or find odd, I had to learn it’s not about me. It’s about the character.
Currently, I am working on a romantic suspense and the lead character smokes cigarettes. Personally, I would never date a man who does, but again I have to remove my own personal opinions and beliefs from the story in order to create characters that ring true to the world around us. So I have posted on a cork board CIGARETTE SIGHTINGS in big bold letters in order to keep track of how often my hero pulls a cigarette out his back pocket to maintain realism.
The things writings go through to create believable characters. Readers…you have no idea!