As promised, here is Seton Hill writer Kim Howe's responses to my Questions about Characters.

To participate in an ongoing discussion about women in the military, you can visit one of my previous LJ entries.

Interview with Kim Howe

HEIDI: Out of all the works you've written, who is your favorite character and why?

KIM: In RED DIAMOND, Kinshasa Omari, an eleven-year-old African boy, plays a pivotal role. When his parents are murdered by a Warlord, he is drugged and manipulated into becoming a boy soldier. Yet, he maintains a moral stance and never gives up hope for a better life. Having just traveled to Kenya, I was inspired by the resilience and warmth of the people there. I hope I capture that essence in Kinshasa.

HEIDI: Out of all the works you've read, which character do you wish you could have created?

KIM: Hannibal Lectur. Brilliantly drawn villains are the most interesting characters. Thomas Harris used just a few details to make his cannibal serial killer stand out. Who could resist an academic gentleman who likes fava beans and Chianti with his “dinner.” The impact of Hannibal can be demonstrated by this fact: With less than 16 minutes of screen time, Anthony Hopkins' performance in The Silence of the Lambs was the shortest ever to win a leading acting Oscar. Now that’s impact!

HEIDI: Do you ever base your characters on people you know?

KIM: Never. I’m married to a lawyer and know better. :) Actually, I tend to use a compilation of character traits that I see in friends, family, and strangers to make up unique individuals. Characters become a melange of all the people I’ve met.

HEIDI: Is there a character you've written who is more like you than the others?

KIM: I would have to say that all of my female protagonists have a little bit of me in them. Industry hazard. Authors tend to use writing as inexpensive psychotherapy!

HEIDI: Do you cast your characters or give them theme music when writing them?

KIM: I definitely cast my characters, especially the heroes. Matthew McCaughahay would be a very busy actor if my books were made into films. :)

Don't forget you can vote for Kim's book ONE SHOT TWO KILLS in the American Title III Contest by e-mailing with ONE SHOT TWO KILLS in the subject line.

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