Friday, 30 July 2010

This is NOT a Book Review...

This is not a book review. It really isn’t. So remember, when you read my next words—even though it LOOKS like a book review of a book and character I'm crazy about—it only seems that way. So...since you can't see my nose growing like Pinocchio, I'll continue.

The big focus lately in my writing journey has been on my characters. A lot of thought has gone into whether they’re real, whether a reader will embrace them. Naturally, my mind motored to other writers’ characters, particularly the ones who impressed me the most, the ones who still linger in my mind.

I zeroed in on one specific writer, a specific character. And that is the hero from LA Heat by P.A. Brown. The character? David Eric Laine. Oh, I even love his name. Not just David Laine. But David ERIC Laine.

David Eric Laine is a cop, one of Los Angeles’ finest. He’s a hunky package of testosterone in a not-conventionally handsome package. He’s not classically good looking. He’s big—what? pushing six-foot-four?—pock-marked face, swarthy, curly dark hair. Not a face that would draw stares on the street, but he IS the kind who can knock the knickers off you if you accidentally venture too close to his powerful masculine vortex, his smoldering chemistry. I believe P.A. Brown described him as a young Tommy Lee Jones. In short, MY kind of man. The kind of man I’d want to bed, to do everything to that is implied with ‘bedding’ him. The kind of man I would notice on the street, who I’d throw myself on the floor in front of in a bar.

In LA Heat, we’re introduced to the love of David Eric Laine’s life, the most beautiful man he’d ever seen—gorgeous, blond, well-dressed, classy computer geek Christopher Bellamere.

Since this is NOT a book review, I won’t tell you the story, only that this exquisite creature is the catalyst that brings David out of the closet where he’s been hiding his homosexuality. They begin a relationship that could be a ride at Six Flags—ups and down, hot, cold, crazy sexy, confusing. Christopher Robin Bellamere, in LA Heat, is a serial killer suspect, but his draw on the rugged cop is so strong that even this factor can’t keep them apart.

David Eric Laine refinishes furniture, has a modest house filled with these pieces, owns an antique Victrola, listens to 78’s of Alexander’s Got a Jazz Band Now and Chuck Berry. Diverse tastes. My man.

Laine’s not perfect, which I love about him. Sometimes I even want to kick his ass but then I think about his hairy chest and belly and his fat nipples and I forgive him.

To me, David Eric Laine is real. I believe him. I know him. I can see him, touch him, smell him, make love to him, knock him upside the Tommy-Lee-Jones-look-alike head then kiss him and make it better.

THAT, to me, is the power of writing a character. P.A. Brown did it in David Eric Laine.

Hell, I’ll even reveal a secret about myself that will tell you just how powerful this character IS to me.

Going through a particularly difficult spell of worrying recently with a family illness, I told Pat Brown that David was the kind of man I’d like to snuggle with at night. Not that he could make things go away, but he would at least be a real, solid, warm, cozy shelter to scrunch into. THAT is how real David Eric Laine seems to me. Not being able to think of any real-life men I knew to fit the bill, I instead dragged this fictional character into my mind who—oddly—is as real as any flesh and blood man I know.

I’ll even go so far as to confess that I even, for a fleeting moment—before reminding myself, for God’s sake, this man is make-believe—got jealous of annoyingly beautiful but lovable Christopher Bellamere because my dream man, David Eric Laine was with HIM and slept with HIM. Hmph!

This admission on my part will tell you one of two things: I am certifiably crazy, which may be true. Who knows? Or that P.A. Brown has painted one hell of a good character who the reader has to remind themselves he is indeed fiction. Many other readers, though, can attest to David Eric Laine’s believability and his charisma.

Like I said, this is NOT a book review. I know, I know, it sure looks like one. Why, if this were a book review, Iwould  leave a link to LA HEAT and all of P.A. Brown’s books, like THIS link: . And, furthermore, if this was a review, I'd give LA Heat a thousand-star rating. But do you SEE a rating anywhere here? See? Told you it wasn’t a review! It just….well…looks like one.


Lisa Alexander-Griffin said...

When someone falls in love with a character like you have, the writer has really done their job. :) I bet Pat is smiling as she reads this, and I can't blame her. lol.

You're a wonderful writer and your characters will be just as real as those in L.A. Heat. Have faith in yourself.

C. Zampa said...

Thanks for visiting, Lisa!
Yes....when you're wanting to snuggle and the FIRST person who comes to your mind is fictional. THAT indeed IS good writing, eh?

Unknown said...

LOL. All I can say Carol, is you're going to have one hell of a fight with Chris over where David sleeps. He's lovable and sweet but he's got claws when it comes to David!

I love this 'not-a-review'.

kathyk said...

Carol, for a not-a-review you did a wonderful job! And I know that I'm speaking heresay here, but... while I DO have all Pat's L.A. books, I haven't read them yet.

But this not-a-review's definitely changed my mind and they're now on my fit-into-my-reviewing schedule... Oh and there's a weekend-along weekend-starting... hmm, this afternoon! How fortuitous!

You did really good Carol... and I agree with Lisa *Tinkerbell* Alexander-Griffin about YOUR characters.

Hugs you

C. Zampa said...

LOL!! Curses! Foiled again, Pat! I just KNEW you'd have to bring Chris up! That gorgeous little jealous hottie!

Well...back to just dreaming of my David Eric Laine again. Sigh.

C. Zampa said...

Thanks, Kathy!
Oh, I can assure you that you will LOVE the boys! Good stories, good, believable action and the itense relationship between them!
Oh, there I go---NOT reviewing again! LOL..

Thanks for stopping by!

Anonymous said...

Girl, I am ROLLING! I loved reading this, but I don't think I'll ever hear "fat nipples" again without thinking of you (and if that's not the strangest thing I've EVER written, I don't know what is). This is an amazing post but trust me, you don't need to worry about a THING. Your characters are totally crush-worthy (with or without fat nipples)! =cP

Nigel said...

It's a nice not-review. :-)

Wilde Oats' August issue will have a review of Pat's L A Boneyard.


C. Zampa said...

LOL! Thanks, Sarah! Oh, I can't believe I'm blogging about a man's nipples! But I can SEE David's!

And---another confession: It wouldn't appeal to me so much if I didn't remember someone from my past who has...well, those exact nipples! And how I loved 'em!

C. Zampa said...

Thank you for visiting, Nigel!
I'll be watching for the Wilde Oats issue! More David and Chris! Thanks for letting me know!

Anonymous said...

Having characters stick in your mind is brilliant. I have a few still roaming around my head from books I've read. They were more like watching movies than reading, because I 'saw' them all so clearly.


C. Zampa said...

Thanks for visiting, Nat! That's it exactly! Like movies in your head. Vivid. Real. In color. I like your way of putting it.