Jun 3, 2013

A Glimpse Through an Author’s Looking-Glass

The lens you view the world though filters what you see.  The Eternal Feud Series is a tale narrated by four distinct voices, all viewed with a separate pair of glasses (but literally the same ones).  

The Eternal Feud Series by Lauren Salem
The Eternal Feud Series main characters Johnny, Laura, Collins and Vincent.

From the root ideas that grew into each character to the full-fledged novels, developing multiple characters to tell this story will teleport you into the action and adventure of Walnut Cherryville.  Feel the wind in your hair and the sand in your shoes as you experience life in the eyes of Johnny, Vincent, Laura and Collins.  Learn what’s special about each character’s personality, the ideas that created them and how it affected the way they view the world.      

1: Johnny
The hippie-redneck hybrid, Johnny, is a character inspired by Earl Hickey, the main character of Greg Garcia’s narrative comedy, My Name Is Earl.  After murdering a man when he was ten-years-old, Johnny continued to live in guilt, which promoted his positive “do something good today” attitude as a teenager.  Johnny is the glue that holds his friends together, but is unaware of his own identity and potential.  Due to the lack of information about himself and an introverted personality, Johnny was the most difficult character to get to know.  I didn’t feel as connected to him until I began writing the second book, Revenge of Rivals.  To write chapters from Johnny’s perspective that captured his primal nature to survive in challenging environments, I read the “Survival Guide” mobile app by Max Soderstrom.  
Vincent, a suicidal Goth created from music by Marilyn Manson and Assemblage 23, is emotionally compromised by his obsession to gain knowledge about his neighbors.  Subconsciously aspiring to become a super-computer, he notices details missed by other characters, which makes him the most fascinating perspective to write from in Reunion at Walnut Cherryville.  As an outspoken, critical-thinker who is skeptical of almost everything, Vincent is the only character that knowingly lies to himself making the reliability of his perspective questionable at times.  Vincent and Laura grew up on the infamous Hillsdale Court, so their backstories and flashbacks were created under the influence of Marc Cherry’s television dramedy-mystery, Desperate Housewives

As a natural competitor, Laura works hard to earn the luxuries she owns while being “on top” of her prostituting opponents.  Her character’s interest in fashion was the result of watching every season of America’s Next Top Model for the past few years.  Self-centered and sporadic, Laura’s tendency to make abrupt decisions often changed the plot’s course in Reunion at Walnut Cherryville keeping it fresh and unexpected.  To navigate through this train-wreck, her personality was adapted from Nancy Botwin, the main character of Jenji Kohan’s television dramedy, Weeds.  The fact that Laura gravitates towards people and ideas that appear best for her in that moment, is the one thing that remains consistent in her unpredictable future. 

All Collins wants is to live his life as a “normal” high school senior, but after poisoning his grandma, his misfortune and bad luck provide Reunion at Walnut Cherryville’s comic relief when writing though his perspective.  His intelligence, athleticism and wishful thinking are masked under a nervous exterior.  He can’t seem to do anything right, thus being labeled as “undependable” by mostly everyone he knows.  Collins’ backstory and flashbacks were written in the spirit of the film, Throw Momma from the Train (1987) starring Danny DeVito, Billy Crystal and Kim Greist.  Like the average teenage boy, Collins focuses his energy on hooking up with girls, playing sports and eating enormous amounts of food.    

Download and read Reunion at Walnut Cherryville for free while the second installment, Revenge of Rivals, is on its way.   

Tell me what you think about Eternal Feud’s characters on Facebook, Goodreads and Twitter @EternalFeud.

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