Mindy Hardwick's Blog

Author Mindy Hardwick Muses about Writing

Creating Characters from Life Class

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In January, I am teaching an online class for adults (older teens are welcome to attend too) with the Loft Literary Center.

Creating Characters from Your Life is a six-week on-line class that starts January 18 and runs until March 1. You can register here.

Let’s explore how to create characters from life and give meaning to our struggles and triumphs by drawing on life experiences to create fictional characters for any length or genre of story. We’ll begin by brainstorming ideas for characters including: truth and lies, love and betrayal, and first and lasts. Next, we’ll look at how character archetypes can help us move from fact to fiction by creating bigger than life characters.

Every story has two sides, and it’s important to explore the point of view of our villain too. We’ll look at not only what makes our villain bad, but more importantly what makes them good. No great story is complete without the wise mentor or wizard and We’ll examine how to show and not preach those wise moments to our hero.

Finally, we’ll give our hero the moment they have been waiting for and construct a scene in which they will confront the dragon while learning how to create tension and craft dialogue that makes the scene sizzle. At the end of class, students will understand how to create a character from life and write a fictional scene which empowers both the reader and writer.

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Write For Rights

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Amnesty International’s Program, Write for Rights. takes place during the month of December.

From the website: Sometimes a letter can change someone’s life. That’s the premise of Write for Rights, Amnesty’s global letter-writing campaign. Today, it’s one of the world’s biggest human rights events.

Every December, Amnesty supporters across the globe will write millions of letters for those whose basic human rights are being attacked. They are people like you, continuing a long tradition of writing letters to right some of the world’s biggest wrongs.

And it’s not just letters – it could be petitions, emails, Tweets, Facebook posts, photos, postcards. Your words really can change lives. Join us.

The list of this year’s cases can be found here.

Amnesty International has done all the work and sample letters can be found for each person as well as ways to submit on-line letters in support of this year’s cases rights.

It only takes a few minutes, but Write for Rights is a great way to champion for someone who has lost their rights. I hope you will join me in writing.

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Spooktacular Giveaway Hop Winner

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Congratulations to Lisa M for winning a signed copy of Seymour’s Secret and the fall apron! Thanks to everyone who stopped by!

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Spooktacular Giveaway Hop

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Happy Fall! I love Halloween and this week I’m participating in a Spooktacular Giveaway Hop hosted by BookHounds.

I’m giving away one signed copy of my middle grade, Seymour’s Secret as well as this cute half-apron made from Peanuts fall fabric! One winner will be chosen from the comments. Be sure to leave me your email address and tell me what you love about fall! U.S addresses only–sorry.

Seymour’s Secret Blurb: Eleven-year-old Colt is devastated when his beloved Granddad’s vintage toy collection is stolen by a gang of obit robbers. Determined to solve the crime, Colt enlists the help of a girl who talks to ghosts and a gang leader who plants marigolds in the moonlight. But can Colt uncover the secret behind Granddad’s toys before everything is destroyed in this middle grade contemporary mystery.

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Book Signing Photos

On Saturday, I had a great time at a book signing hosted by Mimi’s A Shabby Chic Boutique in downtown Snohomish. There was also a zombie walk taking place at the same time and it was fun watching everyone get all “ghouled up!”

 

Here are a couple photos of the signing. The book fit perfectly in her shop and looked like a page out of the Cranberry Bay setting!

 

 

 

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Seymour’s Secret Book Signing

On Saturday, September 17, I will be signing copies of Seymour’s Secret from 3 to 6 p.m. in downtown Snohomish at Mimi’s A Country Shabby Boutique.  (906 1st Street on the end closest to the Snohomish Bakery in the old Mardini’s building)

I will have a few copies of my new romance, Sweetheart Summer, also on hand if you’d like to buy a signed copy of that book too!

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There is also a zombie walk taking place at 5:00 p.m. so come to the book signing and then join the fun by dressing up like a zombie!

See you there!

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Sweetheart Summer

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I’m very happy to announce that my newest sweet, contemporary romance, SWEETHEART SUMMER is now available!

The book is available in ebook here 

And print here

Story Blurb: Cranberry Bay sewing shop owner and activist Katie Coos campaigns tirelessly to preserve the community feel of the town she loves. Savvy and successful developer Sawyer Shuster, meanwhile, seeks to provide a future for his beloved childhood community through large-scale developments. When Katie reluctantly purchases an auction certificate for Sawyer’s handyman skills, both are determined to keep their distance. But as summer heats up, Katie and Sawyer’s feelings ignite until both must find a way to trust each other or risk losing not only their businesses but also their chance at love.

SWEETHEART SUMMER is the second book in the Cranberry Bay romance series.

The first book is SWEETHEART COTTAGE. Amazon has set up a series page for Cranberry Bay here.

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Sweetheart Summer Goodreads Giveaway

There is a Goodreads giveaway for one signed print copy of my newest romance, SWEETHEART SUMMER. You do not have to be a member of Goodreads to enter.

The giveaway runs until September 8, 2016. Good luck!

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Sweetheart Summer by Mindy Hardwick

Sweetheart Summer

by Mindy Hardwick

Giveaway ends September 08, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

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Sweetheart Summer Cover Reveal

I’m very happy to reveal the cover to my newest romance in the Cranberry Bay Series….SWEETHEART SUMMER. The book will be available as both an ebook and print on August 30.

 

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Seymour’s Secret is Available

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I’m happy to announce that my middle grade mystery, SEYMOUR’S SECRET, is now available in both print and ebook.

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Can eleven-year-old Colt find the obit robber who stole Grandad’s vintage toy collection before it’s too late?

Eleven-year-old Colt is devastated when his beloved Granddad’s vintage toy collection is stolen by a gang of obit robbers. Determined to solve the crime, Colt enlists the help of a girl who talks to ghosts and a gang leader who plants marigolds in the moonlight. But can Colt uncover the secret behind Granddad’s toys before everything is destroyed in this middle grade contemporary mystery.

There is a free discussion guide on my website here.

Each book I write has a slightly different journey and teaches me something new about writing. Seymour’s Secret taught me how to plot, something I didn’t really understand after my character driven MFA writing program. But even bigger than that, Seymour’s Secret gave me an outlet for the grief I experienced over the loss of both my father and grandfather during the writing of this story.

At the story’s heart is an eleven-year-old boy who is grieving the loss of his grandfather and trying to understand how to deal with that grief. My hope is that the story not only entertains but reaches those children who have lost a family member. So often, in grief, we expect people to just be “over it” after a few weeks. But grief is much more powerful than that, and there is a cycle to it which when given the chance to be expressed, as Colt says in the story, “allows our lives to move to a new ebb and flow without Granddad.”

Seymour’s Secret includes more of my personal memories than any of my books. From the sideboard secret drawer to where Colt finds Granddad’s prototype of his toy and where in my real life, Mom always kept money in that secret drawer, to a scene in a doughnut shop after school which is based on the doughnut shop across the street from my own middle school where we all piled in after school to sit on pink plastic chairs and stuff our face with chocolate cream filled donuts, to the final scene where Colt is given Granddad’s datebook and Granddad has written a note about how excited he is to finally meet Colt on August 9 when Colt is born. Both my Grandfather and Father kept these date books for years and when they passed away, I inherited the collection of both of them.

When looking through my Grandpa’s datebook for the year I was born, I found a letter written to me slipped into my birthday page. The letter told me how excited everyone was to meet me, the first grandchild, but what stood out to me in that letter was: “We’re united as the solid care of your fan club. Marvelous dreams, from all of us, are forming in your future, but the only dream we all vote for, is the one you choose and build.”

As I got to the end of writing Seymour’s Secret, I knew Colt would find a note from his Grandfather tucked in his datebook to him too.

I hope you enjoy Seymour’s Secret, but I hope you will also share it with a child who might need to know he/she is not alone in their grief.

 

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