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    Monday, March 26, 2012

    Pinterest Boards and Falling in Love with Characters

    Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

    I wasn’t going to join Pinterest. I was just going to make fun of my mom’s newest obsession. But then my friend, Brandy Vallance, told me she’d made a Pinterest board for her novel after reading about the idea on agent Rachelle Gardner’s blog. I checked out her board for The Covered Deep and knew I had to make boards for two of my completed novels and an inspiration board for my work in progress.

    Let me just admit right now, that yes, I get a crush on the hero of whichever novel I’m working on. It’s the nature of the game.

    But as I compiled my board for Bran's Door, I took a moment, cleared my head of my work in progress, and savored the world of that novel once again.

    Bran’s Door is about a young woman, recovering from an illness, who discovers a brounie living in the wall of her apartment. Brounies are house fairies. They do chores in exchange for small gifts of food. Bran, Elodie’s personal brounie, is human-sized and oh, so incredibly hot. From the get-go, actor James McEvoy inspired Bran’s looks. It’s amazing how much it helps to imagine a specific person’s face as you’re writing about physical expressions. In Bran/James’ case I became obsessed with the tiny imbalance of his upper and lower lips, with the upper being just a bit fuller. Naturally, the heroine, Elodie, dwells on this feature in delicious detail.

    Perhaps because of the intense attention I gave to Bran’s physicality, or maybe because he’s a hot guy who does chores, his particular character stayed with me. Invariably, every woman who reads the story says, “I want one! Where’s my brounie?” This really shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.

    But the novel is about more than a lucky girl who meets the perfect guy when he literally pops out of her wall. In Bran’s Door, I examined what it would really be like if someone showed up in your life with no other desire than to serve you. Of course we think that would be cake and roses! But really, how would you handle someone who waits on you, not in a sycophantic way, but out of an incomprehensible, supernatural love?

    Elodie finds the effects of Bran’s devotion life-changing, but she struggles to accept what he offers.

    Bellow is a passage from the novel showing Elodie’s turmoil. Would you react as she does? Would it be hard to allow someone to serve you and love you when you could never earn their devotion? And just for fun, what chore makes you desperate for a house fairy?

    Excerpt from Bran's Door

    Just before I lowered my aching limbs into the seat, I glimpsed a downward twist of his mouth. I paused, propped up against the frame of the car.

    “What’s wrong, Bran?”

    The words he ground out stunned me with their intensity. “It’s hard for me, Mistress.” He looked away, hiding his smoke-colored eyes.

    “What you did today? Saving that little girl?”

    “No.” He erupted into restless energy, shifting his weight, pulling the ends of his scarf, running one long hand through his shaggy hair. He winced, as though the words behind his lips pained him.

    Finally, he whispered. “Being your brounie is difficult.”

    Numbness permeated my heart. My body, already weak and drained, lost yet another measure of vitality. I turned my head as I mumbled a pathetic apology. “I’m sorry for the way I am. I wish—you don’t know how much I wish—that I was different.”

    His violent reaction shocked me. He buried his hands in his hair, shaking his own head and groaning.

    I grabbed his shoulder. “Stop! Don’t.”

    Huge, tortured eyes locked on me. “I would feed you. Protect you. Carry you when you stumble. Hang flowers in the sky for you. If you would let me.”

    Alex’s offer to take care of me echoed in the back of my mind, his commitment a flimsy shadow in the light of Bran’s utter devotion. But Bran’s impassioned words didn’t cover me in humiliation like Alex’s. Instead of feeble and useless, I felt precious, cherished—a treasure of fathomless worth.

    There, supported by a car door, with the wind lashing my hair against my face, and a faerie creature’s eyes burning into mine, I transformed into a princess. But not any real type of royalty or even a fancy movie version. No, a Fey princess, wrapped in the warmest light, possessing a priceless magic, untouchable by any harm.

    But then a thought niggled into my warm world. How could I deserve such esteem? What could I trade for this complete, beautiful acceptance? The answer, of course, was nothing. Even at my best, my talents would be mud compared to this blissful offer.


    Debbie Maxwell Allen said...

    Awww! You got me. You do need a beta reader, don't you? (jumping up and down, waving hand)

    I would definitely love to see Bran's Pinterest board. Like you, I've resisted taking the plunge, but Brandy's board has nearly convinced me.

    Love your writing! It WILL find a home!


    Evangeline Denmark said...

    Thanks, Debbie!
    There's a link to my Bran's Door pinterest board in the blog. It's highlighted. But here's another just in case. http://pinterest.com/evangelineden/bran-s-door/

    kersley.fitz said...

    This is the fourth time in two days this topic has come up. The first three times emphasized how God wants to be responsible for the good things in our lives. You point out the "why." Yeah, for His glory, but also because He actually does love us and wants to do kind things for us. This requires chewing.

    Evangeline Denmark said...

    Kersley, it all comes back to a love we can never hope to understand. That's why I'm so passionate about using the paranormal romance genre to explore the concept of a love that is MORE than human. I can't tell you how many times I felt God tapping my shoulder as I was writing Bran's Door. The theme of the book is "to love is to serve," and I could never get over the fact that Jesus exemplifies that principle perfectly.

    Linda B said...

    I'm thinking of doing a Pinterest board for each of my novels also. The one thing I worry about (and I know this is hilarious) is that in the event my novels are actually published, and in the event that any of my readers actually look at my Pinterest boards, they might be disappointed or have their imaginations thwarted because my vision does not match theirs.

    Andrea Downs said...

    “I’m sorry for the way I am..I wish—that I was different.”

    “I would..If you would let me.”

    Wow! How much do we miss out on because we are distracted with our own frailty instead of focused on God's unconditional love for us? It reminds me of the scripture "So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him." (Matt7:11)

    I want to read this book!

    Evangeline Denmark said...

    Andrea, you have so much insight, my friend. Thank you for sharing that verse. It encapsulates my journey with this novel, my intentions with the paranormal genre, and more importantly, my own spiritual journey. We are so hungry that we seek the imperfect satisfaction of human love when He waits with absolute perfection. I believe it's this hunger that's driving the secular market trend and I want to reflect, however dimly, the real thing to those starving readers.

    Brandy Vallance said...

    Thanks for the mention, Evangeline. I had so much fun creating a board for The Covered Deep. I'll take any chance I can get to live in Paul and Bianca's world, or to see bits of it. Like you and Bran, doing my Pinterest board did make me fall in love with Paul all over again, not that I needed much help. :-)

    And since I have the pleasure of reading Immortal Heathcliff, seeing the board you created for it was all the more enticing. I do declare, Madame, I can almost hear the wind from the moors and the ancient longings of ghosts.

    Donita K. Paul said...

    As the mother of this fantastic young lady, I can only say I am awed by her insights and her skill in molding a story to shine the light on God's truth. She has a wonderful sense of humor, too. So her writing is never stuffy. I use her for bouncing my passages around in her uncluttered mind. She can nail sanctimonious as well as vapid or snarky and call me on it. Inhouse editor! That's my baby.

    Daphne said...

    One of the doors on your board looks just like a the kind of door that a manly fairy would come through!

    Beth K. Vogt said...

    I had the delight of reading Bran's story -- and it's never let go of me. The romance threaded through my heart so quickly, but the spiritual theme wove through too.
    Yeah, I'd read it again in a heartbeat -- and buy multiple copies for my friends.

    Brandi said...

    This is my first time reading an excerpt from Bran's Door. I hope I get a chance to read more! Evangeline, you have a gift of portraying fantasy that reflects a Christian value system, all while maintaining its humor, passion, and depth of emotion.

    I want to create boards on Pinterest for my novels. That sounds like fun, not to mention very inspirational. Have a great day!

    Anonymous said...

    I have read Bran's story and fell in love with him and with your writing Evangeline.

    You have a way of pulling me in to each of your stories, captivating my heart and taking me on the main character's emotional journey.

    When this story is published I will buy it and read it again. This time just for the sheer enjoyment!

    Evangeline Denmark said...

    Thank you, ladies, for loving Bran along with me. Your enthusiasm makes me appear slightly less insane. But, seriously, I'm glad to know you identify with this story. I hope Bran finds many open doors and brings a little magic to all he encounters.

    Gina Conroy said...

    I wasn't going to cave either, but I did! And it's totally addictive, that's why I don't let myself go there too often!