what is real?

During the Holidays I read a lot of Dean Koontz. After reading several of his novels, one right after the other, I started wondering…what is it with this guy and all the dogs, anyway?  For those of you who do not read him, most of his books  sing the praises of dogs. Golden retrievers in particular, but dogs in general. In fact, I think he managed to incorporate a dog in every book that I read. Some were heroes, none were villains, and all were wonderful examples of the canine species. I am also a dog lover, so I find this trait of Koontz’s endearing. I feel like I know him a little better now,  on a personal level. His love of all things canine shines through his writing, and by reading his books, I get a sense of the man, himself.

Yeah, I know that makes me sound sort of stalker-ish, (no need to worry, Mr. Koontz, I am WAY too old and tired to be a stalker) but this minor revelatrion of mine got me to thinking. As a writer, how much of my work is really  ‘me’ shining through, and how much is characterization? What is consistant in all my work? What is my trademark? Fiesty heroines? Redeemed bad-boys? Sappy sunsets and sloppy kisses?

I guess my hallmark is that my heroes are always  ‘good guys’.  My guys are always likable, right from the start.  They are not edgy, hard or dangerous.  They are the hunky guy-next-door, with the broad shoulders and ‘aw shucks grin.

So, I’m throwing it out there…what is your trademark? What is one thing that is going to show through every book that you write, no matter what? Do you do last-minute, edge of your seat endings? Or are you known for the incredible depth and quirkiness of your secondary characters? Or are all of your heroines stuggling with weight issues? Or…do you deliberately try NOT to have a trademark ‘voice’?

Just wondering. Now, back to stalking (er…reading, I mean) Mr. Koontz….LOL!


7 thoughts on “what is real?

  1. My trademark is that I have animals in my books. So far, horses, but I will be including a dog or two. I’m trying to vary my heroines. Great post, Nancy!

  2. Nancy,

    I read once that Dean Koontz and his wife are childless, so their dogs are their babies. My daughter is a huge fan of his… I’ve read a lot of his books, but I hit one where the POV went to the dog and he lost me there.


    • That would have been Dragon Tears, and I thought the dog-POV was really neat–if not a little strange… As my mom said, I am a huge DK fan and I have noticed more than a few traits that are in every DK book that I’ve read so far… Dogs, as Lynn mentions are in almost every single one. But there’s also always a minor love story, huge obstacles that the hero must overcome, and the bad guy is always destroyed/killed. One of my favorite things about DK is knowing that the bad guy/thing is going to be defeated–not just put in jail to torment another day, DK’s endings are always final…

      Of course, that’s also something that I love about romance novels–you’re never left to wonder if the couple is going to last, the struggles and obstacles are always such that lasting love is a given :o)

  3. Nancy, I suppose my trademark is I always have a bad guy who wants to kill the hero or heroine or both. My latest manuscript was just going to be a nice little ‘straight’ romance. Then out of the blue the heroine’s ex-husband shows up and threatens her. I had no idea that was going to happen until my fingers typed the words. Huh. Go figure.

    Even though I think I’d like to write an uncomplicated, straight romance – or even women’s fiction – I think I’ll always have to have some drama in there. (Does that make me a drama queen? :-))

  4. Nancy…this is Lynn (LOL!)

    I like to start my first chapter with a “what the crap” moment for my hero, his blackest moment up to that point. I write paranormal so it’s fun to start off with an eyes widen open moment.

  5. Still working on my trademark, but I think all my writing leans heavily on the BROmance in the story as well as the typical H/H storyline. How a guy relates to his homies tells a lot about him, I think, and I am always fascinated with the dynamics of male friendships.


  6. I’m not sure I have a trademark, but if I did, it would be children. In most of my romance work, I have kids involved in some way,
    Dorothy Garlock’s historicals used to have a trademark that would crack me up. I don’t think she did it on purpose, but in every book, at one time or another, some character would answer nature’s call. Wasn’t necessarily the hero or heroine, but some one would “relieve” themselves. I got so I watched for it. 🙂

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