Happy Hump Day everyone. This morning I was going to post another column from Slim Randles, but then Sam started bugging me. Sam, Samantha Rutgers, from Play it Again, Sam, had a few things on her mind, and she wouldn't go away and leave me alone. I'm not making this up folk. Well, I guess I am partially responsible because I did make her up when I wrote the book, but I'm sure all the writers reading this are nodding and saying, "I know what you mean."
Characters become very real to us, and even when the book is finished and has been published, sometimes they come back to talk to us again. On one hand, that can be disruptive when we are working on a new story, but on the other hand, it is kind of neat to have a visit with them again. So, here is Sam with the questions she had for me today. Grab a cup of coffee and a slice of this hot apple pie and join us....
Sam: Now it's my turn?
Me: Yes. What do you want to know?
Sam: Well, first I want to thank you for giving me a happy ending.
Me: You're welcome. Most stories should have a happy ending. Otherwise the reader will be disappointed, especially in a romance novel. So what is your question?
Sam: I wondered why you named me Sam. And why the whole Casablanca thing?
Me: Didn't you like it?
Sam: Hey, I thought I was asking the questions.
Me: Okay, okay. Boy, you sure have gotten pushy now that you are all self-actualized and all.
Sam: Self what?
Me: Sure of yourself. Strong. Confident. Remember how you were in the beginning of the story?
Sam: Oh, right. So anyway, my question?
Me: Okay. When I wrote the story I wanted to say something about a person who starts her life over again, and the phrase "play it again" kept running through my mind. That reminded me of Casablanca, one of the best love stories ever, so I decided to make it a favorite of yours.
Sam: What if I didn't like it?
Me: But you did, right?
Me: And I didn't make you like it just because I wanted you to, right?
Sam: That's true. At first I wasn't sure, but when I saw the movie I fell in love with it. And then that whole thing you did with Frank when he-
Me: Stop! Don't tell. You don't want to give anything away. Then people might not read your story and see how you became all self-actualized.
Sam: I kind of like that. Self-Actualized. Thanks.
Me: You're welcome. That was all part of your character arc.
Sam: I don't care why you did it. I'm just glad that my life turned out so well after John. He sure did kick the foundation out from under me.
Me: So you built a new one. There's an old adage "That which doesn't kill us makes us stronger." Or something like that. But you know what I mean. You made choices throughout the story that made you stronger, until you became who you are now.
Sam: I did, didn't I.
Me: Yes you did. This was your story. Not mine. So... now could you go away for a while. I do have some other characters I need to be talking to right now.
Sam: Okay, okay. I think I'll go someplace warm and play on a beach. It is freakin' cold here.
Me: Can I go with you?
Sam: Nope. You said you had to work. Chop, chop, girl.
If you enjoyed meeting Sam and would like to know her "happy ever after" ending, Play It Again, Sam is on sale at Untreed Reads for 30% off the cover price from now through Valentine's Day. It is just one of the many romance novels on sale during this special event.