Monday, February 6, 2012

Writing about a heroine that rivals the adventures of Stephanie Plumm by J M Griffin

Thanks for having me stop by today, Hannah. I’m really pleased to be here. By the way, I just read your novel, If He’s Dangerous, and loved it.

Writing a series is often easier than writing a single title. You become comfortable with the characters and their personalities, know what they will and won’t do, what makes them mad, how they will handle the surprises that we, as writers, throw their way. Heck, they are like family members you have come to know, like, hate, dread….you get the idea.

It took me some time to find my voice when I began writing the Esposito series about ten years ago, but once I found it, there was no stopping Lavinia “Vinnie” Esposito from making her presence known.

It wasn’t until I read Janet’s first Stephanie Plum novel, One for the Money, that I realized our characters were so similar. I’m amazed at the way my main character in the Vinnie Esposito series runs fairly neck-in-neck with that of Stephanie Plum. While she isn’t an out of work woman who takes on a job she has difficulty doing like Stephanie has, Vinnie Esposito can’t seem to get from point A to point B without some horrendous misfortune sending her off course, which usually leaves her treading dangerous waters.

Not long ago, you had me asked me how hard it is to write humor. Well, Hannah, what’s a story without a chuckle or two and maybe a real belly laugh thrown in for good measure? I enjoy a lighthearted novel that transports me away from the daily stresses of life, if it’s only for a little while.

To write humor isn’t all that hard if you look at life that way. Try finding something funny at least once a day and incorporate it into a story. For instance…my daughter and I went to the Providence Art Club for a gallery show about a year ago. There were so many different people there, dressed up, dressed down, and barely dressed, that I stood in a corner and jotted notes about them while pretending to admire the artwork. When I stepped into the second viewing room, I found this short man with thin greasy hair slicked over his head and draping over the tops of his ears. His suit was old, his shirt crisp and white. He stuffed his mouth with crackers loaded with as much food as he could pile onto each one. When I had the chance to ask my daughter about him, she told me he goes to all the gallery openings and eats, but never stays long and he’s very well off. As we left, another man entered the building. My daughter smiled, acknowledged him and whispered to me “He only comes to drink the wine. When it’s gone, so is he.” I found this fascinating and decided I’d add it to a story.
No matter where I go, I watch people, imagine them in a variety of scenes and develop my characters and story line from there. I don’t know how Janet Evanovich comes up with her charcters, but maybe we’re more alike than I think we are.

Thanks for asking me to visit, Hannah.

Pick up a free copy of FOR LOVE OF LIVVY today at BN and ARe and pick up copies of DIRTY TROUBLE and DEAD WRONG at BN, ARe  and Kindle for just $2.99


  1. "dressed up, dressed down, and barely dressed ..." LOL! Love it.

    I haven't read any of the SP series by JE, but am looking forward to reading For Love of Livvy. Thank you!

    1. Thanks for commenting. Vinnie is quite a character. Enjoy!

  2. Wow. Awesome. I can't wait to read your books!