Mercedes Yardley is one of those women who is just cool. You know what I mean? She has this awesomeness that sort of radiates off her, but the great thing is, she doesn’t realize it. Don’t you love people who don’t know how super cool they are? I sure do.
Anyway, when Mercedes sent me her Character Invasion, she said something that made me feel so good because it embodies the whole point of these things. She said, “Anne, this was a fabulous idea. Not only was it fun to write, but after doing this exercise, I totally figured out what the problem was, and wrote FOUR MORE CHAPTERS. I plan to finish this novel tomorrow, and then go back and strengthen it during edits. Rock on!”
Rock on indeed, sister. Rock on. Let’s see how Mercedes reached an “Aha!” moment with her character Reed Taylor, who, by the way, I’ve totally got a crush on now.
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(I’m sitting at the computer when a tall man knocks on the open sliding glass door. He wipes his steel-toed boots on the mat and steps through, running his hand through his wild red hair.)
Reed: You need to work on your security, Merc. (He throws his motorcycle helmet on my counter and gives me a friendly cuff on the shoulder.)
Me: Reed Taylor! What are you doing here?
Reed: We gotta talk. (He searches my cupboards for glasses, goes to the fridge, and pours out a couple of Cokes. He slides one my way.) What, no kitchen table? Only one chair? Are you insane?
Me: Er, sorry. It’s kind of a tiny house.
Reed: No problem. (He leans against the counter) Listen, babe, we need to talk about the demon novel. Seriously, it has problems.
Me: I know. I’ve hit that lull, and I’m not sure exactly how to spice it up.
Reed: (crosses his arms over his chest and arches a brow)
Me: What, you know how to spice it up?
Reed: (Sighs) Got a suggestion for ya. How about you let me be me?
Me: What’s that supposed to mean?
Reed: It means that you put me in this book because I was the perfect counterweight to Luna. I can deal with her abrasiveness. I can handle her freak-outs. I don’t think she’s crazy…most of the time. And then what? Where did I go? You muzzled me up good.
Reed: You don’t think so? Suddenly I get all dewy-eyed and super domesticated? I mean, sure, I’m a good guy. But being nice doesn’t mean being a pushover. You reached in and ripped out my spine. And then what happened? You felt the need to introduce another guy because I wasn’t giving you the toe-to-toe that you needed. What’s that about?
Me: But he adds depth to the story!
Reed: (rubbing his eyes) Sure, he adds depth. I sort of even dig the guy, within reason. But that isn’t the point. The point is that you emasculated me, and the whole thing went downhill.
Me: Hmm. I think you’re right.
Reed: Of course I’m right. Have a little faith. I got plans.
Me: I know about your plans, and I don’t approve.
Reed: (shrugs) Don’t need your approval. Just sit back and let us handle it, okay? You have enough on your plate. So, you need anything done while I’m here?
Me: No, I’m good, thanks.
Reed: How about these shelves? Only take me a second to hang ‘em. Where’s your hammer? Also, I noticed that your garden’s gone a little crazy in back.
Me: (flushing) I know. I keep meaning to get to it, but—
Reed: That’s you, always trying to do too many things. I’ll snag the weeds on the way out. It’ll only take me five minutes. You just worry about growing those babies and getting the story right, yeah? Don’t take on more than you can handle. Let the rest of us pick up the slack.
Me: But technically, you’re not even real!
Reed: (winks) That’s what you think.
* * *
SEE? Crush crush crush. He’s like Mike Holmes meets Knight Rider. Or something.
If you would like to connect with Mercedes on her blog, you can find it here. You can follow her on Twitter here. And if you are interested in doing a Character Invasion to be posted on this blog, read this post about how to do it and then get in touch with me via the contact page. I’d love to have you!