Thursday, September 8, 2016
The Nanny's Little Matchmakers Personality Inspiration
Recently, I realized that the stories I write (and why)are rooted deep in who I am as a person. My friend Christa is very into understanding personalities and personality types. We were at knitting group, and she asked if I knew what personality I was, so I told her. I'm an INFJ. As soon as I said it, Christa got excited and said, "I know why you keep writing about THOSE characters." I knew exactly what she meant. I tend not to write about the easy characters. In every book, I ask myself why I had to go the hard route, and write about the hard character in the hard situation. (And yes, I am RIGHT THERE in the current book I'm writing.)
Apparently, the INFJ is the advocate, and we like to believe in the possibility of redemption for everyone, and that it's possible for everyone to get their happy ending. So what do I do? I find the people who are the least likely to get a happy ending and I give them one.
Why? Because it's who I am at my very core. I absolutely love digging deep into who people are and helping them be the best they can be. I see things in the world that I don't like, and I do my best to make them better. What you see in my characters are people with complex problems, deep flaws, and a lot of room for growth. But I write them because I truly believe that they, that we, can overcome all of those things. There is a piece of true humanity in each character I write, and I see the redemption as being something real for each of us.
Of course, I didn't have this realization prior to writing Polly and Mitch's story. But as I look back, I see that deep motivation in how I chose each character and why. I needed a character who would make Polly stretch and grow, challenging her preconceived notions, yet was willing to love her for who she was. Mitch needed someone different. He needed someone who could make him feel safe, and show him that it was okay to open his heart. And I wanted them to find, despite all of the reasons they might be hard for someone else to love, a perfect match. While thinking up stories for Polly, I found and discarded dozens of heroes. They simply weren't right, and I think part of that difficulty wasn't just about Polly, but about my need to right some of the wrongs I'd seen Polly experience in previous books. It wasn't enough to give her a husband, but I wanted to heal her as well.
It's fascinating to see how something as simple as an author's personality shapes the books they write and why. I had no idea just how big of an impact it made, but as I thought about my stories, and how my personality interacted with them, I realized that it's a huge part of my process, even if I hadn't been aware of it.
What about you? Do you know your personality type? How does it impact things you do? If you don't know or don't remember, here's a simple test: https://www.16personalities.com/free-personality-test
I'm giving away a copy of The Nanny's Little Matchmakers to a specific personality (that I've preselected), so be sure to share yours!
About The Nanny's Little Matchmakers:
A Wife for Their Papa Polly MacDonald intends to tame Mitch Taylor's five mischievous children, even though every other nanny has fled. She needs this job—and Mitch's brood sorely needs affection. Perhaps their widowed papa does, too. But when the children begin scheming to make her their new mother, Polly must resist. She's seen too many bad marriages to want one of her own. Mitch has come to Leadville, Colorado, to escape a scandal, not find a wife. After the disaster of his first marriage, he's sure he isn't husband material. Though Polly's tender care is working wonders with his children, Mitch knows he should keep his feelings to himself. But can two wary hearts deny the dearest wish of five eager matchmakers?
About Danica: A self-professed crazy chicken lady, Danica Favorite loves the adventure of living a creative life. She and her family recently moved in to their dream home in the mountains above Denver, Colorado. Danica loves to explore the depths of human nature and follow people on the journey to happily ever after. Though the journey is often bumpy, those bumps are what refine imperfect characters as they live the life God created them for. Oops, that just spoiled the ending of all of Danica’s stories. Then again, getting there is all the fun.
You can connect with Danica at the following places: