The Characters in Returning to Amanda

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“Kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.”

I hadn’t been writing for long when I read these words by Stephen King. I didn’t intend writing a thriller, so I pushed those thoughts to one side.

Choosing the Characters 

When I decided to write that first novel, twenty years ago, I followed the teaching, write what you know and chose a pastor and his wife and family to be the center of my story. However, lest anyone think I was basing the story on my own family, I made my main character to be an artist (which I most definitely am not!) I deliberately gave them four children, whereas I have three. So the Douglas family had Holly, a precocious thirteen-year-old, a pair of ten-year-old twins, Sue and Ronny, and a cute little two-year-old who was in the process of being hopelessly spoiled.

And so the family remained for a whole twenty years, never getting any older, but with me getting to know them better. read more