Monday, January 5, 2015

GETTING DOWN WITH DOWNTON

by Kate Collins

Are you a Downton Abbey fan? I only became one the season before last but I'm firmly hooked. I had to go on Downton Abbey binges to catch up, but I didn't mind at all. They're addictive, aren't they? But why?

My theory is that as we follow the main characters from week to week, we get to know them. We know their likes and dislikes, their habits, their peccadilos, and their strengths. They become friends. Add to that those charming British/Irish/Scotch accents, those wonderful costumes and antique autos, and that majestic house, and what's not to like?

Isn't that also how a book series works? Readers get to know the main characters, their strengths and weaknesses, their manner of speaking, their senses of humor, and soon they become like family, too.

As it turns out, it works that way for the series' creators, too. I always have my eye out for people who remind me of Abby Knight, Marco Salvare (haven't found one in normal life but I did see a Greek tour guide who was pretty close) cousin Jillian (I've seen a number of Jillians) Taras, etc. There's a waitress at a Chicago Italian restaurant called Volare who is exactly how I picture Lottie Domkowski.

I've been writing The Flower Shop Mysteries for over ten years now, so the characters are very close to my heart. And now in my new book, A ROOT AWAKENING, out February 3, you'll get to meet a new character whom I absolutely love already. I hope you'll feel the same.

In the meantime, stay healthy, be happy, and enjoy the new season of Downton Abbey with me. And I have to ask, who is your favorite character?