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Originally Posted On: https://www.stlouisauthors.com/blog/putting-meat-on-the-bones
Dark Tunes began as an idea in T.M. Keho’s mind. She explains her beginning in her author’s note in the front of the book. It was a great idea, but it was just the bones. Together we fleshed out the characters and our tale until we believed it.
The characters were where we started. The three protagonists are very important as the characters are the bones of the story. If we don’t care about them we’ll not find the story and for most readers, if you don’t care about them you won’t care about the story.
Making each of them real was a book long effort. Giving them history and feelings that felt true led us to making files on each of them. From how they started with music to how they dealt with the realities of the school, the nuns, and how both affected their lives.
The school was easy because both of us had connections with the central location of our tale. T.M. volunteered there and so did I as I was called in to help my wife who worked there. The hallways and the infamous chapel and music room are there so we had no need to create a floor plan. The area where they lived came from our imaginations as did the stairwell Nikki used to access the convent basement, but the rest from the buildings to the patio between the buildings and the back lot with the short wall that Nikki and her young friends sat upon are solid reality.
Creating our villains was great fun because, while we referred to traditional vampires and even borrowed some of those myths, much of what our band members and Britt learn about the vamps came from research and our imagination. Arithmomania is an actual ailment which even has connections to vampire lore. It tickled us that Sesame Street’s Count von Count seemed the personification of our creature’s condition.
Britt became our Van Helsing and poor Wayne, who was what he was despite himself. Granma Kit added some art and humor to our mix. They and our other smaller characters filled out our cast splendidly and the number of characters both living and undead grows in our sequel, Darker Tunes. I hope you join us with the continuing saga as we add additional flesh to the bones of our tale.