Thursday, August 22, 2013

Pictures from my Life

Congratulations to "Melanie", the winner of Liz's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!

Ah, my first time to blog on Just Contemporary Romance, and I’m so thrilled to be here, sharing my love of books and writing. Oddly, enough I started writing historical romances before I realized I wasn’t meant for chemises and Wellington boots, but rather the real and emotional world in which I already dwelled. Yep, I’ve found where I belong….right here in Just Contemporary.

Okay, on to my topic today – photographs.

If you’re like me, you have a nice little camera tucked away in a cabinet or closet somewhere in your house. At one time you used it, hiking down to CVS or Walgreens to print out pictures and arrange them carefully in a memory album. But about three or four years ago, that all changed, right? Because you have a smart phone and a handy-dandy built in camera that allows you share your favorite memories with everyone on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram. Are you with me on this? Or am I the only one who now organizes her albums in Facebook?

Well, the happy upside of surrendering to the digital world is my computer wallpaper.

My computer wallpaper is set to scroll through the pictures gathered in my icloud (or whatever it’s called). I didn’t set it to do this – my husband did. But I appreciate it because during those times I take a long enough break from my writing, I come back to the desk to pictures of our 2011 trip to Vegas to see The Eagles or my kids playing on the beach five years ago. Sometimes it’s my nieces baking Christmas cookies with me, the Easter we played wiffle ball, the dog sleeping in the sunlight or the headshots I took when I finaled in the 2009 Golden Hearts. Each one (whether a bad shot or a good shot) is a piece of my life.

You know, I like having my story spread out in front of me every day. Sometimes I don’t notice the pictures, but sometimes, like when I’m trying to avoid writing, I sit and watch my life  play out, smiling at some pictures, rolling my eyes at others, but all the time very aware that my life is good, blessed and belonging to me.

So when I click off my real life, I enter the world of my characters’ lives. 

Which makes me wonder….what would their wallpaper of photos look like?

Interesting to consider, right?

We could take any character and give him or her a scrolling wallpaper screen. Say Scarlett O’Hara. What might her life in pictures look like? Probably lots of selfies, am I right? LOL. Maybe pictures of her with the Tarleton twins at a picnic? Or a candid shot of Mammy laughing as a boy from the kitchen dances an impromptu jig? Maybe Scarlett’s mother paused at the wagon on her way to deliver medicine to the people down the lane? Or a snapshot of Tara at sunset? Oh, and let’s not forget the men in her life. How about Rhett paused at the balcony talking to Melanie? Ashley in his uniform? Poor Frank Kennedy buttoned up in his overcoat and standing in front of his mill. My mind explodes with the possibilities of my favorite Southern drama queen’s scrolling wallpaper.

The story of our favorite characters’ lives played out in make believe pictures provides an extraordinary way in which to know characters better. Embedded in our photos are emotions, reactions and dreams captured in a moment of time, and so the same is true for our characters.  Imagine how much more I know the characters I create by imagining their photographs flashing onto their computer screen. A whole new way to explore characterization right in front of me. 

So with that in mind, have you every imagined a photo montage of a character’s life? Go ahead. Choose a favorite character from your favorite series. Can you find a few snapshots of him in his former life? Leave a comment and a description of the picture you imagine in the comments, and you’ll be entered into a drawing to win any of my backlist books plus a $10.00 gift card to Barnes and Noble or

About the Author:
After finaling in RWA’s prestigious Golden Heart in Regency romance, Liz Talley found a home writing sassy stories for Harlequin Superromance. Her first book starring a spinster librarian – Vegas Two Step – came out in June 2010, and since that time, she’s publish eleven more books with Harlequin. Her stories are often set in Texas and Louisiana, and her upcoming books are all set in New Orleans. Liz lives in the northern part of Louisiana with her husband, two handsome boys, two dogs and a cat. Liz loves doing laundry, paying bills and creating masterful dinners for her family. She also lies in her bio to make herself look like the perfect wife. What she really likes is pretty shoes, lemondrop martinis and fishing off the pier at the lake. You can visit Liz at to learn more about the lies she tells herself…and her upcoming book – His Brown-Eyed Girl.

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST Aug. 23rd. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email with a subject title of JCR GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway.


  1. One of my favorite characters is Eve Dallas from J. D. Robb's In Death series. She's a tough NY detective but in one of the stories she talked about the days when she first joined the police academy and described herself somewhat. I created an image of her in contrast to her current look and saw her with long hair and a more innocent expression, even though she had a rough upbringing. I could picture her with hope and eagerness in that expression as she embarked on the first journey she could control.

    I have this image imprinted in my brain as the scene was so beautifully written. Eve would have been about 18 at the time.

    Thanks for your post as I have never thought about a character's life in pictures, let alone my own, and it's a pretty interesting exercise.

    1. Oh, I love your choice of character. Yes, that Eve - she's a tough cookie, but I love thinking of her younger, eager to tackle life, tinged with that innocence and brashness we all have in our youth. Great choice, Jonetta.

  2. Love the cover, Liz. And is that a new head shot for you? Very pretty--inside and outside :)

    1. Thank you, Ro. Actually I've had that pic for a while and use it every now and again. Just to change things up :)

  3. I've never really thought about a characters photo montage. It would be interesting to see one of Bones from the Night Huntress Series. He's "lived" through so much and the pictures would be pretty eclectic. The season that comes to mind is when Cat first sees Bones and is describing him sitting at a table. Would love to see a picture of that.

    krisrich85 at ymail dot com

  4. I'm not familiar with that series, Kris, but you paint an intriguing picture. A yummy intriguing picture :) it is fun to imagine who he considered friends, who might photo bomb the picture, etc

    Thanks for the comment :)

  5. Liz, I have to figure out bow to put pictures on my computer as a slide show. Right now it's just a picture of my toes in the sand from our trip to Florida a few years ago. The sun sets on the wrong side of the beach.

    And I'm so jealous you got to see the Eagles in concert.

    I don't usually have pictures in mind when I write my characters, but my current WIP does. I have a huge fan crush on baseball player Javier Lopez, so I have pictures of him that I refer to when I'm describing my hero. Yeah, that's why I look at his picture.

    1. Of course, that's the only reason you look at his picture. Understandable. LOL.

      I do have another screen saver that is my newest cover, but the scrolling this comes on when the computer goes to sleep (Ithink that's the term).

      Now you have to spend time thinking about your baseball player's past photos. Where did he have his ten year old birthday party? Who was his first date to the prom? Oh, and that first baseball pic from tee ball. Awww....

  6. My character I think about when I look at the book cover is from a book called Fetish by Sherri L. King. He is strong, muscular, has long dark hair, and is a Vampire! I can just imagine him picking me up and carrying me into his lair, he wills me to disrobe, guides me backwards to the bed with one of his scorching hot kisses, and well...I think you can figure it out. lol

    1. Oh, I can figure it out, Kimberly. LOL.

      What a vivid imagination you have. Now, can you imagine him a young vampire...maybe in his nappy? Or how about right after his first communion (aka first blood letting...I'm not even sure what a vamp calls them. Feeds?) You can see I don't read much paranormal. Ha.

      Thanks for sharing your picture with me.

  7. I am a visual reader so I usually find photos of people online to use when I picture my characters. I've even looked up design styles for houses or architecture to try and fit the storyline or plot. So by the time I'm done reading a book I usually have a handful of reference photos either on my phone or computer to glance at! I would love to collect a photo montage for either a sports themed series or a contemporary western (like Lorelei James's Rough Riders).

    Heather E.


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