Literary Escapism is excited to welcome Robin Kaye, author of Too Hot to Handle, today. Robin is here today to talk about the luscious Dr. Mike of Too Hot to Handle and how the real Dr. Mike is a fountain of information.
For those unfamiliar with Robin’s work, shame on you. Too Hot to Handle is fabulous and I’m already trying to track down Romeo, Romeo from my library. If you don’t want to take my word for it, then go check these out because we’ll be giving away a copy of Too Hot to Handle to a lucky commentator.
My hero in Too Hot to Handle is named Dr. Mike Flynn and I have to tell you, I’ve taken quite a lot of ribbing because of it. It all started because I’m terrible with names. I have a hard time remembering my own name, no less those of my secondary characters.
When I wrote Romeo, Romeo, I needed a doctor. Since I had no plans to make this doctor a central character in the book, I called him Mike after my personal doctor so that I’d remember his name. That seems harmless, doesn’t it? After all, it wasn’t as if I used his last name, too.
Well, was I ever wrong about the fictional Dr. Mike being just a walk-on character. After writing the scene – a conversation between Nick, the hero in Romeo, Romeo and Dr. Mike Flynn, I fell in love and not just with my hero. I’m fickle that way. I was head over tongue depressors in love with Mike. Who knew?
At one of my appointments with Dr. Mike, he asked how my writing was going. Since I eventually had to tell him that Too Hot to Handle was the fictional Dr. Mike’s book, I figured that was as good an opening as any. I held my breath and waited for him to give me a hard time. He just laughed and asked if he could tell his wife I thought he was hero material. Everything went along swimmingly until all of the real Dr. Mike’s nurses read Romeo, Romeo. I began getting questions about whether I modeled Mike Flynn after the real Dr. Mike. I felt like asking “Have you not read Romeo, Romeo?” The answer to that is NO!!! There would be way too much of an ick factor if the similarities went beyond first name and specialty. My character and my doctor look nothing alike, they sound different, they’re different ages, and I certainly don’t want to know if my personal physician wears boxers or briefs. My hero on the other hand is a briefs man—of this I’m sure.
In the nine years I’ve been a patient, my doctor and I have become friends. Dr. Mike’s my go-to guy whenever I need medical advice—real or fictional. When I had to cure Rosalie of pneumonia, I ran it by him. Of course, we argued about the treatment. He said I had all the medicines correct but that he’d make Rosalie stay in the hospital for a few days. I told him that Rosalie refused to stay in the hospital, that she was carried, kicking and screaming, into the ER in the first place. I suppose there is a reason people say that art imitates life because he shot back “Oh, so she’s like you.” The only time my wonderful doctor gets mad about it is when I forget to mention that the person in need of medical attention is a fictional character. One day I said that Annabelle had ripped tendons and ligaments in her ankle and he thought I was talking about one of my daughters who are named Anna and Isabelle. He actually got upset. You gotta love a doctor who really cares that much about you and your family. It took him a few minutes to calm down, at which time he made me promise to begin each research question with “I have a fictional character named…”
Dr. Mike is also a fabulous resource when it comes to plotting. I take him out to lunch sometimes and grill him. He was extremely helpful when I was researching an external conflict for Too Hot to Handle. He told me all about nightmare partnership scenarios a few of his friends had gone through, listened to ideas for a conflict and debated them with me. He has also read a few scenes for authenticity.
I’ve met people who have become huge assets to me and my career in the most unlikely places but like every good story, there should be a moral…maybe this one is naming a character after a friend/doctor is probably not a good idea, but using him as a resource is.
Contest Time! We’re giving away a copy of Robin Kaye’s novel Too Hot to Handle to a lucky commentator and it’s very easy to enter. All you have to do is answer this one of these simple questions: How often do you think an author has modeled one of their characters off of someone they knew? Is there a character you wish that does actually exist?
As always, if you want more chances to win, you can post about today’s contest on your blog, social network, or anywhere you can. Digg it, stumble it, twit it, share it with the world. Wherever you share it, make sure you add a link to it along with your answer. The more places you share it, the more entries you get.
Join the Literary Escapism Facebook page and you’ll get an additional entry (for each page). Make sure you leave a comment so I know that’s why you’re joining. Only new readers to the group will be considered.
For 2 additional entries, subscribe to Literary Escapism’s newsletter in the sidebar. This is for new subscribers only.
For 2 additional entires, purchase a copy of Robin’s book, Romeo, Romeo, using the LE Amazon store located in the header (or by clicking on Romeo, Romeo) and then send me a copy of your receipt via email (myjaxon AT gmail).
I’ll determine the winner with help from the Research Randomizer. All entries must be in by midnight on May 19th.