Sunday, August 7, 2011

Guest Blogger Carrie Pulkinen

Welcome if you will Breathless Press author Carrie Pulkinen, who is going to answer an age old question for us. No, not that one! Pull up a chair and sit for a spell, why don't you?  Take it away, Carrie!

Blog Post:

With the recent release of To Catch a Spirit, I've been asked the age-old question time and again. "Which came first?" No, not the chicken or the egg...  

The plot or the characters?

I suppose it's different for every author. Just like everyone has her own view on the chicken vs. egg dilemma. You have to have chickens to make eggs. And they use the eggs to procreate. So it must have been the chicken, right? But how can you have a chicken without first having an egg? My theory? The eggs created the chickens in order to create more eggs! ;)

The same is true with plot and characters. You can't have characters running around doing nothing. There has to be a plot. But, how do you determine which direction the plot will go, if you don't know your characters?

For me, the characters definitely come first. I don't know them inside and out immediately. But we have a vague understanding of each other in the beginning. I usually start with a scenario: a conversation between two people or an incident happening to one character. As I get further along, the characters begin revealing themselves to me. I learn more and more about them each time I sit down and write with them. 

Yes, I said with them. My characters become my friends. We have conversations, as weird as that may sound. I give them the situation, and they tell me how it will play out. Sometimes, I'll get several chapters into a story before a character reveals a vital bit of information about himself. My most recent release, To Catch a Spirit, is a perfect example. I was on chapter three or four before Logan let me on the little secret that he has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I remember, very vividly, sitting at my computer, writing a scene with him, and going, "Huh? I didn't know that!"

Of course, that opened up a whole slew of doors that we could go through. So Logan led me on the path of how he manages his disorder and how he eventually overcomes it. The story just wouldn't be the same if I'd had it all plotted out without really knowing my characters.

And once I know my players, the story writes itself. It's already there... wherever "there" is. All I do is uncover it and put pen to paper (or fingers to keys, as the case may be).

The really exciting part is that I've got tons of characters swimming in my mind, just waiting to tell me their stories!

Blurb – To Catch a Spirit:

Psychic Allison Dupuis has a soft spot for Logan Mitchell, even though she’s never met him. All it takes is one encounter for the millionaire’s true emotions to slip through Allison’s shields, and she is intrigued. He needs her help, but Allison soon discovers that the kind of help Logan needs is the kind she isn’t willing to give. Logan has a ghost, and Allison doesn’t work with spirits anymore.

But the ghost is the least of Logan’s problems. Born an empath, Logan is constantly barraged with human emotions. And while his talent has come in handy in the business world, it’s about to drive him insane. Literally. Logan has OCD, and his ability triggers unbearable attacks that have him counting and cleaning until he collapses from exhaustion.

Sex and money. That’s all anyone wants from him. Even worse, he’s plagued with recurring visions of his future wife’s death, so Logan has spent his entire life avoiding love. He’s given up hope of ever having a normal life, until he meets Allison. She’s everything he’s ever dreamed of, and now he has to decide if loving her is worth risking her life.

If she’ll even have him. Allison’s lost too much already – her mother to cancer, her father to suicide. But, Logan is so charming and so real, she can’t help but fall for him. Now she has to overcome her fear of commitment…and ghosts…or face spending the rest of her life alone.


She sensed them as they drew closer to her—many different spirits, their energy buzzing on varying frequencies.

"One at a time, guys. Please." she said. But they didn’t listen. These were the spirits of the mentally ill, after all. Taking turns wasn’t their concern, and they all rushed her. She felt their presence closing in on her like an avalanche, and she was consumed. Every mental illness imaginable was thrown into her psyche as she tightened her grip on Gage’s hand and slumped down in her chair.

"Allison! Allison, are you okay?" Gage’s voice was a distant echo as she fought to hold on to herself. She was slipping. Sliding into the depths of despair and the spirits were pulling her down.

"It’s… No… There’s a light… You need to… You need to go to it." She tried to help the spirits cross over, but they wouldn’t listen. There were too many. Twenty at least, and they were so consumed by their own illnesses they thought of nothing else. Paranoia, depression, anxiety. Allison felt it all, and it was going to kill her. The pressure. So hard to breath. Her hands cradled her head as the migraine overtook her. Sharp, pounding pain had her crumpled on the floor as she drew her knees into her chest and rocked back and forth.

"Make it stop. Please, just make it stop." She was paralyzed. Frozen by the anguish of the tortured souls that forced themselves upon her. Hot tears streamed down her face and blood trickled from her nose. She gasped for air as she heard a faint voice call, "Get her out of here!"

Author Bio:

Carrie Pulkinen has always been fascinated with the paranormal. Of course, when you grow up next door to a cemetery, the dead (and the undead) are hard to ignore. Pair that with her passion for writing and her father’s insatiable love for monster movies, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for an exciting storyteller.
When she’s not writing stories of amazing sex with devilishly handsome men, Carrie likes to read, take pictures, and play with her kids. She also enjoys hearing from her readers, who can write to her at

Carrie welcomes all comments, questions and suggestions!

Thanks for being here, Carrie, and for sharing with us! Best of luck with your new release! Y'all come back now, y'hear?

Until next time, take care!

♥ Julie


  1. Carrie, I know what you mean about characters leading us into a story. It doesn't sound weird at all--well to a writer anyway. Anyone else would deem us a bit off. :) The quirks an secrets coming out as we write is the most thrilling part of writing.

    Now, let me tell you, Catching a Spirit sounds ... oh, how do I put this?


    You conveyed Allison's descent into the madness of the spirits so vividly, I could PICTURE it. That's good writing.

    Really nice guest blog.

  2. Carrie, I just wanted to stop in and say hello. Good luck with your new release.