Gina Black tagged me over a week ago now. The rules are something like this:

Link the person who tagged you.
Mention the rules in your blog.
Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours.
Tag 6 following bloggers by linking them.
Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger’s blogs letting them know they’ve been tagged.

Okay, so my first quirk would be this:
When tagged, I like to change the rules.

Seriously, I’ve been thinking all week about my quirks, and quirkiness in general. Somehow I’ve had a really hard time coming up with six “unspectacular quirks” for this meme. Which is odd, because most of the time I just feel like a mass of quirks, none of them spectacular. Maybe it’s just that by now, anyone who has been reading this blog knows just about all the quirks I plan to share. 😉

But I have been thinking a lot about Isabel, my current heroine, and her quirkiness. So I thought I would share with you six of hers.

1. She doesn’t eat sugar. And this has nothing to do following some Regency version of the Atkins Diet. It’s political.
2. Her idea of a hot date is dragging her suitor to visit orphans. Not just any orphans, but sickly ones.
3. Despite her charitable nature, she’s not really an animal lover – larger animals, like horses and dog, make her uneasy. Cats are too disloyal for her to identify with. She does like God’s smallest creatures – bugs, spiders, lizards don’t make her squeamish in the least. Of course, she would never do anything so disgusting as collect them and pin them on cards.
4. She’s self-conscious about her curvy figure, her dark complexion, her thick hair, and basically everything on her body – but she has a weak spot of vanity about her neck. She thinks she has a quite lovely neck, and when she looks in the mirror, she will fix on it and try to be satisfied, rather than let her gaze wander up and down to more objectionable parts.
5. Much as she enjoys music, she can’t carry a tune. Which pains her mostly because she is ashamed to sing in church.
6. She feels her deepest fear ought to be hell…but it isn’t.

Ah, and the bonus #7 – the one thing Isabel and I have in common – a hatred (okay, Isabel would not use the word “hatred”) – an intense dislike of shopping.

And now, you’re all tagged!

Do you give your characters quirks? Or remember any quirks of your favorite characters? Examples, please!

It’s those little things that can really make a character come alive, and this was actually a really good exercise for me to do, as I work on my book. Thanks, Gina!

EDITED: To fix lame typos and also because I forgot to mention, Courtney Milan and Lenora Bell are finalists in the Romance Through The Ages contest! Yay! And Lenora is also a finalist in the Spring into Romance contest! Yay again! And Vagabond Manda is a finalist in the Daphne! Yay some more!

Seriously, I’m hoarse from the yaying lately.

14 comments to “Quirkiness”

  1. Alice Audrey
    · May 13th, 2008 at 7:38 am · Link

    The heroine in Zackly Right also has a strange relationship with animals. She likes them all, but isn’t gah-gah over them. What’s strange is that she ends up with a menagerie of the kind of pets no one else will take in – a python, a tarantula, some piranha. She agrees to pet-sit and ends up keeping them.

  2. terrio
    · May 13th, 2008 at 8:14 am · Link

    Great choice on your heroine’s name, Tessa. My daughter would approve. (Except her’s is spelled Isabelle)

    I gave my hero an unusual quirk in that he is a bit fanatical about order. Everything has a home and organization is critical. He’s a chef so he’s a PITA about his kitchen. His best friend – a slob of the first order – calls him anal retentive, but it’s really just a hint of OCD. What’s wrong with organization?!

  3. Lindsey
    · May 13th, 2008 at 8:26 am · Link

    Too fun! Bel has my sympathies – I’m not supposed to be eating any sugar because of food allergies, and it’s kind of a pain. Of course, she’s probably not cooking for herself… 😉

    And on a similar note, my hero is a picky eater.

  4. MsHellion
    · May 13th, 2008 at 8:56 am · Link

    Political? Like “Amazing Grace” political? That’s a cool quirk!

    Livie is one big quirk but it’s hard for me to define them. It’d be like defining my quirks.

    Actually I can define one of mine: I hate food touching each other on the plate, and I don’t mix my food up (unless it’s stew or something). Once my friend mixed my rice and chinese food together and I couldn’t eat it. I was pissed. I like the flavor of white rice separate from the chinese food.

    Quirk. Quirk. Quirk.

    1. She loves themes. She frequently throws theme night parties where she fixes food to match the movie she’s watching. If she’s watching POTC, she fixes caribbean food.

    2. She has a self-destructive streak. If you accuse her of being something and she’s not, she’ll give you what you want. In spades. Very much the type to jump off a bridge if you “challenged” her and said she was too boring to follow through.

    3. Costumes. She makes costumes all the time. Loves fabric, patterns, sewing, and pretending to be someone else.

    4. Won’t drink coffee black. It’s a latte with lots of caramel or vanilla flavoring. Or sometimes hazelnut.

    5. Never lets anything go.

  5. terrio
    · May 13th, 2008 at 9:33 am · Link

    I love that Hellion keeps saying *she* instead of *I*. That’s so cute.

    Lindsey – you can’t eat sugar?! Oh, you poor thing…

  6. MsHellion
    · May 13th, 2008 at 10:41 am · Link

    *gimlet stare at her Bo’sun* Yes, it’s SHE, not I.

    Don’t pay any mind to the man behind the curtain.

  7. Janga
    · May 13th, 2008 at 12:11 pm · Link

    Tessa, I do like the sound of Isabel. I look forward to meeting her in book 3.

    You could say my whole plot rests on my heroine’s quirky preference for an ordinary life.

  8. Lenora Bell
    · May 13th, 2008 at 2:14 pm · Link

    Hi Tessa,

    Sorry I haven’t been commenting lately–you know why. I liked your list of Isabel’s quirks because it shows how deeply you dive into characterization. I would be hard-pressed to make a similar list for Ivy. Hmmmm…

    A hatred of shopping? That’s completely incomprehensible to me since I live to shop. You don’t like to shop for anything? Not even beauty products or expensive chocolate? Come on, there has to be something you like to buy…

    Also, thanks for the congrats. I’m so happy right now. I really needed some good news and to make it even better I’m in such illustrious company!

  9. Gina Black
    · May 13th, 2008 at 8:18 pm · Link

    Tessa, you clever thing you, now I’m dying to read this story which means you have to finish it NOW and get them to publish it early. Just for me. That’s fair, isn’t it?

    Didn’t see you at the meeting on Saturday. It was good. Bob Mayer is always amusing and worth listening to.

  10. Anonymous
    · May 14th, 2008 at 12:36 am · Link



  11. Tessa Dare
    · May 14th, 2008 at 8:16 am · Link

    AA – That sounds like the only way Bel would become a petowner – she wouldn’t be able to turn them away, either – but I don’t think they did petsitting in the Regency. 🙂

    Terri – You have great taste in naming children! I chose the Spanish spelling of Isabel, because her mother was Spanish. I would have no idea how to write an OCD or neat-freak character, because there are certainly none in this house!

    Lindsey, you’re allergic to sugar?? No! How can that be? How about honey and Splenda and stuff?

    Fran, Bel is Amazing-Grace political, although this book takes place several years after that sugar boycott and the end of the slave trade. So she’s an unfashionable holdout. 🙂 And I like the sound of your heroine – can’t drink coffee black, either.

    Janga, thanks for liking Isabel. She is a very good girl and wants very much to be liked.

    Lenora, I actually just made up a few of those things as I wrote the list, so it was a great exercise. I don’t know that all six will show up in the book, but so much of what we know about our characters doesn’t. You’re welcome to become my personal shopper anytime. Congrats again!

    Gina – no, I missed the meeting this month, sadly. Mr. Dare had a work thing, so I had the kids.

    Anon – hmmmmmmm.

  12. Gillian Layne
    · May 15th, 2008 at 1:48 am · Link

    Wonderful to hear all the good news!

    I’m so looking forward to your books, Tessa. Love quirky h/h’s.

  13. terrio
    · May 15th, 2008 at 10:10 am · Link

    Tessa – No neat freaks in my house either but I grew up with a grandmother that was meticulous about her house. Vacuumed and waxed the furniture everyday (then bent down to pick lint off the brown shag carpet the rest of the day), never owned a dishwasher but a dish never sat in the sink for more than a few minutes.

    The anal part is that everything had a home and that’s where you put it back after you used it. I’m getting more and more like her the older I get. I consider that a good thing. *g*

  14. La Belle Americaine
    · May 17th, 2008 at 12:34 am · Link

    The hero of a future MS is inordinately curious. His curiosity leads him into sooo much trouble–a bit of it due to the troublemaking heroine of that novel. *g*

    For my WIP, my heroine’s major quirk is her inability to leave well enough alone. She can’t resist a challenge–even when one isn’t given.