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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

In the Moonlight with JD Seamus, author of Last Call


Pump Up Your Books


Tips for Character Building

by JD Seamus

A good friend gave me a tip that I’ve continued to use. As you suggest, his tip was to pick a star to use in character building.

My choice was easy in Last Call. A tough, sensitive, New Yorker who could do comedy. Fuhgetaboutit. Robert Freakin’ De Niro! Forget he’s not Irish but he’s perfect for the role of Jimmie Collins. Bar owner, tough guy, made enough money to go in business by stealing bearer bonds with a couple of rising mafia stars. Close to the church. Treats his bar patrons like family, all around nice guy but will ‘knock you on your ass’ if you cross him.

It was actually fun. My wife would hear me laughing loudly and come into my office to see what the hell was going on. I’d try to explain that it’s how De Niro interacts with Nathan, a small town guy (Randy Quaid-did I mention the guy was a lovable dufus)relocating to New York? She’d just stare and I’d explain it’s how he deals with a big mouth, short Italian (Danny DeVito—just too easy)bar regular who has the worst tailor in the world? Or how he would interact with two Manhattan North cops with career paths heading south (anyone from the old Barney Miller show)? Or a long time bar patron who is witty, tough and has a problem picking men (Annette O’Toole). De Niro lines her up with Nathan after telling Nathan to not hurt her in any way or he’s coming after him. She generally walks out around then and closes the door quietly. I guess unless you’ve banged out a book you can’t possibly comprehend.


Last Call was easy with De Niro. Even the slow times when you’re building characters. Even making his sick wife breakfast in bed is an adventure. Picture De Niro fussing over breakfast and toast is way over his head. He’s trying and trying hard. Got to be perfect-the De Niro way. Picture him walking out of the kitchen, remembering the sweetener at the last minute and putting it on the tray. He puts the whole box on the tray, takes a step then stops. He worries that the box is screwing up his presentation. He frowns. Throwing a leftover rose on the tray, he grabs a soup spoon and shrugs, “It’ll have to do. What the hell? I ain’t Martha Stewart.”
Forget narrative. With De Niro, it’s all dialogue. And that’s my favorite. That’s where I stick it to the competition in my genre. Me and De Niro. Those suckers don’t have a chance.

Novelist JD Seamus has lived and worked among some of the most amazing characters ever to have walked the Earth. After decades of working in the world of retail finance, e-commerce, and venture capital, Seamus began writing a series of novels based in Manhattan. With a keen eye for detail, Seamus takes to heart the old adage to “write what you know.” Borrowing from real life experience, Seamus delivers highly entertaining tales full of sparkling wit and dark humor. Whether pondering life’s most absurd or most wonderful moments, or showcasing a character’s foibles or triumphs, JD Seamus is dynamic new voice in the world of fiction. Seamus may make you blush, he may make you cry, but he will certainly leave you entertained.

Today, Seamus is happily at work on his sixth book in South Florida and dividing his time between his family and Braves and Jaguar games. You can visit his website at www.jdseamusbooks.com.

4 Moonbeams (comments):

Margay said...

I just wanted to thank JD for being with us and sharing his tips on character building.
Margay

Sheila Deeth said...

That was fun! Thanks.

Anonymous said...

thank you very much for allowing me to participate on your site......it's a joy for an old Irishman to be surrounded by so many beautiful ladies-----jd

Margay said...

Oh, JD, with words like that, you're proving that it's true what they say about that Irish charm!
Margay