Susan’s Inside Writing: Old Friends


The prompt this week at Sunday Scribblings is My Oldest Friend.

I’ve never been one to hold on to friends forever. The fact that the Tour Manager has been in my life as much as he has is, in and of itself, amazing. Yet we weren’t friends until about thirteen years ago. Or maybe we were; who can really tell among all that teenage angst and jockeying for popularity and the right crowd?

I suppose it makes sense, then, that this is an issue that I see within my fictional band, ShapeShifter. The four men who make up the band are friends onstage and off. It all began when a shy kid named Mitchell Voss met the outlandish abused outcast, Trevor Wolff. (You can read this episode here on the blog or here as a cleaned-up, downloadable .pdf file. Your pick.)

Trevor had a vision. Mitchell had a guitar. ShapeShifter was born.

(This is one of my favorite posts about the two of them.)

In due time, Eric and Daniel were brought into the fold. Yes, this was the band’s original lineup and yes, it’s the lineup in the band’s adventures here on the blog. It’s also part of the crux of Trevor’s Song, my on-the-market novel that this blog was originally designed to support.

There are other relationships lurking in my fiction. Daniel has had the same girlfriend since he was sixteen. Her name is Val and you can meet her here and here, among other places (click on her name to find them). I love playing with Val because she’s so different from our other long-term woman in the place, Mitchell’s love, Kerri. One of these days, I’ll do even more with the Daniel-Val relationship. Daniel and Val have grown up together; their relationship is complex, a little bit twisted and maybe even a little bit tragic. Yet they endure.

There are other relationships bubbling around my fictional world, too. Music writer Chelle LaFleur has a crush on Mitchell (and who in her right mind doesn’t? He’s a dashing, romantic sort of guy with charisma out the very cute wazoo) — and has since she first saw them driving into town in his dad’s Ford Bronco with a U-Haul on back. Read about it here — and marvel with me at how Chelle’s voice has evolved.

Notice how much of this revolves around Mitchell? That’s what being loyal to the cool people does for you, and one of the coolest people around is Lyric. Read about her first encounters with Mitchell here — and watch for more to come. I’ve got them stashed aside for the right time to spring them on you.

I suspect that as this thing grows, as we get closer to getting Trevor’s Song into some form of print, there will be more characters who are friends of the core crew around here. New friends, old friends — friends are where it’s at.

Says the woman who sits behind her computer all day, with only a cat for company…

(did you buy that last line?)

If you want to learn more about any of these characters, use the Cast of Characters tab at the top of the page.



  1. bunnygirl

    July 12, 2008 11:23 pm

    One of the fun things about the band is that they have a history together. It’s no wonder Kerri threw off the dynamics at first!

  2. Winter

    July 13, 2008 1:02 am

    No, I don’t buy that last line at all. Mostly because, in this day and age, the people you connect to online can be as much your friends as the ones who come to your house to BBQ on the 4th. BR/BR/With my characters, the friendship between Lex and Carlisle is the deepest one. They’ve been friends more than 50 years, from the day Carlisle saved Lex’s life. As Car puts it, Lex is more than a friend, she’s the sister of her heart.

  3. anthonynorth

    July 13, 2008 5:14 am

    The intricacies of characters and relationships never cease to fascinate me.BR/And no, I don’t believe the last line.

  4. Robin

    July 13, 2008 7:00 am

    I didn’t buy it for a minute. You may be writing alone in that home office, but you’re surrounded by more friends around the world than nearly anyone I know, and you give back friendship in return most genuinely and generously.

  5. Ann

    July 13, 2008 10:30 am

    Of course I don’t buy the last line. See, ya got peeps. I’d hang out with you anyday (except today- I’ve got to go to work). 🙂

  6. Susan Helene Gottfried

    July 13, 2008 10:34 am

    While that last line was mostly tongue-in-cheek (I have two cats, for starters!), I wish I had the audience you seem to think I do, Robin. Or maybe I do and they’re just busy with summer activities. I’m not sure. All I know is that lately, I have been feeling a little abandoned.BR/BR/Whatever. This isn’t a plea for pity because things have been quiet. It’s supposed to be a celebration of my fictional friends!

  7. Marie

    July 13, 2008 10:46 am

    Thanks for visiting my blog- I’ll be sure to bookmark yours and drop by again! 🙂 (BTW I’m doing another Joann Sfar graphic novel this Monday.)

  8. Alice Audrey

    July 13, 2008 1:05 pm

    Nope, I didn’t buy the last line, though I’m sure you have an adorable cat.BR/BR/High school for me wasn’t a question of friendships. I became part of a clique in Jr. High that is still occasionally in touch.BR/BR/I love the way the friendships in your writing work.

  9. Thomma Lyn

    July 13, 2008 2:56 pm

    Indeed, kitties are great friends. 🙂 But you are surrounded by many friends, of which I’m honored to call myself one.BR/BR/The intricate relationships your characters have with one another is one of the many things that makes your fiction so terrific. BR/BR/I hear you about feeling abandoned. Blogs seem so quiet lately, mine included. Blog traffic tends to drop off this time of year, even, it seems, from regulars. I hope things pick back up again for everybody.BR/BR/But I’m still here, and my cats! LOL

  10. Linda - Nickers and Ink

    July 13, 2008 4:13 pm

    Love the continuing story . . . as it unfolds.BR/BR/Blessings,BR/LindaBR/A HREF=”” REL=”nofollow”INTEGRITY, at NICKERS AND INK/A

  11. Ann

    July 13, 2008 10:46 pm

    I’ve been around, just feeling stressed and stuffed up and brain dead. But I’ll stop by and say hi periodically. 🙂

  12. Lisa Andel

    July 14, 2008 8:08 am

    No Poetry Train?

  13. Susan Helene Gottfried

    July 14, 2008 8:29 am

    Nope. I’ll explain in a second.

  14. danni

    July 14, 2008 11:15 am

    susan – not abandoned by any stretch of the imaginatiion – yours is one of the blogs that is becoming one of my first picks – i love being a people watcher and trying to stay ahead of the head games — one day i aim to begin at the beginning so your characters all become “old friends” to me – i need to “know” each of them better – meantime i just enjoy!!!

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