Characters as Homage to My Favorite Authors

I’m thrilled by the response so far to Cheer: A Novel.  Thank you all!  I thought I’d give a little background on some of the characters in the book.

Early in the story, one of the main characters, Ella, talks about how she loves her daily early morning walks with her best friend and neighbor Hope.  She says they walk more for the gossip than the exercise.  That’s a direct quote from one of my favorite women’s fiction authors, Jodi Picoult, who has said the same thing (at book readings I’ve attended and in interviews) when asked about her daily routines.

jodi picoult, my sister's keeper, novel, novelist, writer, cheer: a novel, leslie a. gordon

My favorite of Picoult’s books, by the way, is My Sister’s Keeper. She always inspires me with her topical, readable and realistic family dramas.

Another main character in Cheer is named Jenny.  I named her after one of my all-time favorite writers: the brilliant Jennifer Egan.

jennifer egan, novel, novelist, writer, cheer: a novel, leslie a. gordon, short stories

A Visit from the Goon Squad is my favorite of her novels — it’s truly innovative, as evidenced by her Pulitzer Prize . Yet Emerald City, a collection of short stories, is actually my favorite of her books.

The dad in Cheer is Ethan, named for Ethan Canin.

ethan canin, novel, novelist, writer, cheer: a novel, leslie a. gordon

Canin’s novellas in The Palace Thief moved me profoundly.  I’ve also enjoyed his novels, particularly America, America.  He has especially inspired me because before he was a novelist, he was a practicing physician — as I’ve mentioned, I, too, had another career before becoming a full-time writer.  Interestingly, both Egan and Canin grew up in my beloved city of San Francisco.

If you are enjoying Cheer, I’d be honored and grateful if you shared it with friends and/or wrote a review on Amazon, which is an essential way for any debut author to get noticed.

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8 comments
  1. Sheila Gordon said:

    You should tell Jenny this! Maybe she will read it!

    • Leslie A. Gordon said:

      I did!

  2. Leslie, can you send me an email at otterwise AT gmail DOT com? I have an answer for how to connect you directly with Fresh Fiction :but I don’t have your email on my new computer -}

    • Leslie A. Gordon said:

      Done! 🙂

  3. Very interesting post! I’ve done the same thing I must admit, albeit I did put a character in my story that was more or less someone I really, really hated!

    • Leslie A. Gordon said:

      I do that too – but I don’t want to blog about it! 🙂

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