Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Anthony Robbins Needs to Friend Me on Facebook

Since I began writing, I’ve become an expert on just about everything motivational. My bookshelves are overflowing with all the wisdom I’ve purchased.  Let’s not forget my town library. I’d like to extend a formal “thank you” for the wisdom I’ve borrowed from it too, and the librarians who don’t cut and run when I enter.

It’s quite likely the staff at all the bookstores within a hundred-kilometre radius of my home believe I have self-esteem issues – or at the very least, a serious lack of self-awareness. Nothing could be further from the truth. I do, however, have a complete and utter lack of self-control.
I can’t seem to resist self-help books.  There should be a twelve-step program for that.

I swear it’s my characters, not me, with the issues I’m truly trying to address. These books are but the tip of the iceberg in my unrelenting quest to get them some therapy. You can’t just roll up to the therapist’s window and ask for a Happy Meal to serve to your angst-ridden demon hero. Trying to ask the questions in code doesn’t work, either. “I have this friend with a problem…” leads to a lot of awkward misunderstandings. Things like this need to be finessed. So I buy the books. (You may be wondering about the yoga how-tos in the photo and where they fit in. I left out my books on sword-fighting and the history of warfare, but I use the yoga to balance out any conflicting aggression issues.)

When I start a story I have to ask myself, why is this demon so ridden with angst? (As if being a demon isn’t reason enough…) I don’t want to cure him, at least not completely. He’s a demon. A demon should be alpha. At least, up to a point.

My current hero doesn’t really have a problem with being a demon. His issue is more that he doesn’t like for anyone to see that side of him.  And why doesn’t he want for anyone to see it?

Under normal circumstances he’s a fun-loving guy with a great sense of humour. When he’s seriously miffed, however, he turns into the Hulk. (You won’t like him when he’s angry.) Only he’s red, not green. That probably makes him more of a cross between the Hulk and Hell Boy.
So sometimes, Mr. Robbins, it’s best not to “awaken that giant within…”

But if he’s a demon, why does he care?

The heroine, of course. She’s afraid of demons. (Now *there* is a woman with issues...) The hero will need to win her trust in order to resolve a few plot points, and really. Who in their right mind is going to trust a demon? The heroine may have her own issues to work through, but she’s not stupid.

This means if he wants her, my hero has some serious changing to do. (This is fiction, remember. I can make the guy want to change.) He’ll have to develop hobbies that don’t involve killing people. He may have to scale back on the bar fights. And I’m guessing the shape-shifting tendencies and anger management issues will need to be addressed.

I am totally prepared for this challenge.

So, Anthony Robbins, you need to Friend Me on Facebook. Find out how I motivate demons.

I bet if I try, I can even make them do yoga.

Paula Altenburg has been a member of Romance Writers of Atlantic Canada since 2000, and served as president, vice-president, and newsletter editor. Paula lives in rural Nova Scotia, Canada, with her husband and two sons. Once a manager in the aerospace industry, she now enjoys the freedom of working from home and writing fulltime. Paula currently writes paranormal romance and category romance for Entangled Publishing.Visit her at, follow her on Twitter, or find her on Facebook and Goodreads.

 Coming November 26th from Entangled Select


  1. LOL Paula, I'm the same way with self-help audio books. I like to HEAR Tony Robbins or Dr Phil scream at me; "How's that working for you?"

  2. A little curious about "Arthritis for Dummies". If one of your demons has his joints slowly eroding I'd guess that would make him a mite tetchy.

  3. Love the idea of getting so deep into the minds (and joints!) of your heroes.