Margot Livesey: I grew up, as you've probably guessed, reading the great 19th-century novels, because they were what my father's bookshelves had to offer. And many of those characters made an indelible impression on me, and when I began to write my own fiction, I was always trying to find-- figure out, well how is that done in terms of craft? How do you create a character who walks off the page into the reader's imagination, and then stays there, takes up residence there in this mysterious way? And I think that for me, one of the rules in creating my characters, at the moment, it might change, is that every character has to have something that they share with me, although the reader may not always realize what that is, and also something that they absolutely do not share with me, some area of their life or experience in which I can let my imagination run wild. But I still think there's something ineffable about quite how one does this.
In this excerpt from the podcast, Livesey explains how she goes about creating characters for her novels. [1:05]