Since my first story, my narrators have been about 80% male. I don’t know why this is or what it says about me. I find a male narrative voice more relaxed. It might be that I fear delving too deeply (at least consciously) into my own psyche so I use sex to draw an extra line between myself and my narrators.
I write about characters who cling to who they have been, as someone else defined them, and how they begin to define themselves. My characters have troubled relationships, if any, with their parents and I’ve found that their identities as brothers are more intrinsic to the stories than their roles as sons.
The narrators I write slip into aggressive behavior (taking what they want, starting fights, etc.) but they also make an effort to keep this aspect of themselves at bay. I find that this happens increasingly as the plot nears its climax, coinciding with their loss of control of this aspect of their natures.
I like an air of mystery in any story but I don’t like to withhold from the reader. I write character-driven stories and like to unfold the characters for the readers.
My settings are places I know, often based on real places. I’ve lived in the Deep South, central Florida, rural Pennsylvania and the plains of northern Colorado. I’ve lived in cities, small towns and in the middle of nowhere. I treat setting like a character and use it partly to establish tone and mood as well as a sense of place and realism.