Creating Characters With Soul: 'Hattie' Author Ayana Mathis Shares Her Secret (VIDEO)

02/02/2013 10:08 am ET

Oprah says that while she was reading the latest Oprah's Book Club book, "The Twelve Tribes of Hattie," she found herself waking up in the middle of the night and wondering what the characters in the book were doing -- as if they were real people! So: What's first-time novelist Ayana Mathis' secret for creating characters with such soul?

"What I understand to be my job is to put a real, fleshed-out, dimensional human beings on a page," she says in this "Super Soul Sunday" clip. "And there is no other way to do that than to channel into that human being as deeply as you possibly can. I wouldn't know any other way to go about it. And my interest in creating characters is to spend as much time as humanly possible inside their minds... In that way, I can begin to understand them more and they can begin to seem full and real."

Watch Oprah's "Super Soul Sunday" interview with author Ayana Mathis at 11 a.m. ET on Sunday, Feb. 3 Super Soul Sunday on OWN.

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