So guys, author Linda Andrews is here with me today, sharing with us how she finds her characters and those little things that she looks out for when she comes up with a hero and heroine who would find that special something with each other. So a little bit about Linda before we move onto the guest post.
Linda Andrews lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her husband, three children and a menagerie of domesticated animals. While she started writing a decade ago, she always used her stories to escape the redundancy of her day job as a scientist and never thought to actually combine her love of fiction and science.
DOH! After that Homer Simpson moment, she allowed the two halves of her brain to talk to each other. The journeys she’s embarked on since then are dark, twisted and occasionally violent, but never predictable.
The Character Train
Like many authors, I find ideas for stories everywhere–watching a news program, reading a magazine, or just spying a picture on the web. The hardest part is finding the characters to bring those stories alive. That part is like waiting on the platform of the busiest train station in the world with a cardboard placard in my hand stating: looking for Mr and Mrs. Right.
I don’t want to know what that sticky stuff is that I’m standing in. Most characters don’t make eye contact as they hustle by to meet a different author. Others just bump right into me, spinning me around as they pass, because they’ve got a more important story waiting.
Now, I like to people watch but sometimes the right characters for my stories are on the slow train.
Other times, they’ve missed the train altogether.
Then there are the nagging times when I think the characters are right. I pick up their baggage–making sure it is suitably worn and tattered or very, very heavy for the trip to come and load them on the Storytime Express.
Then I meet their friends.
The car is getting crowded and we haven’t even pulled out of the station. On occasion, I just have to stop letting people inside. Sorry, car’s full. Move along. Move along. Nothing to see here.
But be careful.
Sometimes the chosen hero will slip off the train after spying the heroine. Sure he’ll wave as the train slowly eases out of the station, but now I’m left with the guy in the hoodie slouched against the wall, who’s staring at the gum pepperonis on the floor like they’re fabulous abstract art.
And having spied the new hero, the heroine is doing her best to lower the window so she can jump onto the subway’s third rail. After I pry her cold fingers from the pane, I point out that Mr. Slouch gave up his seat to allow her dear old granny to sit. Reluctantly she agrees to at least meet him before transposing her phone number when she enters it into his cell and says he can call her.
I smile as I write this because I know the universe just gave me the perfect couple for a romance. And best of all, I know somewhere in the story, the cowardly hero who ran away will return and make Mr. Slouch look all the better. How do I know this? Because both the heroine and Mr Slouch care about dear old granny. The heroine brought her along and Mr. Slouch gave up his seat for a stranger on a crowded train.
Despite their behavior, these random acts of kindness they bestow on each other will draw them together and make the reader root for them all the while the weight of their baggage keeps them apart. As the train speeds down its track, they’ll each decide discard a piece of baggage here and there. Some will be lost, some will be happily discarded, and other times the hero might carry something for the heroine.
Of course, the clothes usually go in the part of the journey where each thinks they can keep the remaining luggage and still be happy. Delusional about the hazards ahead, they’ll squeeze into a private space and do a little intimate exploration. When they emerge, there’ll be those awkward moments of facing family and friends and trying to surreptitiously find a new pair of panties.
Which means opening a new piece of luggage, exposing the things you never meant anyone to see. Ultimately Mr. Slouch and the heroine will have to unzip that toiletries bag and decide that the familiar, safe broken pieces protected inside can be replaced with something bright and shiny.
Only then can I and the reader expect them to permanently reside somewhere beyond Happily Ever After Station.
Linda Andrews is giving away an e-copy of her latest release Blue Maneuver.
Here is a bit on what the book is all about.
Rae Hemplewhite didn’t believe in aliens until a close encounter with out-of-this-world technology drags her into the extraterrestrial security program. Helping alien refugees adjust to life on Earth is difficult enough, but her first clients have a price on their heads. Plus, her new partner seems torn between the urge to kiss her or kill her.
And that’s the good news.
The bad news: Alliances are forming in deep space. If Rae doesn’t keep her witnesses alive long enough to transfer their top secret information to the right faction of humanity, Earth will become a battlefield.
All you have to do to win is to leave a comment telling us what it is about romance books that always makes you come back for more!
And don’t forget to help spread the word and leave a valid e-mail address behind as a way to contact you.
Giveaway begins: 00:00 hours, February 15th, Maldivian Time
Giveaway ends: 00:00 hours, February 17th, Maldivian Time
Maldivian Time Zone: GMT+5