Okay first I have to tell you that the opening scene in Buck Naked is based on something that actually happened to people I know. (No, I can’t say who! LOL!) I set things at a ranch because I lie in the Texas Hill country where there are more ranches than stores and I love my cowboys. Matt Stark is based on a person whose character I loved. Once I had Matt and the opening scene, I built his character and fleshed it out with pieces of people I’ve met and know. Reenie, my heroine, is the result of the what if game? What if she’s reconnected with her college roommate after several years and the roommates brother, who she’s always had a big crush on. How does she react at the opening events? How does he when he discovers what happened? Who will make the first move after that and why?
I use a lot of real life experience and build my characters from that. In Erected, the situation with her car being towed actually happened. To me! So I thought about how I’d feel, how I’d react, what I would do. And how I would treat my so-called rescuer.
Then I flesh out the characters. What do they like to eat? Drink? What kind of movies do they like? What do they enjoy reading? Is there any similarity between the two of them? Commonality? What kind of work do they do and why? What do they like in a relationship? What turns them on emotionally? Sexually? What rubs each of them the wrong way and what sets off that big spark?
They always have a secret they are guarding, whether it’s personal or professional, and I have to make sure I’ve set the stage emotionally for the big reveal. They want some assurance the other person won’t just bolt. Of course, sometimes they do, but then I have a logical way to get them back together.
I collect people, so to speak, and use bits and pieces of them to construct my characters.
For example. I lived in a very small Texas town. Our scrumptious bakery has tables inside and out for people to enjoy designer coffee and the best pastries you’ll ever taste. I was sitting at an outside table one day, paying no attentio0n to anything, as usual, swinging my foot, when I connected with someone’s shin. Talk about embarrassed. But when I looked up there was a rugged cowboy (I’m surrounded by them) in a sheepskin-lined ranch jacket, a Stetson, jeans and cowboys boots. He actually looked like a younger edition of the Marlboro Man. And when he spoke, his voice was like molasses flowing over gravel. I was a goner. He became the model for Cody Alvarez in he Came Upon a Midnight Clear. My hero in Once Upon a Wedding is actually based on a guy I dated in college.
So you see, I call on everything to infuse life into my characters and make them believable. I want my readers to fall in love with them, so much so that they hate it when the story ends and want more. Which of course is why I write so many series!
Click HERE to enter the giveaway!!