GUEST BLOGGER: It's All About The Characters - Terry ODell

As you read this, hubby and I are celebrating our 40th anniversary. I didn't want to put up yet another "here's my book, please buy it!" post. Of course, I'd love for you to buy my books, but I'll let you visit my website and read the first chapter of each so you can decide for yourself if they're of interest.

I've also got short stories with The Wild Rose Press, for those 'only have a few minutes to read' moments. They're contemporary romances, with lead characters ranging from the twenty-something to the more "mature."

Sassy calls this place "An Alternative Read." I don't know how "alternative" my books are, but they don't fit the mold of the big NY publishing houses. According to the classifications established by the industry, my books must be categorized as romantic suspense. However, they're not suspense, they're romantic mysteries. Since I'd never read a romance when I started writing my book, I was totally unaware of any "rules," and I just wrote the books I wanted to read, which tend to be very character driven. And, the best way I knew to test my characters' mettle was to throw them into a mystery. Little did I know that the characters were going to take over and demand I give them a relationship.

So, how do I find my characters? I advertise. Cerridwen Press has a free read (The Other Side of the Page) available where you can see the job interviews I conducted for Randy and Sarah for both Finding Sarah and Hidden Fire. And my website has the interviews I did with Frankie and Ryan for When Danger Calls.

I didn't do job interviews for Blake and Kelli of What's in a Name? but here's a quick peek at what they told me when I happened by the site for a project called "Camp Getaway." First Kelli:

Oh! You surprised me. I'm a little jumpy. My name is Kelli. For now. I used to be Casey, but after a misunderstanding down in Mexico, I had to change it. Changed a lot, actually. But, after all, what's in a name? Deep down, I'm still me.

Let me explain Camp Getaway. It's going to be great. Once it's open, Camp Getaway will be a place where inner city kids can spend a little time getting away from all the concrete, drugs, and drive-by shootings. Give them a chance to breathe some fresh air, see what else the world has to offer. It's really dear to my heart.

The man on the roof down the road? That's Blake Windsor. My boss sent him to repair the dorm cabin so we can open on time. Normally, I would have been out of here before he arrived, but there were some delays. He's got his shirt off again, doesn't he? The man's going to get one nasty sunburn. But he is one darn good piece of eye candy. I wasn't sure about him when he showed up out of the blue—but my boss vouched for him, and he's respected my privacy. I just wish I could put my finger on why he makes the hair on the back of my neck prickle sometimes. Ah, well. He's doing a good job, and should be out of here in less than a week, so I can get my own life back.

And here's Blake:

Thanks for the Band-Aid. Blisters. I can't believe I agreed to this stupid job. My name's Blake Windsor. I'm usually wearing Armani or Hugo Boss—not these jeans and work boots. It's been decades since I've picked up a hammer or strapped on a toolbelt. But when my boss said there would be a handsome bonus if I'd pretend to be a handyman for a few days, I figured, what the heck? After all, I was brought up by a builder and know the business. Which is why my boss sent me.

I'd rather be in Cancun, but he showed me a picture of the woman he wanted me to check on, and she was a looker, you know. So I show up at this Camp Getaway project and this … frump ... opens the door. She nearly hit the ceiling when I told her I was supposed to be fixing the cabin. Seems my boss is a bit nuts—no way this Kelli can be the Casey he wanted me to find.

But then, there was something about her. The way this project means so much to her, and after a day, I knew I had to stick around until it was done, no matter who she really is. And there's something mysterious about her, too. Kind of intriguing. I wonder if she'll loosen up a little. Hope so. A week in the clean mountain air should be a relaxing break. Nothing ever happens out here, she said, except for the occasional raccoon or deer, although I've heard a few motorcycles driving by the main road.

Thanks again for the first aid. I don't suppose you have some sunscreen? No matter—I'll just keep my shirt on.

Thanks, Sassy, for having me. And now, I have a little celebrating to do. You can contact me via my website. There's still time to enter my August contest and win an ARC of When Danger Calls. And I hope you'll visit my blog, Terry's Place for my ramblings on the writer's life—and life in general.



6 comments:

  1. thanks, that was fun.

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  2. Glad you enjoyed it. Who says characters aren't real!

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  3. Great article about characters, Terry. And good interview, Sassy.

    I love reading about other author's perspectives on plot, charaterers, etc.

    Thanks so much,
    Keta
    http://ketaskeep.blogspot.com

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  4. Keta, thanks for dropping by. Glad you liked the post.

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  5. Terry,

    40 years is some achievement! I've been going a while, but that deserves some recognition -- spectacular -- I hope you had a wonderful time, and wish you many more happy happy days together.

    oh, and I loved your post, thank you so much for coming in, and taking the time to do this in the middle of your celebrations.

    Sassy
    :)

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  6. Sassy, the pleasure was mine. And for anyone interested in the report, check my blog tomorrow (Wednesday).

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Thanks for taking the time to leave a sassy comment. It's truly appreciated. I aim to get back to you as soon as possible -- Sassy :)