Writers are a dotty lot. Even the ones who try to act cool. I bet not one single Prairie Rose author will disagree.
You see, we have these people living in our brains and they do the darnedest things. Whether we have the authorly bent or not, we’re forced to write their stories, else the men in white coats would whisk us away. Some days, that doesn’t sound like a bad idea.
Did you ever wonder how characters come out of our heads and make stories? Most of us have no idea—they’re just there.
I’m in the early process of creating three stories right now—a novel, the fifth in my Hearts of Owyhee series, a short story for Prairie Rose Press, and a novella for my Muleskinners series. Of the three, I’m acquainted with the characters in the Muleskinners best, so they’re the quietest. In a manner of speaking.
Okay, so that’s not true. The first story, Muleskinners: Judge Not, was published in Wolf Creek, Book 6: Hell on the Prairie. It’s in Elsie’s first-person point of view. The second story is her brother Zeb’s. He wants to tell it in his first-person point of view, but Elsie thinks it should stay in hers, since she’s the star of the show. Zeb says the only reason she’s the star is because she hogs the stage, and points out that he has the gift of gab, not her. She then says that if he tells the story, it’ll be a full-blown novel and not a novella.
I’m not sure who’s going to win that argument, but at least that story has some semblance of a plot. No title yet, though. Look for Zeb’s story, however it’s told, sometime in May—unless they stop arguing and I can get to it now.
The short story for Prairie Rose Publications’ Lassoing the Groom is nebulous at best. I have four or five female characters who all insist they should get the lead part. If they knew who I had in mind for the male lead, there’d be a dozen of ’em lined up, so I’m not saying. But he’s a bad boy. A very, very baaaad boy.
He’s been yammering in my ear, too. Frankly, I’m gonna have to lasso him myself because he isn’t a bit interested in starring in this story or any other. He has places to go and trains to... well, never mind, and he’s not keen on a high profile. But man-oh-man, you should see the shoulders on that fellow. Sigh.
I’m also in the process of defining the characters for my next novel, Much Ado About Mustangs. The hero is no stranger—Josh McKinnon is Kade’s (Much Ado About Miners) brother. So he’s been around, and he got shot in the arm the last book, so he’s still recovering at the beginning of this one. Josh is a great guy, which means I’ll have to throw a few obstacles in his way. One of them is Lady Pearl Montford. Yes, methinks a good time will be had by all, except maybe Josh and Pearl—but hey, it’s a romance.
My story in Hearts and Spurs, A Flare of the Heart, began when I saw a picture of an 1880s woman boarding a stagecoach. Hmmm, that bustle. Wouldn’t it get in the way? And wouldn’t those of us with oversized cabooses love it if bustles were the rage today? Because I wouldn’t need one at all. And what if the heroine got stuck?
I’m not kidding—the whole story came from that one thought, right along with the hero, Ross Flaherty. He’s sworn off women because they’re too delicate. Celia Yancey and her bustle come along, bringing a passel of trouble with her. Yes, we had fun. I hope you do, too.
What is it about a character that makes you remember her/him long after you’re finished with a book? Comment and win a Kindle copy of Sleight of Heart. No, I haven’t mentioned it, but it also has a bunch of characters that kept me hopping.