Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Patti O'Shea: Writing Character Relationships

Please welcome to Over Coffee, Patti O'Shea. My introduction to Patti's writing was from the Crimson City Series Through a Crimson Veil. Patti is a Nationally best selling Paranormal Action Romance author.

I happened to mention my love of the Crimson City Series to a friend of mine which led me to Patti. Annette Fitzgerald (The Book Exchange) and I regularly kibitz over good paranormal authors and Patti is a favorite of hers. Lucky for me. :-)

Since I hadn't read the Light Warriors series, (yes, I'm behind. I'll catch up), I asked Patti to give me a bit of an intro about this book. I was curious about Kel and Farran. What made them tick and what the structure of the world she put them in and boy, she obliged.

  • Meet Kel and Farran:

One of my favorite things about writing is the relationship between the characters. Watching the hero and heroine give and take, learn and grow until they reach a point where they can have a future together is fun and it was especially interesting while I was working on IN THE DARKEST NIGHT. Kel and Farran both had emotional scars that made it difficult to reach out and even harder to trust anyone. Luckily for me (although not so much for them), the situation kept them in close proximity to each other for the length of the book.

Kel is a magical troubleshooter who's been pulled from active duty because he's suffering from PTSD and his council is concerned about him. Farran is hiding from the Gineal (Kel's people), fearful that they'll kill her if they find her, but when a demon tries to grab her, she has no choice except go to the enemy for help. She heads to the home of the Seattle troubleshooter, but she finds Kel instead. He has his own reasons for agreeing to assist her.

  • When they met, I wasn't quite sure how these two were going to fall in love. Kel was raw, suffering flashbacks and nightmares that left him afraid to sleep. Farran had learned the hard way not to trust anyone, especially men. But this is where the fun comes in. I keep writing and somehow the characters change in small ways until they're able and ready to reach out to each other.

    This story, though, had other relationships to explore. Kel's sister helped them out several times and this gave Farran glimpses of the man Kel was before he'd been captured and held prisoner. It also showed how worried his family about him shutting them out, and I think that told Farran she meant something to him because he was letting her in. At least a bit.

The biggest and most important secondary relationship, however, was between Kel and his twin brother, Logan.

The two of them did everything together growing up, and while Logan doesn't physically make an appearance in DARKEST NIGHT until the epilogue, his presence is felt throughout the book. Kel thinks about his brother, talks about his brother, and their closeness is obvious. And so is the fact that there's a distance growing between them because Kel keeps pushing Logan away, refusing his offers of help. Refusing to talk about what happened to him.

If you read the previous book, EDGE OF DAWN, there were scenes between Kel and Logan where Kel was deliberately antagonistic. He's trying to push Logan away, but he can't quite make himself do it completely. (The two books, BTW, stand-alone and it isn't necessary to read both.) IN THE DARKEST NIGHT shows how much this costs Kel personally. These two have been best friends since they were born and losing that will destroy something inside Kel—but that isn't stopping him.

I hope if you read DARKEST NIGHT that you'll enjoy the relationships as much as I did, especially the one that grows between Kel and Farran.


What kind of characters do you find interesting?



Fleeing from both her dark heritage and the magical council she attempted to steal from, Farran’s greatest fear is to be sent back to the father she has utterly betrayed. Yet when a demon attempts to capture her, Farran knows she cannot stay hidden. She must find help.

Kel Andrews is a magical troubleshooter with troubles of his own. Recovering from being kidnapped and tortured by darksiders, Kel has been removed from active duty by the magical council. When the mysterious Farran collapses on his doorstep, begging for help, Kel feels compelled to assist her in any way possible.

As danger—both demonic and human—closes in on them from every side, Kel and Farran must learn to trust each other as they battle the monsters that are determined to keep them apart.

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The Book Exchange is offering a contest to win a book from Patti O'Shea. Check them out.


Patti O'Shea's passions are writing, airplanes and traveling. Fortunately, she's been able to enjoy all three. After receiving a degree in advertising copy writing, she took a job with a major U.S. airline and now works in 757 Engineering. Besides teaching her about the planes she loves, it's given her an opportunity to travel to places like Australia, Papua New Guinea and Canada's Yukon Territory. Writing, though, remains her primary love. Patti created her first romance when she was in junior high school and has been hooked ever since. She should have figured out she was a writer years earlier, however, since her dolls had such involved lives, complete with goals, motivation and conflict.

Blog Patti has some interesting Dossiers on her characters.

Website Patti loves to hear from her readers. She also has excerpts from the other books in the Light Warriors series.


~Sia McKye~ said...

Patti, welcome to Over Coffee. I'm SO glad you could visit.

Kel and Farran are fascinating characters. Thank you for sharing them with us.

Netti said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE Kel & Logan. Both books were fantastic although I have been seen saying that I do believe In the Darkest Night is Miss Patti's finest work to date. Could. not. put. it down. *happy sigh*

Elle J Rossi said...


I like characters that are strong. I don't mean perfect. I don't mean superheroes. I mean characters that are thrown into despair and turmoil, yet dig down deep and find a way to persevere. I like characters that grow. Characters that take a stand.

I guess that's why I like romantic fiction, especially paranormal!

Mason Canyon said...

Always find such interesting authors and books here. Sounds like a good series to check into. Thanks.

LizeeS said...

I'm relatively new to Patti's books but I love them precisely because of her characters. I love Kel because, although he's strong, and willing to give of himself to protect and care for Fallon, he also learns to embrace the aspects of his personality that aren't always strong. I'm kind of a beta-hero girl. An alpha has to be carefully crafted in order to avoid seeming arrogant. Kel has the perfect mix of alpha and beta for me. He's a yummy hero!

Patti O'Shea said...


Thank you so much for having me! Kel and Farran are very close to my heart and I'm happy to have a chance to talk about them.


Patti O'Shea said...


Thank you! Knowing people enjoy my stories is the best thing ever!


Patti O'Shea said...

Hi Elle,

I agree with you. I don't believe in perfect people, not even if they're fictional. Everyone carries their life experiences with them and it colors their actions and reactions. I just love watching the h/h change slowly, reluctantly over the course of the book. They think it's torturous, I remind them that they get a happy ending out of it. :-)


Patti O'Shea said...


Thank you!


Patti O'Shea said...

Thanks, Liz! I love alpha heroes, but I don't like jerks. :-) There needs to be mutual respect between the h/h for a relationship to be successful. I have written heroes that needed an attitude adjustment, but they've gotten it and been better men for it. ;-) IMO--I'm not quite sure they agreed. LOL!


~Sia McKye~ said...


I only have the best people on my blog, lolol! I admit, I do find some wonderful authors through friends and featuring them here.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Netti, you're a sweetheart for pointing me in direction of some fabulous authors.

For those who don't know Netti, she's the award winning owner of The Book Exchange. She's very knowledgeable when it comes to what genres authors write and has a knack of pointing out or suggesting new ones to read.

Netti knows my taste and tends to lighten my purse strings whenever she makes suggestions and she hasn't steered me wrong yet, especially with Paras. :-)

Keep and eye on her internet contests. They're great.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Patti, I love stories that incorporate family relationships too. Coming from a big family, I'm familiar with how much our sibs effect us in life.

I find the story line with Kell's brother fascinating.

Barbara E. said...

I love strong characters that have issues to work through - which will end up helping them grow as a person. Relationships are an important part of a story for me, and I love the characters and relationships you come up with in your books Patti.

Patti O'Shea said...


Our families help make us who we are. They don't always play a role in my stories, but Kel is so close to his brother and the rest of his family, that they had to be there--if not always physically, at least in Kel's thoughts.


Patti O'Shea said...

Thanks, Barbara! My opinion is that no matter how strong someone is, they still have something that they need to work through. It doesn't make a character weak to give them issues, it makes them real. IMO.


Alyson Reuben said...

In The Darkest Night sounds awesome! Love the cover, too. It's very moody.

I couldn't agree more about the importance of the hero and heroine's relationship. It's especially satisfying when their relationship goes from not-so-great to fantastically happy. In my opinion, this is what makes romances (from paranormals to historicals) worth reading and writing.

Kat Sheridan said...

OK, first I need to have a squeeing fan girl moment here. Patti O'Shea??? Crimson City? The 2076 series?? OMG!! Do you have any idea how OFTEN I recommend those books? Holy cow!

And now this series. I haven't started it yet, but this sounds just about perfect for me! The characters I love best (and most often write about) are broken. Damaged. Dark. In serious need of the healing power of love. I love to see them learn to live with the scars and to rebuild their lives in new and wonderful ways. Oh yeah. YUM!

Patti O'Shea said...


Thank you! And this cover is one of my favorites--it fits the book and the characters are right.

And I agree with you. When I read, I want to see the hero and heroine work things out between them, watch them change and grow, and watch them find forever together. That's why I love romance so much.


Patti O'Shea said...


Thank you! I'm honored that you've recommended THROUGH A CRIMSON VEIL and THE POWER OF TWO. It means a lot to me that you enjoyed them so much!

As a reader, I love tortured characters myself. As a writer, I love to torture my characters. :-) Some, though, have more baggage than others. Kel says himself that he's carrying around half a cargo bin full. Farran is scarred, too, and I think that helped them understand each other.


Houston A.W. Knight said...

This was a wonderful post! As always I enjoyed it and have a couple more books to buy this weekend for my reading pleasure.


Patti O'Shea said...

Thank you, Hawk!