Tuesday, March 18, 2014

MEETING EXPECTATIONS


Have you ever had a character you wanted the author to write about? Suzanne is giving away a copy of Vanished to a commenter.




My guest, Suzanne Ferrell, discovered romance novels in her aunt's hidden stash one summer as a teenager. From that moment on she knew two things: she loved romance stories and someday she'd be writing her own. Her love for romances has only grown over the years. It took her a number of years and a secondary career as a nurse to finally start writing her own stories. 
Her topic today is meeting expectations.


For years I had the extreme luxury of writing books simply for my own pleasure. Other than my critique partners or the few beta readers I trusted to give me feedback, the only person to really read all my work…was me. I worked hard at my craft in the hopes that the books would find an enthusiastic agent or editor, who would then get them birthed onto the publishing road. During that time, I didn't realize what a joy it was to simply write characters how I saw them in my head.

Even when I independently published the first three books in the Edgars Family romantic suspense series, I had no real expectations from others in their formation. The books were pretty much written and ready to go when I made the decision to send them out into the e-book world.

Then a funny thing happened.

Readers not only bought and read them, they fell in love with my characters.

I know this because I've received emails and FB messages about them. Many wanted to know when Luke, the youngest of the three brothers in the series, would get his own story.
Now the pressure was on.

You see, Luke was the smart-ass, computer geek, flirtatious younger brother. Dave was the eldest and took that spot very seriously. Matt as the second oldest had always been the rule follower. Sami as the only sister and baby of the family had her own expectations to live up to. But Luke? He was able to bend rules with just a beautiful smile and great charm. Which worked well when he was a secondary character, but when it came to his own story, how could I make him step-up-to-the-plate?

I was very concerned, because I wanted his book and him to meet the expectations my readers had for him. How do you take the charmer, the kid who talked his way out of trouble and turn him into hero material?

Then it hit me. You give him the one woman he’d die to protect.

Enter Abigail Prudence Whitson. Years earlier he’d tried to protect her by getting her assigned to desk duty at the Treasury Department instead of active field agent work. Once that happened, he moved on about his own life. Things were going well, he was half playboy, half secret agent. Then he finds Abby standing in a bloody crime scene and her best friend, the victim, missing.

That was the moment that Luke grew up. Right there. On paper and in front of my eyes.

See, Luke, despite his charm and smart-ass remarks, had the same core as his brothers. Deep seated honor, protective instincts and a one-woman-only heart. Put his woman in jeopardy and he will do anything to keep her safe, even if she doesn't like it.

Luke met my expectations, and I’m hoping he’s met the readers’ expectations, too!

So, readers, what do you think? Have you ever had a character you wanted the author to write about? Did they meet your expectations? Did they leave you wanting more or something different?
                                                                                                                                                               

AMAZON, B&N, INDIEBOUND
They had a history… 
Five years earlier Luke Edgars and Abigail Whitson met at FLETC, the training center for government agents. It was instant dislike. She thought him an arrogant, showoff flirt, he thought it would be safer for everyone if she stayed behind her analyst’s desk. 

She’s in trouble…
 
Now Luke’s world turns sideways when he finds Abby standing in the middle of a bloody crime scene and the victim has vanished. 

He needs to protect her…
 
Luke realizes that not only does Abby need his help to find her friend, but the friend has put Abby in the cross-hairs of a dangerous group who will stop at nothing to hide their secrets.

                                                                                                                                                                

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ROMANCE BANDITS
Suzanne Ferrell is a double finalist in the Romance Writer's of America's 2006 Golden Heart with her manuscripts, KIDNAPPED (Long Contemporary Category) and HUNTED (Romantic Suspense), both available at Amazon.com and B&N.com. Suzanne has also won The Beacon Unpublished and the CTRWA's contests in the erotica categories with her book, The Surrender Of Lacy Morgan (available from Ellora’s Cave).

Suzanne's sexy stories, whether they be her on the edge of your seat romantic suspense, the heartwarming small town stories, or her steamy Western Eroticas, will keep you thinking about her characters long after their Happy Ever After is achieved. 

26 comments:

~Sia McKye~ said...
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~Sia McKye~ said...

Suz--Welcome back to Over Coffee! I really want to read this one. I want to read a few of the previous Edgars stories I missed.

I won't be around too much today. Tore up my shoulder when a fell on ice a couple of weeks ago and I'm going to be at the orthopedic specialist. But I will check in.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Sia, so sorry. Hope you feel better soon.

And Suz, awesome that you're getting comments from your readers that let you know they love your characters.

Kat Sheridan said...

Hi, Suzanne! Luke sounds terrific! I don't usually read series, but every now and then I spot a secondary character in something and think what a great lead he/she would be. But I'd never try to tell the author. I know their characters are as real to them as the person sitting next to them in the coffee shop and the characters will be who they want to be! These books sound great!

L.G. Smith said...

It's true some people create such wonderful secondary characters that you wish you knew their entire story. A great compliment to the author when that happens. :)

Talli Roland said...

Sia, I hope your shoulder feels better soon!

Suzanne, how wonderful to have such positive comments from your readers.

Suzanne Welsh said...
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Suzanne Welsh said...
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Suzanne Ferrell said...

Hey Sia!

Thanks so much for having me over for coffee today, but I'll be drinking some hot tea today. (Not much of a coffee drinker.)

So sorry to hear about your injured shoulder!! Please take care of it and yourself!

Suzanne Ferrell said...

Hey, Natalie!

It's always a thrill for me to get an email or FB message that a certain character connected with the readers. What's funny is when they finish the book and ask is "so-and-so getting his book next?" They help me see that maybe more than one secondary character needs a book, too!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Sia! So sorry to hear about the shoulder. It's been a wicked winter for that sort of thing. Ugh. Good news...Spring officially starts tomorrow! Yay!!

Hey Suzanne! LOVE your Edgars family stories! Have been dying for Luke's story so YAY that it's out.

And, by the way, 20 days till Opening Day of baseball! Woot! Grins.

Jo said...

Sorry to hear about your shoulder Sia.

As for characters, yes, I have a friend who is an Australian author and at the conclusion of her last trilogy I, and apparently several others, wanted her to write more about one of the characters. She hasn't done so yet though.

Like the sound of the Edgars family.

Anna Campbell said...

Hi Suz! Hi Sia! Sia, so sorry to hear about your shoulder. Hope you feel better soon. Suz, huge congratulations on the wonderful success you've had with the Edgars books. I think you've done a brilliantly professional job of presenting and marketing the books. Bravo, you!

Suzanne Ferrell said...

Hey Kat!

We authors do know our characters like out children or our best friends, don't we? I've had one climb in the car with me and tell me her whole life story as I was driving to work one evening. My co-workers thought I was a little odd for telling them that! :)

Suzanne Ferrell said...

Hey LG!

Luke wasn't the only character that came to life for the readers in this series. Castello is a U.S. Marshal the Edgars clan has sort of adopted in and the readers are wanting his story too. So more expectations!

Suzanne Ferrell said...

Hey Talli!

I love hearing from readers and especially when they are so excited about the book they just read or the characters they've fallen in love with.

Suzanne Ferrell said...

Hey Jeanne!

LOL, MY Opening Day for baseball starts in 16 days!!

I knew you were a fan of the Edgars family and Luke. You'll have to let me know if he lived up to YOUR expectations!

Suzanne Ferrell said...

Hey Jo!

Oh I hope your Aussie friend will write you the character's book even if he's not in this trilogy. If he stood out that much to y'all, then he'd probably be excellent hero material.

Suzanne Ferrell said...

Hey Anna!

Thank you. We've tried to make it easy on readers to know the one look for the entire Edgars Family Novels and another complete look for my other series. Of course, it helps to have an "in" with the cover designer! :)

Nancy Northcott said...

Hi, Suz and Sia--

Great post! I love the Edgars family.

I waited for years for Patricia Rice to write Michael's book, the sequel to The Marquess. She finally did. It's The English Heiress, and I loved it.

Now I'm waiting for Donna MacMeans to write Phineas's story, the sequel to Redeeming the Rogue.

~Sia McKye~ said...

I do read quite a few stand alone books but I do like series because you get to know a group of people while still getting a fresh story. One of my favorite para romance authors is just now getting around to doing the story about a character I loved when she was first introduced. She's only 19 (wgere as her mate is centuries old. That would be a tough one and I was curious how the story would go. I've heard mixed reviews but I think it will be a good one. I think there has only been one author who made me want to throw the book across the room with a, "Are fricking kidding me?"


~Sia McKye~ said...

Jeanne--I like baseball. I was hoping to take in a few games this year but with impending surgery next week and several months of physical therapy, it might not be happening.

Nancy--That WAS a great one, wasn't it? I also want to see Phineas' story. No pressure Donna MacMeans, lol!

Anna! Good to see you. And yes, I agree that Suz has done a great job at not only writing entertaining stories, but marketing them well.

Luane--I agree. It's definitely a compliment to an author when reader clamor for a story around an excellent secondary character.

Talli--Looking forward to your new story! Should should be good in about, oh, 6 months or so. Unless I need two surgeries. Que horrors.

Kat Sheridan said...

Sia, laughing about Donna MacMeans and Phineas! I almost said the exact same thing! I pester her almost all the time for his story!

shelly said...

Sounds like a great resolve.

Sheila Deeth said...

I love how you describe his growing up. Wonderful!

Slamdunk said...

Interesting topic Suzanne--and I am sure that is fun and humbling to have readers cheering your characters.

I enjoyed Tony Hillerman's mystery books. His two main police characters were so well crafted yet diverse, I always looked forward to their next adventures.

So, in answer to your question: "yes," that author exceeded my expectations.