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?
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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.