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.

Read an excerpt.

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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.

Sunday, March 28, 2010


I’d like to welcome back to Over Coffee, Christie Kelley. Christie writes delectable Historicals which one tends to become immersed in and not want to see end. She also has a new book, Something Scandalous, due out in April.

Christie is also part of the fun, slightly wicked ladies of Romance Bandits. I love these women because they’re wonderful writers and bring laughter and fun where ever they are.

Raised as the youngest daughter of the Duke of Kendal, Elizabeth learns a devastating truth on his deathbed: he wasn’t her father at all. And because the Duke had no sons, his title and fortune must go to his only male heir: a distant cousin who left England for America long ago. Anticipating the man’s imminent occupation of her home, Elizabeth anxiously searches for her mother’s diary, and the secret of her paternity…

Arriving in London with his seven siblings, William Atherton intends to sell everything and return to his beloved Virginia farm, and his fiancée, as quickly as possible. But as Elizabeth shows William an England he never knew, and graciously introduces his siblings to London society, it becomes clear the two are meant for each other. Soon, Elizabeth finds herself determined to seduce the man who can save not only her family name, but her heart…

Excerpt: Chapter One

  • Christie’s topic today is the dreaded computer curse. An absolute anathema to a working writer.

I’m writing this blog in my twelve-year-old’s bedroom as I sip my afternoon tea. I’m not here because I think his room is really cool with the ladder up to his fort over the closet. And it’s not because I don’t have an office. I have an office. Actually, I love my office with its cantaloupe-colored walls, six windows and a door! I think an office is one of the most important items for a writer.

So why am I not in my beautiful office?

It’s because at the beginning of the month, I seem to have become a toxic curse to laptops.

The motherboard on my old Dell decided it was done. Luckily, I was able to get everything off it and onto my flash drives before it stopped working. I really shouldn’t complain, I bought the laptop almost four years ago. Then I put it through the worst thing imaginable for any PC: remodeling. In between the constant dust and having it turned for twelve hours a day, seven days a week, I think almost four years is a pretty good run.

I then turned to my husband’s really old Toshiba laptop. This thing is still running Word 2000. But it worked. At least for a few days. It was so darned slow that it drove me nuts. I knew I had to order a new laptop, so I finally placed my order and decided not to go with a quick delivery option from Dell. I really wanted a laptop that wasn’t black. Tell me, how can a romance writer resist a laptop color called Passion Purple?? I know I couldn’t.

So, I placed my order, and I swear the very next day, the old Toshiba started to make a very strange sound. I should say, a stranger sound because it had the noisiest fan I’d ever heard. At least it did until the fan started to go. Not wanting to completely kill my husband’s spare laptop and the one that has his iTunes music on it, I decided to move on to the next mostly unused PC in the house.

What’s the worst part of being on my son’s PC? It’s not the somewhat funky smell that I can’t identify in his room. It’s not the fact that I have to pop in a flash drive to write something and save it. It’s not the fact that being in my son’s room is not conducive to writing love scenes. (Well, that might be one reason)

But I can’t update my iPod!

Seriously, I need a few new songs. I’m stuck waiting for Dell to deliver my new Passion Purple laptop.

A computer is a writer’s necessity. I couldn’t imagine trying to write a 400 page novel on a typewriter. It would take me years just to write one book with all the typos I make. But it can also be a writer’s nightmare. Just the other night I met with my critique partners and one of the ladies had her laptop with her. Right in the middle of critique, her screen went dead. Did she have her stuff backed up? No.

I bought a flashdrive and was given one from speaking at my local writers’ group. They are the best thing I have ever had. Pop one in and save everything you’ve been working on. So for all the writers reading this, if you don’t have a flashdrive or some other method of backing up your work, they’re cheap and easy to use.

Remember! Back up your files because you never know when the computer curse will strike!

  • What would you miss the most if you couldn’t access your PC?


Christie Kelley was born and raised in upstate New York. After seventeen years working for financial institutions in software development, she started writing her first book. She currently writes regency historicals for Zebra. Christie now lives in Maryland with her husband and two sons.

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