Wednesday, November 14, 2012


It's my pleasure to have contemporary fiction author and fellow blogger, Helen Ginger, as my guest today. Helen leads a busy life as an author, teaching public speaking and workshops, works as an editor, and book consultant. She is also an incredible resource for writers and bloggers alike. 
Today she talks a bit about defining characters through actions.

How do you define characters without saying, this person is strong or this person is mean or this person is reliable? If you're the author of the book, you don't say these things. You show their personalities through their actions. If you're reading a book, you come to know what kind of people they are through those actions.  Like in life, actions speak louder than words.

Angel, the main character in my book, Angel Sometimes, shows who she is over the course of the book. If you read the back cover blurb then you know that when she was 12 she was taken 800 miles from home and left on the streets. She was just a child, alone. But the book is not about her at 12; it's about her at 22. She's grown. She's an advocate for the homeless. She has friends. And she still has the plan to go home and confront her parents.

The streets made her strong. When she was 16, she hitchhiked to Austin, and found a help wanted sign at a bar/restaurant. Every day she waited outside for the owner to show up. Every day she asked for a job. Every day he said no, she was too young. On her 18th birthday, he hired her. He had no idea how close she was to dying.

Because of the life she had growing up, she's what I would call an "old soul." She doesn't remember a time when she didn't work - and scrounging for food is work, an even harder job than she has swimming as a mermaid in the bar/restaurant. She's built a life for herself and for others that she's helped. But she hasn't forgotten the past. Nor has she forgotten her plan to go home.  All she needs is a car, her G.E.D, and a gun.

As a reader of Angel Sometimes, you live her life as an adult. You find out what happened to her as a child. When she goes home, you go along with her.

I define Angel as a strong person. Someone told me they saw her as an old soul. I've had readers ask when the next Angel book will be out. I hadn't planned on a sequel, but the more I think about it, the more I'm wondering if she has another tale to tell. After all, she is a survivor.


Just before her thirteenth birthday, Angel Sometimes' aunt took her 800 miles from her home in Oklahoma, gave her $50 and left Angel on South Padre Island, Texas. 

Four years later, Angel hitchhiked to Austin and got a job swimming as a mermaid in a bar in the music district. At twenty-two, she has friends and a place to live. When a homeless girl is beaten and a waitress killed, Angel realizes she will never be whole until she confronts her parents. 

She needs three things: her high school diploma, a car and a gun. She has a car. She's finished her final test for her GED. The only thing she needs is the gun and she knows where to get one. 

Preview (on Amazon)

Helen Ginger is the author of Angel Sometimes, three non-fiction books with TSTC Publishing, and a contributor to the short story anthology, The Corner CafĂ©. She's also the Coordinator of Story Circle Network's Editorial Services.  Her free ezine, Doing It Write, which goes out to subscribers around the globe, is now in its thirteenth year of publication.  She’s also an Owner/Partner and Webmistress for Legends In Our Own Minds®. 'Course, what she gets asked about most often are her three years as a mermaid at Aquarena Springs. Swimming with a shimmery tail, picnicking underwater, performing synchronized ballet, blowing air bubbles ... all year round, even in the winter.  

You can follow Helen on Twitter  or connect with her on Facebook, LinkedIn, and her blog, Straight FromHel .