Writing allows me to create my own worlds and populate them with characters from my imagination. It can be quite a heady feeling at times—when it’s not frustrating the heck out of me. As odd as it sounds, once I’ve breathed life into a character, they often take on a personality all their own and go off in directions that I don’t even anticipate. It’s a very strange phenomenon, but I know every writer understands exactly what I mean. It’s kind of like having children. You breathe life into them, but you don’t always have as much control over them as you’d like.
Take the hero from my latest release, Once in a Blue Moon. Jake Benedict has it all. He’s tall hot Harley Davidson motorcycle. Jake has all the physical characteristics of a great romantic lead. Then there’s his hefty bank account. Jake is the co-owner of a multi-million dollar advertising agency, so money is clearly not an issue for him. But Jake wanted more. Not money or possessions, he wanted to be more…more mysterious, more unique and potentially dangerous in the right situation. So I created a major aspect of Jake’s character that was completely new to me. I made him a werewolf.
and strong, handsome as sin, has a to-die-for-smile, an excess of natural charm, and a really
But still he wasn’t satisfied. He wanted more for Casey, too, the woman he was destined to meet and fall in love with.
For her part, Casey wants nothing to do with Jake. He’s just one more version of the macho, adventure-driven, alpha male prototype that has been her Achilles heel for as long as she can remember. She’s taken a vow to stay as far away from men like Jake as she can. Unfortunately for Casey, the dynamic attraction she feels for him is stronger than any willpower she can muster. Why? Because Jake saw something in Casey that even I didn’t see until the last moment, starting with an unusual birthmark partially hidden behind one ear that identifies her as a rare and elite breed of werewolf. A stubborn case of recessive genes is responsible for Casey having never experienced her first transition into wolf form.
Who would have known?
My hero, Jake, did.
Then he left it to me, the lowly author, to explain where Casey’s werewolf heritage came from, and why no one in her family had ever bothered to tell her about it!
And that’s how a character of my own creation can sometimes push me around—and immensely enrich the story at the same time. Thanks, Jake!
What is your writing process? How do you make your characters come alive on the page?
Jake Benedict has been around the block enough times to recognize his mate when he meets her, a gorgeous werewolf with a case of latent genes who doesn't have a clue about her true identity. Jake is just the were to teach Casey about her ancient heritage and coax her feral side into revealing itself.
While Casey can't resist the intense physical attraction she feels for Jake, she's determined to freeze him out emotionally. Can Jake break through Casey's defenses and prove to her once and for all that he's one bad boy who's playing for keeps?
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I can't remember a time when I didn't love to read. Some of my favorite books growing up included Little Women, Black Beauty, Nancy Drew Mysteries, every single book in the Little House on the Prairie series, and as a teenager I devoured every Victoria Holt novel I could get my hands on. In
1972, a friend loaned me her copy of The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen Woodiwiss. It was a roaring adventure from start to finish, daring and exciting and oh-so-romantic. That book was the beginning of the romance genre as we know it today, and I was instantly hooked! I went on to read all of Kathleen Woodiwiss' novels over the years, adding a host of other romance authors to my "must read" list. Amanda Ashley (Madeline Baker), Linda Howard, Nora Roberts, and Julie Garwood are just a few of my favorites. In the late 90's, with both my young daughters in school, I joined Romance Writers of America and sat down to try my hand at crafting my own special tale of love and redemption. I have learned so much since then, made many wonderful friends, and even forged some lasting relationships with a few of the authors who inspired me to embark on the journey that has brought me here. I can't thank them enough.
When I'm not traveling with my husband of 39 years, or playing with our two adorable grandchildren, I'm at home near the ocean in Southern California, letting my imagination run wild. I love to write contemporary romance because of the endless reservoir of plot ideas. I write straight contemporary romance, romance with an other-worldly flair, and look for my next book, in which I will be delving into the paranormal world. Website / Facebook