Friday, August 6, 2010

Birthing Your Characters with Caroline Fyffe

As writers, we all go about birthing our characters in different ways. Sometimes they’re just there, like magic. You know them. You hate them. Doesn’t matter. They jump off the page and scream, “Here I am!” You recognize the sound of their voice and marvel at how beautiful they are, or how revolting. I guess they’ve been alive for some time somewhere in our thoughts, just waiting for the right time to appear.

But other times, we sit and stare at the computer for long, uncomfortable minutes, and nothing happens. As if carved from granite, our brains feel utterly useless. We can’t think of a thing. Minutes pass without relief—then we decide it’s time for a break, at which point we slink away to some mind-relieving diversion.

What makes the process easier is just plunging ahead and getting to know your characters—almost even before they fully exist. For example, interview your characters. Dig deep and be creative with your questions—what are their hopes and fears, their likes and dislikes?--and you’ll find out some astonishing things. Personally, I like to create a family tree. In so doing, I discover a host of interesting things not only about my hero and heroine, but about their parents, grandparents, and other relatives, as well. I give each one a hometown, as well as dates for when they were born, married, died, and so on. Then I add occupations, quirky little traits and, of course, their physical descriptions. In a couple of hours, I can have some really good information with which to anchor my story. That means I never have to dig for that all-important minutiae that brings a story to life, because it’s always right there in front of me. Not all of my information makes it into the plot, mind you, but whenever I’m stuck, often all it takes to get me going again are some handy facts to start the gears turning.

Choosing the perfect name for your hero and heroine is also a challenge. Of course, you don’t want names that sound too similar to those of the other characters in the story because your reader can get mixed up. I usually try to have each name begin with a different letter, again to avoid confusion. And, making names so outrageously different or difficult to pronounce slows your story down. I’ve come across books that got me riled because the heroine’s name was so bloody hard to pronounce that I’d totally avoid it. I don’t want my readers avoiding the most important person in the story. But, on the other hand, the right amount of creativity with names is can be a good thing. Almost so obvious I shouldn’t even mention it is this: Be sure the name is time-appropriate for the era of your book, as well as appropriate for the ethnicity of the character.

Then, too, sometimes names or characters just find you! A few years ago I was at a horse show where I was shooting photographs of reining horses. Each horse-and-rider pair came into the arena individually to compete before six judges. The pattern took approximately three-and-a-half minutes to complete, and the names of the horse and rider were announced as they entered and again as they exited the arena. As it happened, I was working on a western historical set in Montana at the time, and needed a good western-y name that would encompass all that I wanted my hero and his big ranching family to be.

I started testing each of the entries’ names on for size. Boyl, Kyle, Carrier, and Wells rode in, all good names, mind you, but not quite right for my hero and his brothers. Callahan, Arnold, and Hendricks, too. The night passed. I shot pictures. Did I mention reinings go on for many hours? Sometimes there are sixty to seventy head to compete. I got discouraged. Nothing seemed to fit…then a beautiful thing happened. A particular entry caught my eye. The horse, a true athlete, was muscular and fluid, and the rider was tall and lean. The name announced was McCutcheon. The moment the announcer said it, I knew it was a done deal. Thus was my hero, Luke McCutcheon, born. Or, should I say, christened.

Here’s a little about Luke’s story: MONTANA DAWN takes place in the little town of Y Knot, Montana in the late 1800s. The McCutcheons, a cattle ranching family, have carved a dynasty from the wilderness by the sweat of their brow and honorable values. Luke McCutcheon, the third brother and the hero of this story, is the only one who was sired by an American Indian, when his mother was taken captive. He’s the trail boss for the once-a-year cattle drive the McCutcheons make. When he comes upon Faith Brown giving birth in her wagon, he’s shocked to learn her little son is Faith’s only help. He agrees to stay and deliver her child. And that’s when all the fun begins….

I love stories about big families. I wanted to give Luke as much unconditional love as he needed to battle his own ghosts about his heritage. John McCutcheon, the youngest brother, is introduced in MONTANA DAWN, but you don’t actually meet him until my next book, ONCE UPON A TEXAS TWILIGHT, planned for next year.

Today, in celebration of the release of MONTANA DAWN, I’m offering a copy to a commenter.

Also, if you go to my website and sign up for my newsletter ( you’ll be entered for a basket filled with candies, chocolates, muffin mix, a handsome coffee mug (filled with more chocolate!) and a jar of scrumptious jam, all made from the Big Sky State’s coveted huckleberry. Also included are autographed copies of both MONTANA DAWN and WHERE THE WIND BLOWS. It’s as easy as pie, and the winner will be drawn on December 10th, 2010--just in time for Christmas.

Thanks for having me join you here today in Seekerville. It’s always a party filled with friends, smiles and good wishes. Thank you!


As an equine photographer, Caroline Fyffe has worked throughout the United States and in Germany. Long days in the middle of a horse show arena have given her plenty of opportunity to dream up stories filled with love, heartbreak, joy, sorrow, triumph, and twisting-turning plots. Her feisty heroines and bold, hot-blooded heroes will charm you as they fall for each other in the darnedest ways. Her love for horses and the old West inspired her debut book, Where The Wind Blows, which won Romance Writer's of America's prestigious Golden Heart Award under the title Chasing Jessie, and was released in 2009. Her second manuscript was a Golden Heart Finalist in 2007. She is the mother of two wonderful boys and has been married for 27 years.


  1. Welcome back to Seekerville Caroline. For those of you who are not aware, Caroline is not only a great writer with an awesome Montana series and a Golden Heart finalist and winner...BUT...she is single handedly responsible for improving the physiques of Seekerville.

    She brought us the treadmill laptops and many of the Seekers and our friends now have their own version. I know I do!

    Thanks for joining us in Seekerville is on! Bagels are on the way!

  2. Since Tina has already provided the coffee, I'll add a nice pot of tea.

    Welcome, Carolyn. I think we all probably recognize something of ourselves somewhere in your account of how our characters are birthed.


  3. Hi Caroline:

    As a photographer, would you say you’re a visual writer? That is, do you see the plot unfolding as a series of scenes?

    Also, do you create word pictures of landscapes in your books -- as if you were framing a picture through a lens? I really miss these descriptive passages in current books. It seems many editors demand ever increasing tension and conflict. Landscapes just slow up the action! Yet, I’d like to ‘see’ Montana.

    BTW: I brought some Jacobs Kronung coffee. A whole case arrived yesterday.


    vmres (at) swbell (dot) net

  4. Caroline, good morning and welcome back to Seekerville!

    Your website is gorgeous. Great layout, unconfusing. Good job, chica!

    I related to the birthing of characters too. Once my characters are formed in my head, the story follows because it can't hardly help itself.

    Thanks for a to-the-point description of getting that down. And the name McCutcheon???

    Warms this Celtic heart, darlin'!

    Teeeeester, I'm loving the bagels, they've just arrived and they're still warm....

    I'm grabbing an Asiago cheese one with garden veggie cream cheese and we ARE NOT TALKING ABOUT CALORIES OR BELLY FAT.

    Do you have any idea how many seeds I eat? Can someone turn into a BIRD via too much seed and nut ingestion?

    Just askin'.


  5. Caroline,

    Thanks for sharing your method of "birthing a character." The hardest part for me is finding the perfect name. I'm very particular about my hero and heroine's names because they have to fit their personalities.

    I love your idea about creating a family tree for your hero and heroine. What a great and indepth way to get to know your characters. I think I'll be stealing that from you.

    Montana Dawn sounds like a great read! You had me interested with your hero's name.


  6. Naming characters is always double trouble for me. I have to choose a name and then I have to choose Japanese characters to represent that name. I go through a lot birthing pains on character names.

    I have more coffee brewing, if anyone's interested.


  7. Good Morning!

    First off, Caroline is a favorite name of mine...if I'd had a daughter that was my first choice of names. It has 3 vowel sounds and it's musical -- think I obsess much? LOL!
    I like your family tree idea too-- I just tried doing that with my real family on the ancestry site, & didn't get too far; I can go way further with my imaginary family! I think I'll give it a try. I like to find meanings when I'm trying names on my characters, just to see how they relate. And the cultural/time point you made is something I need to remember-- thanks for the tip.
    I followed Tina's ref to the treadmill laptop! Am sending that to my honey for a Christmas idea. He just built me a beautiful desk, so I know he can handle this! Great idea & I like the map thing-- you can even relate that to your wip's location.

    Okay ya'll... Watched my high school senior drive off to school all by myself this a.m.*sniff* Senior.
    I keep trying that word out on my baby, but my mind still won't wrap around it.
    I'm offering up some comfort food: gooey cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing, tiny sour cream biscuits with sweet/salty country ham, with green tomato & jalapeno chutney jam, & I hope Vince's coffee is good & strong, because I'm adding real cream, not the synthetic stuff or the 2%.
    When did that happen?

  8. Just realized...
    Good thing that's cyber food!
    I need the treadmill desk just thinking about all those calories!

  9. The only treadmill I like is a cyber treadmill!

    Welcome, Caroline! I love the idea of constructing a family tree since I'm easily confused by my characters' backgrounds and can make mistakes. I shouldn't have to rely on an editor to spot inconsistancies. That sounds like fun to me. I can imagine why I didn't think of it.

  10. Welcome to Seekerville Caroline. Thanks for joining us.

    Wow, an equine photographer. You sound like a great heroine yourself. smile. I'm always looking for interesting and unusual jobs for my characters. That will help them stand out.

    I'm with Ruthy. Your website is great and Ruthy I'm winning the basket of chocolate, not you although I know you love love love that chocolate.

    Love all the coffee, Tina and Vince. The bagels are yummy but have to say Debra's sour cream biscuits with country ham sound intriguing.

    Cara, I'm with you on the cyber treadmill. Great idea to have your computer attached though. We saw Tina's and its marvelous.

  11. Welcome, Caroline! Character building is one of the more fun parts of writing - sometimes. I had most of my manuscript written when I had to go back and fill in the blanks and fix the inconsistencies! Never again! I wish I'd read your post long ago!

    Your books sound great! Love a good western!

  12. Oh, Montana Dawn sounds like a wonderful story. Please enter me into the drawing.

    Caroline, your topic is just what I needed.

    The first story I ever wrote was developed strictly because of my characters. I had read several virgin-and-the-rake books and was fed up. All the heorines were perfect. All the heroes slept w/any and all breathing females...until he meets the innocent, herione. One look at her perfection, and he's a goner.

    Come on. Didn't any of these girls have any flaws? And I kept thinking, "I wouldn't want a man like that."

    So I decided to write about a girl who had a few too many donuts. :)Then I realized, heros were either rakes, or had been married and their wives had died. But I wanted my hero to be young so I gave him a background that made him dispise women. From here, the plot just came alive and I just wrote scene after scene w/out having to plan. It literally wrote itself.

    But since then, when I have an idea for a story, I center it around the plot. I can't help it. I think, "Ooo, what if a guy..."
    Now every scene is like pulling teeth because I don't know my charcters like I should.

    Thanks for reminding me how to get to know my characters.

    bcountryqueen6 at msn dot com

  13. Good morning, Tina and EVERYONE! Okay, okay, I have coffee in hand as the sun is saying hello. It’s a beautiful day here in northern California. I’m here for a month and am rejoicing in every moment. There is no place like home~~~<3

    Thank you for having me back! The members and followers of Seekerville are just so energetic and fun. Maybe it’s all the coffee, I don’t know…..I say as I take a sip of mine! LOL I love you guys.

    And, I'm thrilled so many of you are now walk/writers!!! COOL!!

  14. Hi, Helen!

    I’ll try your tea next. Is it a special flavor? I love raspberry. I’m adding a plate full of warm cranberry scones if anyone is interested. Get ‘em while they’re hot!
    Thanks for the welcome!

  15. Hey, Caroline, welcome back to Seekerville!!

    I love the idea of "interviewing" your characters and creating a "family tree" as well, so thank you for suggesting that, especially since I am just now in the beginning stages of a new ms.

    I am a seat-of-the-pants writer who was rudely forced into being a plotting writer due to the fact that I have two series that are about the same family. Needless to say, details became reallllly important by the third book if ages, background and personalities are going to be accurate throughout a 17-year time span, so your take on this really makes sense!

    And I have to laugh at your search for just the proper name!! Wish I had done that, but unfortunately, the names of my characters were established when I was 12 years old, which is when I penned half the ms. for my debut book, A Passion Most Pure, after reading Gone With the Wind. I named the parents Marcy and Patrick back then (I had a friend in grade school named "Marcy,"), and although I love the name "Patrick," I'm afraid "Marcy" sounds too modern to me today, even though I tried to date it a little bit by including her full name of "Marceline." Unfortunately, my publisher never said anything about it, so it stands today. But every time I hear it, I wish I'd named her something else ...

    Anyway, THANK GOD I didn't go with two of the names I had in the original ms. written at 12!! My hero in book 1, Collin McGuire, originally was called "Bart" after "Bart Maverick" in the realllly old Western sitcom, Maverick. (COLD CHILLS!!) and the vixen sister, Charity O'Connor's original name was "Del," which was short for "Delatha." Don't even ask me where my 12-year-old mind came up with that because I really don't know!!

    Thanks for the great post, Caroline -- it prompted me to reminisce, which was fun.

    Your books sound great, by the way, especially the series about the McCutcheons -- a rugged Irish name that draws this Irish-loving reader in for sure!!


  16. I do, Vince. Usually, I open up to my current page and as I reflect on what is happening, the scene pops into my head like a movie. I just always thought that is how everyone wrote but maybe that’s not so, and is due to my photography background.

    I have to agree with you on picture landscapes. Someone who does that incredibly well is Jean M. Auel in her Clan of the Cave Bear series. Some may think she is a little heavy handed with her descriptions, but not me. I love it. I tried to paint Montana for all to see, especially when it came to the large mass of cattle moving over the land. To me that’s very appealing. I hope I pulled it off….

  17. Gooood morning, Ruthy!!

    Thank you for your kind words regarding my website. I have a wonderful web-mistress in Rae. And she’s speedy fast, too! I love her! :)

    I know what you mean about the story just comes after you have some characters. It’s amazing! And, thank goodness for it, too..LOL

    Thanks for stopping in with the cheese. Does anyone ever mix cream cheeses with rasberry jelly on their bagels? If not, give it a go!

    Oh, by the way, Ruthy, what are your fav seeds?


  18. Hi Caroline,
    I created my own treadmill laptop because of your post :-)
    Now I'm learning about creating characters.
    I loved the way you explained getting Luke's name, and the story sounds wonderful.
    Isn't it weird how you know when the name's not quite right. I can't just 'pick' a name and say - this is who you are.
    It HAS to fit.

    DiAnn Mills did a lecture once about how characters and she talked about how character names are another part of characterization. I guess that's why some names don't 'fit' and some do.

    Thanks so much for the great post, and I'd love to be part of the drawing.

  19. Hi, Kristen,
    You’re welcome. I’m glad it seems it will be of some help. It’s funny because sometimes I put off taking the time to do it. My writing will slow down and I’ll get discouraged and then the self-doubt kicks in.

    But….I’ll remember about the family tree. As soon as I spend some time on it my muse returns and I’m off again and running.
    Let me know after you try it if it’s helpful to you!


  20. Wow, Walt, Japanese characters! I would not even know where to begin. Cowboys are a bit easier, I’d think.

    I’ll have a double iced cinnamon roll on that one…. LOL

  21. Caroline,

    I'm married to a Japanese woman, so I get help on some of this.

  22. Pamela, hello. Thanks!!! I’ve never thought of my name as musical—and now I do. Caaaroooliiine. I’ve been having some fun with that. It was a family name that was handed down to me.

    I’ve always wanted to try, but have never carved out the time to try. Did any leaves pop up easily, as they claim the will? We all have a story back there somewhere, right?

    I’m so happy you like the treadmill desk. If your hubby is handy at all, which as you say he just made you a real desk, he can whip this out in a couple of hours. And the map is just too much fun. I’m so glad others are really liking it.

    I can relate how you feel about your senior. My oldest just graduated from grad school! Oh my! Where did the years go?

    I’m getting pretty stuffed about now but I want to try one of your gooey cinnamon rolls. What’s morning coffee without one? 

    Thanks so much for all your fun comments!

  23. Julie,
    I debated whether or not to reveal this family tidbit to the cyber world, but, I think you'll appreciate it...
    My grandfather (who died waaaay back in the 1940's, I never knew him) had the first name of Marcelino-- the male version of that name. His mother insisted her grandson continue the tradition, but my g'mother could not bring herself to name her son with the --o, so she named him Marceline. The girl's name.
    He was known forevermore as Bubba.
    And grandmother had five daughters and no more sons.

  24. Hey, Cara Lynn,
    You’ve hit upon one of the reasons I really love the family tree chart. (By the way—make it big—like poster size) Just saying….

    Actually, I’m horribly disorganized!! I scribble notes here and there and then can't find them when needed and can’t remember a thing about my characters….ages, eye color, hometowns, etc. The time spent looking them up in the back pages is just too costly. SO, I jot that stuff by each person and have it at a moment’s glace.

  25. Oh, Sandra, you’re way too kind. I always tell people I’ve seen a lot of neat places…from the inside of an arena!! LOL But, I’m in no way complaining. Photography has been good to me over the years and I’ve made many really good friends, and seen loads of beautiful horses---one of God’s special gifts to mankind.

    I see from your website that you’ve written some children’s religious books. I’m so impressed and would like to try that someday! Was it hard? I taught CCD for five years and really enjoyed it. Children are always so eager to learn about God! They are just like little sponges. I love that.

  26. Wonderful article, Caroline! I'm bookmarking this to read when I'm in a slump - like right now!

    Always love reading your writing, whether in books or blogs or even Facebook!

  27. Caroline,
    Seems like my ancestors (at least those I was searching for) were an elusive bunch. No leaves. All I could find on that branch were census entries, and all of the census takers wrote in very beautiful but hard to read script, and were low on ink.
    Some parents' deaths went unnoted, while babies' lives were so short they were named only as 'infant'. I think poverty and that horrible flu epidemic devastated my ancestors, and my great grandmother was left alone with seven children, no money, no home.
    All that from census entries.
    So I decided to leave family lore alone, because what I learned of unemployment, little to no education,and lost, unnamed babies was a bit too sad for me to report to my mother.
    On an upnote, my grandmother met & married a policeman named Marcelino who sang opera while he walked his beat...

    Signed up for your newsletter.
    And your books' coverart is beautiful.

    Finished procrastinating now....

  28. I love the idea of creating a family tree for your characters. I'm always forgetting important little things...especially about secondary characters and spend way too much time searching back through pages and pages. I think I'm going to take some time and do that today.

    Also love the treadmill idea. I revisited it through the link Tina gave and I really think I'm going to have to figure out a way to make one for myself! I'm impressed that you can write and walk at the same time!

  29. Good morning, Regina~ That’s exactly what happened to me!

    But, learning from my mistakes I now take the time at the beginning of a story--and it makes the journey much more fun. I’m happy you like the idea. Let me know after you try it if it made your process easier….

    I’m glad, too, that you love a good western. What do you write?

  30. Good morning, Caroline,

    Love, love, love the idea of a family tree! Can't believe I didn't think of it, since I'm a genealogy freak. I belong to all three Ancestry sites (.com,, .ca) and I have a HUGE family tree there. Plus a smaller one for my husband's family. Can you say 'addict'? LOL.

    I am definitely going to start doing a tree for my characters!

    One of my ancestor's name is Caroline and I love it! I have found so many interesting stories and puzzles going back in time - stories that would make good books one day!

    As for the treadmill thing, I have a hard enough time keeping my balance on a regular one, never mind typing at the same time! That would be a disaster waiting to happen!

    Your series sounds wonderful. I'd love to be entered in the draw!


    sbmason (at) sympatico (dot) ca

  31. Connie~~I’m happy to help in what little way that I can….

    And, what you just said really cements the idea of ‘knowing’ our hero and heroine. If they, as a whole personality, are securely in our thoughts, so to speak, they are alive. How can something be alive without detail, a history, hopes and fears? I don’t think they can.

    You’ve made me think more deeply about this concept. THANK YOU!

  32. Caroline, thanks so much for your tips on birthing a character. I like the idea of filling in the history and heritage of a character, even if it's just to get to know them better.

    I'm signing up for your newsletter!

  33. Morning Caroline.

    Gorgeous day here in Denver.

    Did you know you inspired Pepper to get a laptop treadmill?

    I can't win on Seekerville but I am definitely entering the Montana basket contest. All those wonderful items remind me of Montana. Looking forward to your new release too!!!

  34. One thing we all like to hear is about your writing day. Tell us a little about a typical Caroline writing day when you have a chance.

  35. LOL-Julie!

    I love the history about your characters names. That is so cute. You were a very inspired twelve-year-old to be writing a novel. At that time, I was riding my pony and dreaming about Bobby Sherman! And although you don’t like your mother’s name, I do. I read A Passion Most Pure and LOVELD everything about it!

    Totally thanking you now for letting me in on the little secret that McCutcheon is an old Irish name. That will work perfectly with the second book I’m now writing. It’s set in Rio Wells, Texas, and deals with John McCutcheon and the Texas cousins! LOVE IT!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    Now, please pass something gooey and sweet…


  36. Hi Caroline,

    Knowing your characters and naming them is a very important part of writing. Thanks for sharing your methods with us today.

    I'm heading over to your website to check it out. Your books look great. Who can resist a cowboy?

    RRossZediker at yahoo dot com

  37. Pamela,

    "On an upnote, my grandmother met & married a policeman named Marcelino who sang opera while he walked his beat..."

    I hope you are using this in a WIP. What an interesting character that would make!!!

  38. Hi, Pepper!

    Thanks so much for joining in the fun…I’m thrilled to hear about the people who have built treadmill desks!! I’ll have to tell my husband. He’ll be as pleased as I am. Do you keep a map too? I’d love to know who keeps track on a map and look. Maybe we could connect the maps together? I don’t know if that’s possible or not, but it sounds fun.

    I agree. A name is so important. And, isn’t it funny how we’re not sure about the right name for some time but the wrong one stands out like a week old fish carcass. LOL Well, maybe not that bad, but you get my meaning. It’s much easier knowing what is not right than finding what is right.

    Also, any of you who have already read Montana Dawn have met Luke’s sidekick—Roady. That was a real name of a real assistant horse trainer where I used to ride. AND—he fit the description perfectly. When I told him a character was named after him he just laughed in that sweet cowboy way and smiled shyly. Did I mention -- I LOVE COWBOYS!

  39. CAROLINE, "riding my pony and dreaming about Bobby Sherman"??? Uh, that's because you are a LOT younger than me, obviously, which I will forgive you for since it's not your fault. But only this once.

    And THANK YOU for your kind words about APMP AND for even reading it!!. I have to admit, I still get shocked when another author tells me they've read my book(s) because authors don't always have a lot of reading time and there are just too many wonderful books from which to choose. So bless you, you sweet thing. I knew I liked you ... :)

    And, PAMELA, NO!!!!!!! Not Marceline for a guy, really??? And although "Bubba" is not exactly high on the literary charts for great guy names, I certainly would prefer it over Marceline for any red-blooded American male! Thanks for sharing that story with us. Too cute!! :)


  40. Ahhh, that explains it, Walt. I started getting cold chills imaging how hard that would be without help. (I still think it’s hard)

    Years ago I read Tia-Pan and Shogun by James Cavell and marveled at the complexity of the subject. I that the kind of thing you write? If so, I’m in awe!

  41. Oh, that is funny, Pamela. But, you know the Johnny Cash song, A Boy Named Sue. It made him strong as stone.

    Perhaps, for some reason, your grandfather NEEDED that name and all the teasing that may have come with it. What do you think?

  42. Hey, Colleen! :)

    Great to see you here at Seekerville. Yes, by all means, bookmark it! It’s a fabulous site for inspiration, the writing craft, and gooey yummy treats. It’s always so much fun to read the posts…

    I’m so happy you dropped in. Everyone, Colleen is my grade school and high school best friend, and I love her dearly! She stencils and paints and is a fabulous artist!

    Now, no slumps for you! You fly with the eagles!


  43. Pamela, I totally understand how all poverty and death would be hard to take. We forget what it must have truly been like back then. And, being romance authors, we romanticize and craft our stories through rose colored glasses. Our ancestors must have been so strong—the ones who survived, that is. And to lose so many children, sort of like a way of life. I can see how a large family was vital to survival since so many died off.

    I’m sorry your search turned up so much heartache for you. I’m happy that you found the opera- singing policeman.
    Now, that’s a story~~~<3

  44. a great posting...thanks for the opportunity to read your fabulous novel, caroline :)

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  45. Totally agree, Kav. The secondary characters are so hard to remember details. I do a tiny bit of history for them too. LOL Maybe, I should get to writing!

    About writing and walking—it does take some practice. When reading or writing on blogs one can go a little faster, but for earnest writing one must go at a crawl. You’ll be amazed how fast, even at the slow pace, the miles add up!

  46. Hey, Sue. Glad you stopped in!

    I think that is so neat that you’ve done all that research on your family line. I keep trying to get one of my sisters interested in doing it so I won’t have to, even though I’ve always thought it would be so much fun. I’d like to find some relatives off in some wonderful foreign country and just have to go for a visit, of course.

    Have you gotten in contact with any of the distant relations that you’ve found, ones that didn’t know you before?

  47. Hi, Mary,
    Thanks for signing up—I wish you luck.

    I’ve yet to send out a newsletter—LOL. It’s one of the newbie hurdles I need to get over and just do. I look at other authors and marvel. Pretty soon, though, I can feel one coming on….

  48. Hi again, Tina. Did I tell you yet that I lOVE your new profile pic! Cute. And so appropriate for Seekerville...I'm so happy to hear about Pepper and anyone else who is now walking. I had no expectations last year when that blog ran, and I'm blown away. And, very happy.

    Okay, I’ll tell you about a typical writing day for me. First, I rise around 5:30. Get coffee (of course) and do my prayers. Then I look at facebook and quickly scan through and do the same with e-mail. All that takes around two hours. So, around 7:30 I open my pages. I work until I have about 500 to 600 words. I take a break and make the bed, shower etc. (Maybe this is too much information. LOL) I go back to the computer until I have 1000 words. With that, my morning is done and I do other stuff. In the evenings, after dinner, I try my hardest for another 1000 words. My daily goal is always 2000 words. I try to do that five days a week. Of course, it does not always happen exactly like that and I don’t always reach my goal, but I do treat it like a job that requires 2000 words a day or face termination.

  49. Hi, Rose, thanks for checking out my website. I appreciate it.

    And, I so agree with you about Pamela having a story in her family history. That’s really interesting!

  50. Oh I so want to read this book! I read your first book WHERE THE WIND BLOWS and loved it. I have been hooked on cowboys ever since! Please enter me!


  51. 2000 words a day.


  52. Julie, what are you talking about? I am NOT much younger than you! As a matter of fact, I think I'm older....

  53. Karenk~~

    Thank you! I hope it touches your heart. Hugs!

  54. Hey, Virginia,

    I'm so happy you loved WHERE THE WIND BLOWS. It was such a fun story to write. And being stuck on Cowboys is not a bad thing at all. LOL
    I’m glad you stopped by. Thanks!

    You are entered!

  55. Thanks, T! I worked my way up and after achieving it for a while; I knew it was a possible goal for me. Many authors do MUCH more than that, I know…..

    PS-my hubby is a retired firefighter and LIKES to do all the cooking, so...I let him. hehehe
    But, just so you know, I did do it for 27 years, and loved it, too. (I have to say that because I still feel guilty!)

  56. Welcome back, Caroline. Your Montana series sounds really great, especially Luke's story.

    I'll have to look for it.

    The treadmill desk: I have an elliptical, and I couldn't figure out how to make the desk work on the elliptical. Sigh.

  57. Hi, Pam, I'm glad you popped in. And even happier that Luke's story sounds interesting to you.

    I've never even tried an elliptical because it looks hard. That said, I can't imagine working on one. No, that does not sound easy. Have you had it long and doo you love it?

  58. Caroline, I ordered Montana Dawn last night as well as your previous book, Where the Wind Blows. Could not wait any longer to read them and always feel good about supporting new authors.

    That is what I tell my husband, "I am supporting the writing world, dear." Not charity ,mind you, economic stimulus! So you can get to the next book and not skip meals, though I guess you do get munchies here.

    Thanks for a great post!

    Peace, Julie

  59. Wow, bless you, Julie! Thank you so much. I really appreciate your support. I hope your husband understands.

    And yes, lots of munchies whenever I visit Seekerville. Everyone has such good baking skills here. Makes my stomach rumble like crazy….

    Thanks so much for stopping in and letting me know. Also, please let me know how you like them.


  60. Pam, I have an elliptical. LOL> you are going to kill yourself if you try to attach a desk. Up and down, up and down. Go on Craigslist and buy a used treadmill. Everyone buys one in January and by summer it is a clothes hanger.

  61. Do you love men who cook? I do. I have a husband who is a former paramedic and is now in IT. Totally independent. It is a blessing. And yeah. I have cooked approximately 68 turkey dinners in my day, so I don't feel like a cooking slacker.

  62. Great idea, Tina. I got mine used from my sister-in-law and it was in great shape. I love it and it just keeps on trucking.

    I've cooked a lot over the years but, sad to say, not too many holidays. Being the youngest of five girls the pattern of hoidays was pretty much set by the time I married. But, I've wrangled a few and I always love it.

    Tina, what is IT. I'm having a brain freeze right about now and can't figure it out...

    Were you kidding about the 68 turkey dinners?

  63. IT. Information Technology. You know computer geek guy, the ones who take care of your server, and your computer and who you call when your fax won't work because you forgot to plug it in.

    Well I cook a turkey for Thanksgiving and Christmas every year. I started when I was three. Child prodigy. So yes. 68 in 34 years. That makes me how old?


  64. Ohhhh hey, I've heard of this book on Goodreads! It sounds sooo good!

    XOXO~ Renee

  65. LOL Tina, you're married to the man of my dreams. Someone who can fix my computer. How cool.

    Well, I knew you were a prodigy but i didn't know it was for Turkey dinners. :)

  66. Hi, Renee...hugs to you too!! Thank you!

  67. I do love my elliptical...s much as anyone can love a piece of equipment that makes you sweat!

    I have it flush to the wall in the breakfast room with a portable DVD player on a small shelf on the wall.

    That works, but the laptop...typing...does not.

  68. Caroline, thanks so much for being with us. We wish you continued success!

  69. Pam, it’s a love hate relationship with your elliptical. I know, it's the same with me and my treadmill. But, hey, what can we do? We HAVE to exercise whether we want to or not...sigh.

    At least it sounds like you have a great set up.

  70. A heartfelt thanks to you, Tina and everyone here at this wonderful cyber home! It's been a great day fill with everything good. You make a body feel very welcome!! I have to say being a guest at Seekerville is a real treat! (Ha! Pun intended) ((:^D I love all the goodies that are shared throughout the day. I appreciate all your love and support.

    Talk to you soon~

  71. Thanks for the tips Caroline. I copied and pasted your article into my writing tips manual I've created. I would love to read the Montana series. Love those cowboys...not the team,the characters, I'm a Redskins fan. :)

  72. Great article! "Birthing" characters comes easy for me, and I'm constantly amazed by them. It wouldn't be so if God wasn't a part of my writing. Your books sound wonderful and right up my alley. Congratulations on your awards and may God continue to bless you.

  73. Hi Jill!

    So happy you liked the article. I'm honored you copied it and are keeping it in your files.

    BTW: Your reference to the Redskins cracked me up.

    Stay happy!


  74. Linda, I know what you mean. Whenever I'm sort of stuck I just give a little prayer. Always helps!!

    Thanks for stopping by!