“It’s All About the Characters” Barbara White Daille
Read all the way to the bottom for two chances to win a copy of one of Barbara's backlist books. Welcome to Seekerville Barbara White Daille
Happy birthday, Seekerville! And a big thanks to Mary for inviting me to guest blog during the pre-party.
I’m here today to talk about one of my favorite subjects: characters. Many people would probably agree that characters make or break a book. In my humble opinion, they are the book—at least, in my favorite stories.
Characters drive the plot based on how they interact with each other and on the decisions they make.
Or don’t make.
I write for Harlequin American Romance, which centers on home and family and features a well-developed sense of place in each book. Along with an appealing hero and heroine, strong secondary characters are encouraged, which is wonderful as far as I’m concerned. This allows me to introduce the kind of quirky people I love to read and write about. In my stories, those secondary characters often make the hero and heroine’s journey to happily-ever-after a lot more challenging than they would like—and a lot more interesting for the reader, I hope!
The level of sensuality varies in the books, and I’m definitely thrilled about that, too. In my opinion, just as the characters drive the plot, they determine how far they will go in the romance.
I can explain this best by giving you examples from my own stories. My books all include a developing romance, of course. It’s just that sometimes the characters consummate the relationship.... And sometimes they won’t.
In THE SHERIFF’S SON, childhood sweethearts Sarah and Tanner are
together intimately for the first time on the eve of Tanner’s
departure for the Army. They’re then separated until his return to
town eight years later. At that point, they’re no longer sweethearts
but still very much aware of each other—though neither one of them
will admit it. For me, the love scene was important to show how much they had matured during the years they were apart. For Sarah and Tanner, no pun intended, it’s a different story. As they rediscover each other, the scene affirms what they’d once had and lost and what they could have again...if they’re willing to take a risk.
In COURT ME, COWBOY, Marissa leaves Gabe for a number of reasons very shortly after their whirlwind courtship and wedding. She comes back to his ranch only after she discovers she’s pregnant.
In this story, too, I had an ulterior motive in writing the love scene: because of each character’s past, trust is a major issue in the current relationship. There had to be a way to force them to work around their own roadblock. I’ll admit, the solution wasn’t easy to find. And by the time I finally gave them the go-ahead to get together, Gabe and Marissa took the story and ran with it.
As for the book that’s just hitting bookstores now, FAMILY MATTERS, I need to issue a warning.
FAMILY MATTERS doesn’t have a love scene in it. Again, that decision was dictated by the characters and their story.
Kerry MacBride is surrounded by a zany crowd she feels it’s her responsibility to watch over. The characters range from her eccentric grandmother and a scheming uncle to a couple of her daredevil younger brothers and a troubled teenaged runaway. Then there’s Matt Lawrence, the hardheaded lawyer who is keeping an even closer eye on everyone, including Kerry.
I ask you, with a situation like this one, when—and where—are they supposed to have a love scene? That doesn’t stop Kerry and Matt from trying, though, as neither of them can resist a challenge. Unfortunately, an all-too-interested audience catches them in one of their most intimate moments....
Hey, I tried to warn them! :)
As I said in the beginning, it’s all about the characters.
And it’s all fun for authors and readers.
Originally from the East Coast, award-winning author Barbara White Daille now lives with her husband in the warm, sunny Southwest, where they love the dry heat and have taken up square dancing.
From the time she was a toddler, Barbara found herself fascinated by those things her mom called "books." Once she learned the words between the covers held the magic of storytelling, she wanted to see her words in print so she could weave that spell for others.
Barbara hopes you will enjoy reading her stories and will find your own storytelling magic in them!
Readers can find Barbara at the following locations:
Barbara works a day job but will check in with us later. She loves to chat with readers online, so please feel
free to leave comments or questions.
Also, she will be holding two drawings for one of her backlist books. One winner’s name will be drawn from
comments left here at Seekerville today, September 30th. A second winner’s name will be drawn from those who send her a message today via the “Contact Barbara” form at her web site AND mention Seekerville in the message.