Lindsay Downs: Hands down my favorite is Dakota. Through him I get to give my readers a different perspective in the story. I put the reader into his mind so they can see what he sees, do what he does.
Sherry, who is your favorite character?
Sherry Gloag: Every main character in my books is my favourite when I am writing the book, but to try and answer your question, Gina Williamson, my heroine in The Brat, is probably my choice. She is complex, strong, self-willed, compassionate, a victim of betrayal and abandonment, and yet she rises above these setbacks and when faced with the hero, Ben Kouvaris’s entry into her life she takes him on and they both find life is full of surprises.
Lynette, what about you?
Lynette Sofras: I have to admit, I fell a little bit in love with Nicholas (The Apple Tree). Apart from being utterly gorgeous and sexy, he’s very strong-willed and quite stern. He has high expectations but is also capable of giving a great deal in return. Like many men, he’s quite stubborn in his beliefs and thinks he is in complete control of his emotions. What he had to learn in the course of the story was that his heart was not going to be ruled by his head – and that was a punishingly hard lesson for him.
You’ve got me hooked! I’m going to put The Apple Tree on my TBR. Tara, is it difficult for you to let go of a favorite character(s) once you’ve completed your novel or novels in a series and move on to another new hero and heroine?
Tara Manderino: Oh, yeah! I simply could not get Simon out of my head. I wrote the drafts to five novels with him before I made myself stop. The first two books of the President’s Orders series are out, False Notes and Heart Quest. The third is in edits. Simon is just a compelling character to me; he so much wants to do right all of the time, but he is much too impatient for most things and needs a reality check from his partner or his fiancée. He was even impatient when I was writing, demanding I hurry up and get to the next book.
Ruth, do you have any favorite feline, canine or other furry characters you’ve created, which you absolutely love?
Ruth J. Hartman: My favorite would be Arthur from “Purrfect Voyage” There are people in the book, but he’s definitely a main, character, too. He’s cute and funny and wily. Just how cats are meant to be.
I’m a cat lover and I’m sure I’ll love Purrfect Voyage…another book to add to my TBR list. Joselyn, is it difficult for you to let go of a favorite character(s) once you’ve completed your novel or novels in a series and move on to another new hero and heroine?
Joselyn Vaughn: Most of the time, no. I’ve spent enough time with them that I’m ready to move on. Minnie and some of her friends like to hand around, but since they’ve been secondary characters, I haven’t been in their heads as much.
Brea, what about you? Is it difficult to let go of your character?
Brea Essex: Oh definitely! Although I haven't finished the Shadow Imperium series yet, I'm working on other projects. It can be strange writing different characters.
Chynna, if you had to select your most favorite character, who would you pick and why?
Chynna Laird: Hands down, Payton from Blackbird Flies. I created this teenaged boy and put him into a similar situation I went through as a kid. His world was a lot different than mine was but there were very strong similarities. I wanted to see how it would feel to have him be there and do…better. He’s an amazing kid. ;)
Patricia, who’s your favorite character and why?
Patricia Kiyono: I guess I can identify most with Jess (The Christmas Phoenix), because she's a bit older, she's a mother, and she lives not too far from me. But my favorite male would be Alex (Aegean Intrigue) because he's like the hero of my dreams (hope the hubby doesn't see this!)
Too funny! I’m always teasing my husband about how more romantic my male characters are than he is! All in fun. ;) J.F. Jenkins, do you have a favorite?
J.F. Jenkins: It's a tough call, but probably Orlando. He's hilarious, selfish, and yet has a kindness for others that he tries to ignore because he's complicated. He comes from a strange lifestyle and his background is full of all kinds of secrets that explain why he does the things he does. Plus the things he DOES like are things that seem so random they're startling.
Sounds like a very interesting, must-read, character!
Lindsay Downs: Dakota likes to sleep on his back at home, in the office he curls up under Emily’s desk, with her foot as a pillow. He’s very protective of those he loves. He hates canned dog food. He prefers riding in the WWII vintage motorcycle over the ’69 Chevy truck. He’s friends with a she-wolf who lives near his home.
Sherry, what about the top five random traits of your favorite character?
Sherry Gloag: Gina constantly battles shyness. She likes chocolate – I mean come on, she loves chocolate! By choice she lives alone but yearns to have someone close enough to share her life with. She has an alter-ego, (which is revealed by the end of the story.) She loves the sea. - That scene was cut from the book.
Talking to another chocolate lover here! Lynette, regarding your most favorite character you’ve ever created, what is the best scene you’ve written for him or her—give us a quick synopsis and why you liked writing that scene?
Lynette Sofras: This may be surprising for a romance writer, but I really enjoyed creating the evil Amber in Wishful Thinking. Because she’s so wicked, I also enjoyed making her look slightly ridiculous at times. One example is when she arrives at Adam’s country farmhouse in her Rolls Royce, making a dramatic entrance in her Gucci stilettoes and snow-white fake furs, only to find Adam has taken his guests out to look for otters. Stupidly Amber says: “And what does he want otters for anyway? Surely you’re not planning to cook them, though God knows, that wouldn’t surprise me.”
Tara, do you have any favorite feline, canine or other furry characters you’ve created, which you absolutely love?
Tara Manderino: No. I have a real canine who drives me insane when I’m writing. I have a broad outline of a novel where she is a featured character, although some people tell me her real life beats an imaginary one hands-down.
Before I got married, I had a cat, Mr. Knightley, and he always wanted to sit on my lap whenever I had my laptop out, ready to write…but I loved him anyway. Cats have a mind of their own! Ruth, have you heard from any readers who’ve told you which of your characters in any of your books are their favorites? What did he or she love about that character?
Ruth J. Hartman: I’ve had lots of cat lovers tell me they love Arthur in “Purrfect Voyage” and all the cats in “Better Than Catnip”. They say reading about them brightens their day.
Joselyn, what’s the best scene you’ve written for your favorite character?
Joselyn Vaughn: My favorite scene with Minnie is actually two scenes that are next to each other. I can’t tell you much about the first one because it is one of the big secrets in Hauntings of the Heart. It was really hard to write because of the heartbreak that she revisits. There is a lot of sadness in it, but it leads into a scene that shows Minnie’s craziness and daring. Minnie and her friend Edith with the help of a whole lot of brandy decide to scare Gordon out the bed and breakfast by pretending to be ghosts. Knowing the laughter was coming after the sad scene made it much easier for editing, but I still have a hard time looking at the first scene.
It definitely is hard to write and edit those sad scenes, especially when we’ve become so attached to our characters. Brea, have you heard from any readers who’ve told you which of your characters in any of your books are their favorites? What did he or she love about that character?
Brea Essex: Everyone seems to be in love with Logan. I can't blame them there! I do have a couple of Andrei lovers too. I also had one person tell me that she loves Raena because she's “the anti-Bella”.
Chynna, how difficult is it for you to let go of a favorite character?
Chynna Laird: Yes. I get so close to them for the months I work with them then one the final round of edits are done, I have to let them go so I can help my new characters tell their stories. It’s always a little sad but they never leave me completely.
Well said…I completely agree with those sentiments. Patricia, is it difficult for you?
Patricia Kiyono: I haven't felt compelled to write more about the characters I've created so far. I think their stories have been told. But I'm working on two series—one is about a family, and the other is about a group of women who all belong to a club. So while I don't have trouble letting go of characters, I wouldn't mind having them appear in stories about someone else.
J.F. Jenkins, what about you and your favorite characters?
J.F. Jenkins: Always. I think that's part of why I write series. Because then I can write a number of books involving the characters.
One more question, aside from the hero and heroine falling in love, did either of your main characters have a favorite person (friend, confidant, mentor) in the novel, i.e., one of the secondary characters?
J.F. Jenkins: In the Dragon's Saga, “Legend of the Inero Dragon”, I have a main character who has a deep connection with his step-mother. That was a fun relationship to explore too because she's only a few years older than he is, they're like best friends, and she's kind of his first glimpse of what he thinks an ideal woman should be.
I can see how that relationship must have been interesting to explore.
Patricia Kiyono: I've written two series of stories, but neither of them is published yet. One is about a Japanese family, beginning with a former samurai soldier and his quest for a new identity once the age of the samurai ended. The other is about a group of women who belong to a quilting guild. Both series are dear to me because their themes are a part of who I am. I'm very proud of my Japanese heritage and love to research anything about the history and culture. And I belong to two sewing groups because I love to create from fabric.
Chynna, regarding your most favorite character you’ve ever created, what is the best scene you’ve written for him or her—give us a quick synopsis and why you liked writing that scene?
Chynna Laird: I think the best scene I wrote for Payton was when he finally let go of his pain and allowed the memory of his mother dying flow out of him. His crush, Lily, had many of the same struggles his mother had, which kept them apart. Her problems hit too close to home for him no matter how much he was attracted to her. But when beautiful Lily overdosed and died in his arms, his feelings for her, as well as the tragedy of losing his mother in the same way, came crashing down on him. It was a very emotional, gripping scene and took me a few days to get just right. I kept breaking down while writing it. But it was an important scene to get out.
Brea, do you have any favorite feline, canine or other furry characters you’ve created, which you absolutely love?
Brea Essex: I definitely love Nuada, Rae's cat in Foreshadow.
Joselyn, if you had to select your most favorite character, who would you pick and why?
Joselyn Vaughn: Minnie Schultz, from Hauntings of the Heart. She is who I want to be when I grow up. She is confident and comfortable with herself. She’s made hard decisions but she has found contentment. She’s not afraid to be herself or to get into someone else’s business so she knows all the good dirt in town.
Ruth, aside from the hero and heroine falling in love, did either of your main characters have a favorite person (friend, confidant, mentor) in the novel, i.e., one of the secondary characters?
Ruth J. Hartman: In “Pillow Talk” Trixie’s best friend Julie was the only person to know her well-guarded secret that she was a tooth fairy.
Tara, have you heard from any readers who’ve told you which of your characters in any of your books are their favorites? What did he or she love about that character?
Tara Manderino: Quite a few readers have told me that Ty from Taking Chances, really resonated with them because he has his own issues and he manages to overcome them, with the help of his faith. I get a lot of comments on Justin from Whisper My Name, my first Regency. Justin is a true hero. I would say their words, not mine, but I think he is too.
Lynette, any furry friend characters you’ve created that you love?
Lynette Sofras: Everyone who knows me knows I’m a bit of a crazy cat person, but I’ve resisted going overboard in the fluff department in most stories. I have a couple of nice dogs in Wishful Thinking, but I don’t really know dogs well enough. In Loving Hate has a sweet little cat, Thistle, but the show stealer is probably Bessie – a tortoiseshell moggy in my WIP. She’s anyone’s for a can of tuna!
Sherry, is it difficult for you to let go of a favorite character(s) once you’ve completed your novel or novels in a series and move on to another new hero and heroine?
Sherry Gloag: I thought it would be, but no, I become totally involved with the characters of the moment. Sometimes I have a yearning to reacquaint myself with former characters so go and read their stories again. It’s like meeting up with special friends after months of separation.
Lindsay, regarding your most favorite character you’ve ever created, what is the best scene you’ve written for him or her—give us a quick synopsis and why you liked writing that scene?
Lindsay Downs: In the current Emily Dahill Series book I’m writing, Terror on the Mountain, I have one scene where Dakota has to sneak up on someone trying to kidnap one of his human friends. I like this one because I get to show the reader how he can think independently and achieve the objective.
Thank you Lindsay and all of you wonderful authors for chatting with me today. This ends the second part of our party and we’ll be taking another short break.
Don’t forget to stay around to chat with the authors.