Blog by VONNIE DAVIS -- International, Award-Winning Romance Author: Adventurous...Humorous...Amorous.

Monday, February 7, 2011


My guest this week is fellow Rose author, Rhonda Lee Carver. Rhonda Lee, a full-time romance author also writes for Lyrical Press. Tell us how you create all those real-life characters who steam the ink off the pages...

Thank you, Vonnie, for having me as your guest.

When I am creating my new characters, I have a good idea what personality I will brand them with. And whether I intend to or not, my characters will have some personality traits of friends, family, enemies, friends-of-friends…I just never know who will pop into my head when I mold a character. However, the traits aren’t identical. I may even mix and match qualities. A writer must spice up reality.

Currently, I am writing a paranormal romance and my hero is a complete jerk. As I’m writing the dialogue and his actions, I realize I am using someone I care about as the model for my hero’s character. My friend is not a jerk, but there have been things I’ve disliked about him. It’s almost like silent revenge.

It’s easier to write a character when you have a personal visual to help guide you. I will never divulge, though, who I’ve portrayed my characters after. These are my little secrets. Everyone has a few secrets, don’t they? 

Second Chance Cowboy excerpt:

Carly squeezed her hands into fists. “My poor husband. How difficult it is for him to manage his inflated ego and keep his zipper closed.”

“We’re divorced, remember?” His voice reeked of sarcasm.

She groaned in irritation. Her pulse pounded in her ears like the beating of a drum. Her claws were showing.

Chance didn’t blink an eye as he gazed at her across the room. “Honey, I can keep my pants zipped just fine. Problem is, you can’t keep your fingers off my zipper.”

Carly’s palm itched to slap him. “We live in a small town, Chance. How do you think it’s possible we haven’t run into each other more than three times in the last two years?” She cocked her chin. “Let me fill you in. I’ve done everything in my power to keep from bumping into you. Do you realize how difficult it is to plan my schedule weeks in advance so I don’t have to see you? Is that a description of a woman who can’t keep her fingers off your zipper?”

“No, more like a woman who’s afraid she’ll forget what screwed up our marriage in the first place, realize she’s made a huge mistake and get her ass back home.”

“Humph, fat chance that’ll ever happen.” She fumbled with the sheet in irritation and gave her hair a toss over one shoulder.

Damn, he did have a point, although she’d never admit it to him.

“Yeah, right, Carly, because you can’t ever forgive and forget, can you? You think you’re the only one who has lost, don’t you?” His eyes became steely pools of green. His voice turned low and controlled. “I lost Devon, too. He was my son--our son. How long are you going to keep blaming me for his death?”

Carly swallowed the painful lump in her constricted throat. “I don’t blame you.”

“Could have fooled me.”

“We both know why I left.”

“We do?” His bitter laugh split the air with its razor-sharp intensity. “I know you want to hold on to the belief that I am the bad guy who drove you away, but isn’t it time you took half the responsibility for the failure of our marriage?” A trace of compassion softened his expression. He tugged on his shirt and finger-combed his hair.

“It wasn’t my fault you cheated.” Once she said it, she wanted to yank the words back. Too late, just like their relationship.

“You’re a broken record, sweetheart. It’s not worth denying the accusation any longer. Maybe eventually you’ll believe your words and feel justified in leaving. Devon died, Carly. He’s gone and we can’t change the truth. One of us needed to make the decision to let him go and I made it. I held out hope you’d eventually find a sliver of forgiveness in your cold heart. I guess I was wrong.”

The old wound broke open and her lungs emptied of oxygen. She wanted to lash out at him, tell him to go to hell, but the words didn’t come. Instead, she whispered, “I’m going to the bathroom. When I get back I want you gone.”

“Carly, you’ve become an expert at sucking all the joy out of your life and pushing away anyone who reaches out to you. You’re living in a self-made prison, founded on guilt and pain, and there is no key to unlock the cell door.”

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Kat Duncan said...

Great excerpt. It's a nice example of how a strong character really leaps off the pages!

Charmaine said...

Character creation is so fun! It is like creating a recipe -- a little bit of this, a little bit of that, a dash of this and interesting character based on a conglomeration of real people. With my latest work, I am reveling in my ability to "spice up reality!" In addition, I think it is rather refreshing to see a romance novel where the hero is the ex! Happens in real life all the time. Oftentimes our first choice was the best one! Thanks for the piece.

Mary Ricksen said...

Grab the darn guy Carly, he love you! Whoops, sorry, just got caught up in the excerpt.
I love it!