As I am venturing back into the Romantic Suspense genre with my current work in progress, I am thrilled to have one of my favourite Wild Rose Press authors visit with me today! Autumn's books are fantastic so I urge you to visit her website and pick up your copies of Evil's Witness & In The Presence of Evil now! Ove to you, Autumn - enjoy!
Whenever I start a story, I start with my hero. I need to know what he looks like. In my mind I have an idea, but it’s like looking at someone from a distance. So I search magazines, newspaper, catalogs and on-line free picture sites until I find a close up of my hero.
The hero in my new romantic suspense release from The Wild Rose Press, ‘IN THE PRESENCE OF EVIL’, is marine Cole Hanson. That’s him, right there. Isn’t he to die for?
I found Cole Hanson first in a catalog. As I flipped through the pages, I stopped immediately and fell in love. He stared back at me with those intense, gorgeous eyes and I knew he was the perfect guy for the story rolling around in my head. I always get hooked by the guy’s eyes, then his strong jaw line and his most-men-would-kill-for hair. Of course he also has to have the body worthy of a low riding towel. YUM
After I get my drooling under control, I post my hero’s picture above my desk at eye level and with a pen in hand, we have a conversation. I get to know the man, asking him all types of questions and watching him for his mannerisms and quirks. He’s got to have idiosyncrasies and flaws. Why? Because he is a man and no man is perfect. Perfect characters are boring. Readers like lots of conflict and some conflict can occur because of our hero’s flaws.
Cole is not perfect. Yes, he does look it. SIGH. But he’s not. He has a serious complex stemming from his childhood. That attribute creates conflict between him and Gina, the heroine in ‘IN THE PRESENCE OF EVIL’. His hang-up keeps him from confronting Gina about the event which happened years prior and that drove him from her life. Later, when Cole learns the actual facts, his neurosis causes him to blame himself and feds the conflict all over again.
I follow the same steps for all my major characters and a most of my secondary characters. A secondary character’s flaws can create the major conflict of your story. Example; In ‘EVIL’S WITNESS’, my 2010 Golden Leaf winner, a minor character’s gambling problem set the stage for the mafia’s money laundering scheme. Greed and lust happens in ‘IN THE PRESENCE OF EVIL’.
Okay, enough about flaws. Let’s talk heroes and what makes them totally droolicious. What grabs your attention and sends your heart pattering feverishly?
To learn more about Autumn Jordon’s new release ‘In The Presence Of Evil’ or any of her other works, visit www.autumnjordon.com
“I always wondered what your bedroom looked like,” Cole said.
Gina’s breasts tightened under the thin fabric of the scrubs. As much as she didn’t want to be affected by him, she couldn’t help her reaction. Her cheeks warmed under his hooded gaze. They were years older. Well beyond the legal age of consent, but she was not going to go there again. He left her once, and he would again.
“Well, now you know.” Gina pushed away from the sink, making Cole back up. Her fists curled but not because she was angry. She was so tempted to touch him in ways he wouldn’t soon forget. Quickly, she slipped by him.
“Yup. Now, I know,” Cole said after her.
Gina stalked through her bedroom and out into the hall.
Cole nearly dropped to his knees watching the sway of her hips under her scrubs. He shouldn’t be thinking about helping her out of them, but damn it, he was a man, and his Gina had grown into one beautiful woman.
He rushed after her and caught her hand at the top of the stairs. “Wait.”
She sighed loudly as she turned. “What now? You’ve checked the entire house. There is no one here except the two of us.”
Cole frowned. He deserved that. Maybe he was wrong. Maybe there was no one after Gina. He’d just searched her house and gave her heart failure several times. He wanted to make it up to her.
She darted her eyes briefly to the floor before meeting his gaze. “I’m sorry.”
“Forget it. I deserved it.”
She didn’t pull her hand away. He brushed the soft skin under his fingers.
“No. You don’t.” Gina shook her head. Her hair shimmered under the overhead light. “You’re only trying to help me. You did help tonight. Why, Cole? Why did you lie to Chief Dean? You weren’t there. You don’t know if I killed David or not?”
“You’re right. I don’t know.”
Her eyes widened into oval pools of amber honey. She yanked her hand from his and paced the length of the small landing. “Why are you here?”
“Because I have a feeling whoever killed David might want to harm you. I just want to make sure you’re safe.”
“Why? You don’t owe me anything.”
“Because protecting is what I do. And the local cops aren’t going to do it. If anything, I think they’re looking at you for the murder.”
She sunk onto the hard backed chair at the end of the hallway and sulked forward, holding her head in her hands. Her long hair fell forward and covered her knees. She looked smaller in the almost fetal position. Helpless.
Cole wanted to gather her in his arms, but he wasn’t sure she’d allow it.
He walked over and nudged her arm. “What you need right now is a hot bath and something to eat.”
“I’m really not hungry.”
“Well, I am.” He grabbed her arms and pulled her from the chair. His strong man approach slipped away at the sight of the tears glistening on her cheeks. Cole fought the urge to pull her closer. The reason would be to comfort her, let her know she was safe, but feeling her soft body against his could be downright dangerous.
His hands moved down her arms to her hands. Small and soft, he squeezed them gently. “You take a bath, and I’ll go downstairs and brew a pot of coffee and make us something to eat.”
“I don’t want anything.”
“Go. No arguing.” He twirled her on her heel and sent her off in the direction of her bedroom.
She stopped at the door. Her long fingers held the frame. “Cole.”
“Don’t worry. I’m not going anywhere.”
“I’m not. I just wanted to say thank you.” Her smile was faint, but as small as it was, her smile had brought a warmth to his heart he hadn’t felt in a longtime.
“No problem, Gina.”
She shut the door behind her.
Cole heard the lock click. She hadn’t secured the door because of him. Gina was scared.
While he was here, she had no reason to be.
IN THE PRESENCE OF EVIL
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LOL! Great post, Autumn and loving the low riding towel thing, Yum! is totally the right word.... ; )
Autumn is waiting for your questions and comments!