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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

When a Character Speaks to Your Heart

Please welcome guest blogger Alexis Morgan

Okay, I’m going to share a secret with all of you, but please just keep it between us. Promise? Okay, here goes: I don’t feel the same way about all of my characters. Yes, it’s true. I have favorites.

Don’t get me wrong. I like all of my characters, even the villains. But every so often, one pops into my head and steals another big chunk of my heart. A few years ago, when I was still writing westerns, one of the heroes—his name was Luke—almost broke my heart. I thought he’d never find his happily-ever-after. Really, it’s true. I still smile when I think of that moment when he could finally lay his past to rest and look to the future with renewed hope.

And now I have another one of those extra special heroes in my new release, Defeat the Darkness. It’s my sixth Paladin book, and the hero’s name is Hunter Fitzsimon. Back when I was writing the second book in the series, I had the heroine caught out in the cave where a battle was about to begin. The alarms are going off and the Paladins are pouring in from all directions. She was worried about her lover, but as she looked around at the chaos, one other Paladin stood out. He was barefooted, bare-chested, and wearing flannel pj bottoms. To this day, I can see him so clearly—nameless at that point, fresh from his bed, still sleepy, but ready to stand the line with his fellow warriors.

What’s not to love? Hunter appeared in again in the fifth book, Darkness Unknown, where he barely survived a horrific experience at the hands of the enemy. Well, actually, he didn’t survive, but that doesn’t mean he stayed dead. He’s a Paladin, after all. However, this time the journey back to the living was a much harder one for Hunter. His whole life was destroyed as he struggles to regain his balance.

Simply put, I hurt for him. A lot. He’s such a good man, one with friends who don’t know how to help him. He has a job to do, but he no longer knows if he’ll be up to it. Self-doubt and physical pain have made him angry and unsure of himself. He used to laugh a lot, now with his vocal cords ruined from screaming, he will barely talk. He wants to be left alone, and the last thing he needs is a pesky landlady who invades his space and then his heart. His journey isn’t an easy one, but that just makes that happily-ever-after that much more sweet.

One more thing about Hunter’s story. I’d read a book on dealing with the emotional problems arising from severe trauma. One suggestion for regaining control was to concentrate on a physical object, something you can hold onto, thinking about the texture, the feel of it in your hands. For Hunter, this need is filled by a sword cane with a wolf’s head for the handle. When life goes spinning out of control, it anchors him in this world. By the end of the story, he realizes that he has far more to hold onto.

I love to find little nuggets like that suggestion because it helps me add layers to a character, making him just that much more real to me . . . and hopefully to my readers.

Alexis Morgan

Author of over twenty full-length books, short stories and novellas, Alexis began her career writing contemporary romances and then moved on to historicals set in the American West. However, beginning in 2006, she crossed over to the dark side. She really loves writing paranormal romances, finding the world building and developing her own mythology for her characters especially satisfying. Alexis currently writes three paranormal series set in very different worlds, which serve as backdrops for her powerful warrior heroes: The Paladins of Darkness, The Talions (both from Pocket Star), and her exciting new vampire stories for Silhouette Nocturne.

She loves to hear from fans and can be reached through her website, www.alexismorgan.com.

An immortal warrior hardened by a battle that nearly cost him his life
discovers a woman who can heal his heart and wounded soul in Alexis Morgan's sizzling new Paladin adventure

Hard-eyed and hard-bodied, Hunter Fitzsimon isn't what Tate Justice expected in a tenant for the apartment above her garage. Terse and intensely private, Hunter's mission is to protect a narrow stretch of the barrier between Earth and Kalithia against the Paladins' ruthless enemies -a job much easier done without his sexy landlady nosing around. So when she follows him into the woods late one night, he decides to teach Tate a lesson with a passionate kiss that brings her to her knees . . . and unexpectedly ignites a red-hot desire deep within his soul. But the warrior's dark and dangerous world is no place for his fiery lover. Does possessing Tate mean turning his back on his brethren . . . or will Hunter forsake the woman of his dreams for the harsh duty that's all he's ever known?

Hunter Fitzsimon’s story, Defeat the Darkness, coming March 2010.


Danica Avet said...

Alexis, great post! I have to admit that the heroine of my last story broke my heart. I felt evil for what I put her through, but I knew she could overcome all obstacles to find love. I have a feeling she'll always be one of my favorite characters simply because she took the life Fate dealt her and made it her own.

Excellent post!

Alexis Morgan said...

Thank you, Danica. I think when we really feel for a particular character (and hurt for them), that will resonate in our writing and therefore with our readers. It adds all those important layers to their character.

Anonymous said...

Great post.

True, I have my favorite characters as well. Glad to know I'm not alone. :-)

Thanks for this. Have a great day.

Delilah said...

I know Hunter and Blake are your favorites. And I love them too - but my favorite is Barak. There is just something about a man who gives up his world.... But you know that.

Teresa D'Amario said...

Oooh I can't wait to read this one. :) I do love your books, ya know. Some of my favorites!

And yeah, I have a character like that. One such character is in my next book. It's been long coming. It's the sequel to SheWolf and the villain in that book is the one I'm speaking of. Poor Ryland. I knew he'd led an unusual life even back then. But now, it's like he's so much deeper. So much more pain than I expected.

Alexis Morgan said...

Delilah--Barak's a favorite, too, but Larem even more so. Maybe because it wasn't his choice to give up his world. He lost a big piece of who he was when they dragged him over the barrier.

Teresa--I understand about the pain thing. There's just something that calls out to me to want to make it all better--even if I put them through hell first.


nightsmusic said...

I will forever have a HUGE soft spot for Penn, (waiting, waiting...) but then, you knew that. ;o) And Barak. But I'm so glad, after all of the pestering you got from everyone, that Hunter finally pestered the heck out of you enough. I'm sitting here, holding his book, I have one to finish and will be shortly and then Hunter is all mine. A picture of him in the tunnels, flannel pjs which are my favorites, by the way, has never left my mind.

Can't wait :o)

Alexis Morgan said...

NM--Yeah, that whole Hunter fighting in just his pj bottoms has kept me warm on many a cold night. I'm glad Penn will be getting his story soon, too.

Thanks for stopping by,