‘Lo! As you can see we’ve got author Vivian Arend visiting with us today! Exciting stuff as she just hit the NYT and USA Today lists! Right?! So congratulations, and a warm welcome to her! She’s also offering us – well one of you a prize as well!
Writers have often been accused of being mean and cruel to their characters. I’ve seen moments on twitter or Facebook where an author gloats “Time to put Hero through the wringer…Brawhahahaah!” And yes, I guess I have had a few instances where I’ve done something similar.
But then again, I’m a wimp. I hate being mean, even to a character in a story. It’s been one of the things I’ve actually had to work on as I’ve written more books and longer works. In a novella things can turn over fairly quickly. In a novel there’s time for disasters to stew for a bit.
I still can’t help it. My first reaction when something “bad” happens to one of my characters is to want to give them a solution. Solve the problem and move on. I’ve had to make myself draw out the adversity, and not offer instant absolution or a miraculous cure.
It’s not always fun, but it’s far more realistic than sprinkling fairy dust on a story, and everything turning shiny in three seconds flat.
Rocky Mountain Desire starts with a hurting hero. During the past two books in the series, Matt has been put through the wringer. I think because he wasn’t the “featured hero”, I didn’t have as much trouble being mean to him. It’s as if what happens is enough on the periphery the tragedy unfolds without me trying to stop it. But now that Matt was centre stage?
I wanted to solve his problems, cuddle him close and drop him into his HEA. But I couldn’t. He had to work for it, just like anyone else.
Three times as I was writing this story I was ready to let him off the hook. Everything would be turning into rose-coloured happiness, and suddenly I’d stop dead. Matt and Hope would sigh, and I’d fuss for a few minutes, back up, and allow the disaster overtake them again. Because there were lessons that Matt, and Hope, the heroine, needed to learn.
Just because we’ve been hurt in the past it doesn’t mean we “deserve” a happily-ever-after, and it’s the same thing for Matt and Hope. While Matt might not have done anything to deserve being kicked around, he needed to take the steps to make sure that it wouldn’t ever happen again. That he realized what he was and wasn’t responsible for.
That he understood who he is, and what he really wanted from his life.
And sometimes it’s only working through the disasters and the pain that we can make the decisions that are right for us. Not based on imagination, not based on wishful thinking. Based on fact, and hard work, and real caring and love.
So, yes, I was a mean, cruel, rotten author to Matt and Hope, and yet in the end if they could talk to me? I think they would say the final result was worth fighting for. Love that will last because they know what it takes to make it stay.
I hope you enjoy their journey.
If you’d like to try a taste of the Six Pack Ranch, I have an ebook copy of winner’s choice—either book 1 in the series, Rocky Mountain Heat, or book 2, Rocky Mountain Haven. Leave a comment for your chance to win:
Rocky Mountain Desire
Six Pack Ranch, Book 3
Nothing comes easy. You’ve gotta work for it.
Matt Coleman always figured at this point in his life, he’d be settled down with a family. Since his ex split for the big city, though, no way will he give anyone else the chance to drop-kick his heart. Physical pleasure? Hell, yeah, he’ll take—and give—with gusto, but nothing more.
Hope Meridan is working long hours to hold on to her new quilt shop, going it alone since her sister/business partner ran off. Sex? Right, like she’s got the time. Not that she doesn’t have the occasional dirty fantasy about Matt. Fat chance he’d dream of knocking boots with her—the younger sister of the woman who dumped him. Nope, she’ll just have to settle for the F-word.
Friends would be far easier if there wasn’t something combustible going on between them. And when casual interest starts to grow into something more, their tenuous bond strengthens in the heat of desire. But it may not survive the hurricane-force arrival of the last person either of them ever wanted to see again…
Warning: Small-town rivals, men in pursuit and family meddling—in good and bad ways. Look for a cowboy who knows how to rope, ride and rein in a hell of a lot more than eight seconds of sheer bliss.
First Chapter: Excerpt