I've got a new book coming in March--I'm launching it here with a giveaway!


I've got a new book coming in March--I'm launching it here with a giveaway!

I've got a new book coming in March--I'm launching it here with a giveaway!

The Unexpected Champion releases March 5th

I've got a new book coming in March--I'm launching it here with a giveaway!
I want to talk today about developing interesting characters.

I've got a new book coming in March--I'm launching it here with a giveaway!
There are those that say I myself am an interesting character, (or maybe they just "she's a character?") But that's a different blog post!

Sometimes it's a struggle to get characters to come to life.

And it's hard to explain what I mean about that, but I'll try.

I smile when I think about The Unexpected Champion.

I like writing tough, feisty heroines. I do it so much that sometimes I FORCE myself to not make my heroines tough, just to try and not be boring.

I've got a new book coming in March--I'm launching it here with a giveaway!
Click to Pre-Order
In The Accidental Guardian and The Reluctant Warrior, Deb and Gwen, the heroines, weren't necessarily tough.

They were strong, hardworking women, but they weren't frontier women. They had a lot to learn. Their toughness was inside, mental toughness. A knack for taking what life threw at them and dealing with it as best they could. And learning everything they could.

In book #3 The Unexpected Champion, my heroine is TOUGH.

Penny Scott has been living on the frontier for two years, working in a series of western forts, following her brother from post to post.

She knows the wilderness. She knows tracking. She can live off the land and, what's more, she likes it.

Give her a gun, a skinning knife and a little time and she'll take care of everything. She'll build you a house, clothe you, feed you and protect you.

And then she got lost. She has the knife, gun and time. So they stay alive. But where in the world are they? Where is a town? The mountainous wilderness is an endless series of hills and mountains, cliffs and valleys, all leading nowhere.

The fact that she gets kidnapped, is blindfolded, tossed in a wagon under a tarp, then is driven deep into the wilderness using twisting trails...and sometimes no trails, then, while escaping, gets chased over a cliff, down a river and through endless forests, capped off with a gully washer, lightning and thunder storm.

She is hopelessly lost. That's bad enough. But why'd she have to get kidnapped with a guy from the city who gets upset when he can't take a bath and put on clean clothes each morning?

I like my heroes to be tough guys, too.

I've got a new book coming in March--I'm launching it here with a giveaway!
Click to Buy
In The Unexpected Champion I tried to create a character in the hero, John McCall, who was a fish out of water. When he's lost with a bossy female in the wilderness, he's no help, in fact, he's slowing her down.

And then he gets into his own world. Now who doesn't know how to swim?

Penny can't read tracks on the streets of the wide-open boomtown of Virginia City.

But John can. He turns out to be really tough once he gets into his own world.

Now Penny's the one who has to let someone else take charge. It doesn't come to her naturally, but she's smart enough to know John had to lead 'cuz she has no idea where she's going.

And, when they finally came staggering out of the wilderness after a week, it turns out Penny's brother mistakenly thought John had kidnapped her.

That's a little mix-up that almost gets John hung and, due to the twisted logic of a fire-and-brimstone...sheriff's WIFE, Penny has to choose between letting them hang him, or marrying him.

It's not a decision she makes all that easily.

So mostly, I tried to make each character ignorant--and I used that to build respect and finally LOVE between them.

John just shuts up and lets Penny give orders in the wilderness.

Penny becomes (outwardly) the sweet submissive little wife in Virginia City.

And neither of them are that happy about the wedding.

John still has a job to do, which is take Penny's nephew Ronnie home to his grandparents in the east.

If he tries that, Penny's gonna have to kill him. Which is a quick and easy way to get a divorce, if you don't end up being hung.

And Penny claimed a homestead and has a cabin to build and a herd of cattle to manage. John says, if she wants to live with her husband, he's a Pinkerton agent from Philadelphia.

I've got a new book coming in March--I'm launching it here with a giveaway!
Click to Buy
And there's a mysterious killer on their trail who thinks they know too much about him to be allowed to live.

Except now, they're on his trail, too.

He's going to be sorry he didn't just let them go when they escaped him.

He's going to be sorry he kidnapped them to begin with.

Today I want to talk about YOUR current character. YOUR work in progress.

How do you make your characters come alive? Is it physical descriptions? Dialogue? Back story?

Tell me about your character. The one you're creating right now. And if you'd like to brainstorm ways to make them come to life, we'll talk about it.

Or if you're a  reader, then tell me about a character you're reading about right now. And tell me what brings a character to life for you.

The Unexpected Champion arrived...Bethany always sends me a copy hot off the presses and IT. IS HERE!!!

I'll be getting more copies in the next week or two.

Today, I'm giving away a signed copy of The Unexpected Champion.

Leave a comment to get your name in the drawing.


92 Comments on Seekerville: The Journey Continues: I've got a new book coming in March--I'm launching it here with a giveaway!

  • Winnie
    on February 04, 2019 | 01:34 Winniesaid :
    "I'm a reader, not a writer, so I get to read about all your wonderful, interesting, amazing characters! I enjoy reading the posts here at Seekerville. They're always entertaining, as are the comments. What a great bunch of people! Keep up the great work, Mary!

    Throw my name in the hat for a copy of your book. I'd love to win a copy. "
  • kim hansen
    on February 04, 2019 | 02:25 kim hansensaid :
    "I'm a reader too and love wonderful and crazy characters. I enjoy reading this blog and how the writers come up with some of there characters."
  • kaybee
    on February 04, 2019 | 08:42 kaybeesaid :
    "Mary, what a plot, and what a great twist on "marriage of convenience." Nobody does a feisty heroine like you.
    Let's see...The sequel to my Oregon Trail novel, "Westward Hope," coming this September. In the sequel an Irishwoman, Oona Moriarty, travels to the Oregon Country to persuade her brother Michael, the hero in the first book, to come back to Ireland with her and wreak revenge on the English landlord. Mike isn't buying it, he's cast his lot with the New World. But Oona, nursing her hate and resentment, decides to go back alone. She doesn't plan on falling in love with Wagon master Pace Williams, a rootless drifter with a horrific childhood and sketchy past. Pace knows he's found his forever home with Oona, but he refuses to go to Ireland with her and she can't let go of the home she lost. When Pace's ancient enemies track him down after 19 years, Pace and Oona have to join forces to defeat them, and they redefine the meaning of "home." God to go, Monday morning "stuff," may be back later.
    Kathy Bailey"
  • Mindy Obenhaus
    on February 04, 2019 | 08:43 Mindy Obenhaussaid :
    "Mary, I'm exhausted after reading this post. And totally ready to read The Unexpected Champion. All those twists and turns... Wow. "
  • Cindy Regnier
    on February 04, 2019 | 10:09 Cindy Regniersaid :
    "Hi Mary. The Unexpected Champion sounds wonderful - but then all your books are wonderful. I have never thought of one of your characters as "boring." Thanks for a great post and best wishes for the success of The Unexpected Champion."
  • Mary Connealy
    on February 04, 2019 | 10:44 Mary Connealysaid :
    "Hi Winni!!!! Thank you for the kind words. You're in the drawing!!!"
  • Mary Connealy
    on February 04, 2019 | 10:46 Mary Connealysaid :
    "Hi Kim. I wish I was better at explaining it. It's complex, about describing them physically, telling their backstory, letting them display emotion so the reader feels it.
    And plunking them into a story that is altered by the individual character.
    Also, it's hard to explain because I probably don't know what I'm talking about."
  • Mary Connealy
    on February 04, 2019 | 10:47 Mary Connealysaid :
    "kaybee you know I'm a fan of this series. This just all sounds fantastic!"
  • Mary Connealy
    on February 04, 2019 | 10:49 Mary Connealysaid :
    "Mindy I loved making BOTH of them have to rely on the other when the person with the right strengths was needed.
    It is so easy to make her strong in the wilderness but not quite as easy to make her dependent in a city.
    And of course Penny is strong where ever she is, so that needs to come through, too.
    'I'm letting you take charge, but I'm right here ready to do what needs to be done.'"
  • Amanda Barnes
    on February 04, 2019 | 10:50 Amanda Barnessaid :
    "I have really enjoyed the other two - look forward to seeing how this turns out!"
  • Mary Connealy
    on February 04, 2019 | 10:50 Mary Connealysaid :
    "Aw, thanks, Cindy. I am always trying to write the most entertaining books I can. Everything else is secondary to grabbing the reader and taking them on an adventure."
  • Mary Connealy
    on February 04, 2019 | 10:51 Mary Connealysaid :
    "It's coming, Amanda!!! And thank you for reading my books."
  • Valri
    on February 04, 2019 | 10:59 Valrisaid :
    "I just finished reading a book with a character that was being hunted by a dirty cop and instead of hiding out, she decided to confront him in a public manner and bring him down! That certainly showed a lot of courage! She said she didn't want to be hiding all of her life! Even if she lost her life, she wanted to know she at least tried to do the right thing! "
  • Valri
    on February 04, 2019 | 11:00 Valrisaid :
    "Oh, plus enter me in the drawing please :)"
  • Caryl Kane
    on February 04, 2019 | 11:00 Caryl Kanesaid :
    "Mary, Congrats on your upcoming release! I'm currently reading Coldwater by Samuel Parker. Michael is the hero with some unique abilities. He is dark and mysterious character.

    Please toss my name in the Stetson. Thanks!"
  • Mary Connealy
    on February 04, 2019 | 11:10 Mary Connealysaid :
    "Ahhh I love a tough, courageous woman! Good for her. You're in the drawing Valri."
  • Mary Connealy
    on February 04, 2019 | 11:17 Mary Connealysaid :
    "Hi Caryl. I just went and checked out Coldwater. It sounds like a great book. I'll give it a try."
  • Connie Queen
    on February 04, 2019 | 11:39 Connie Queensaid :
    "I love that you tried to make each character ignorant and used that to build respect and love. So backward from my normal way of creating the hero/heroine.

    Love all your covers. Bethany always does such a good job!"
  • WinterRose
    on February 04, 2019 | 11:41 WinterRosesaid :
    "I just finished reading "Cowboy Christmas". I loved Annette and Elijah. Their characters leaped off the page. They were well rounded, 3 dimensional, NOT perfect and I wish I could meet them in real life. I love characters like that. They have flaws and struggles but face life head on. Mostly. LOL"
  • Mary Connealy
    on February 04, 2019 | 11:46 Mary Connealysaid :
    "These covers are some of my very favorites ever, Connie!
    HEY! Connie lives near me now!

    Well, an hour, but in Nebraska that's practically next door.
    Hang on. Winter is almost over. Not counting February, which can be a bear. And March can be kinda cruel.

    Still...we beat down January and that's always the big fight."
  • Mary Connealy
    on February 04, 2019 | 11:49 Mary Connealysaid :
    "WinterRose, what a pretty name you chose! Good for you.
    Yes, flawed characters are so fun.
    I was inspired to write Annette's character after listening to a speech by Angela Hunt. She talked about listening to and obeying spiritual leaders.
    And I got to thinking, "But what if your spiritual leaders were wrong? What if they led you astray?"

    And here comes Annette, raised all her life to respect and obey her spiritual leaders. And then she falls into the hands of people who want to use her talent for beautiful singing to make money for themselves, not to minister to the lost as Annette believes.

    And then there's trouble.
    Coincidentally, along comes a Christmas."
  • Anonymous
    on February 04, 2019 | 12:05 Anonymoussaid :
    "I'm a reader and thoroughly enjoy all your books. I also love a strong, tough and fiesty heroine. I'm looking forward to the release of The Unexpected Champion. I recently finished your book, Loving the Mysterious Texan, which I read in one sitting. Awesome book!!!"
I've got a new book coming in March--I'm launching it here with a giveaway!

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