BETWEEN THE PAGES with Amanda McIntyre

As a reader, (because authors ARE readers, too, right?) we turn the pages of our favorite stories getting lost in the tale, imagining ourselves as perhaps one of the characters—maybe the heroine who gets swept away by the handsome hero or maybe anti-hero? Maybe its that quiet secondary character who catches your eye, and keeps you intrigued as to what his/her fate will one day be?

Quite often I’ve been asked, “Where do you get your ideas for your stories?” And most often I have to stop and think of which book to tell them about.

I think most authors would agree, ideas come from unexpected sources—standing in line at the grocery store, overhearing a conversation in the car next to you at the gas station, maybe hearing a line in a song, reading a news line, maybe (for the lucky) it comes in a dream.

In series writing, which is what I am writing primarily these days—those characters may pop up as suddenly as uninvited guests, lingering around long enough and making things that much more interesting that they become like family. Example; I have one character, Betty, who owns the diner in my little historical mining town of End of the Line, Montana. 

Book I, Kinnison Legacy
In my first book that started this particular series journey (RUGGED HEARTS, Book I, Kinnison Legacy trilogy) Betty appeared as the lovable town gossip. She had been around long enough in town to watch my hero brothers—Wyatt, Dalton and Rein—grow into the men they are today. She also knew their step-dad/uncle (you'll have to read how that one works) and basically if one wants to know anything about anyone—Betty’s your best bet. Fiercely protective of her friends and family, she’s also a bit of a match-maker as well. 

One of these days, I hope to publish a cookbook that Betty and I have been working on!

I asked a few friends who stood out as one of their fav secondary characters…here’s what they had to say…

Hildie McQueen
My favorite secondary character is Heath Hewitt in Where The Four Winds Collide. He is the younger brother of the hero, who was only supposed to be there as one of the motivators for the hero.

Heath ended up with one of the most touching scenes and with a story line that I had to taper down so he wouldn't steal the show from his brother Jackson!

Ciara Knight
In my current work in progress, Love on the Ranch, a meddling mother (Rose) sets up pranks and all sorts of madness to push her over-achieving, practical son toward an impractical bride who might not be able to save his land, but she could save his heart.

Kathryn LeVeque
Kieran Hage from The Wolfe. When I wrote The Wolfe, Kieran was originally not meant to have a huge role, but as I got deeper into the book, his personality just came through. Writers talk about their characters coming alive, and Kieran really did - and that's why in my latest release, A Wolfe Among Dragons, I had such a hard time because I wrote Kieran's death scene as an old man. Ugly crying!

Merry Farmer
That would definitely have to be Theophilus Gunn. He's the manager of The Cattleman Hotel in Haskell, Wyoming, and he shows up in most of my Brides of Paradise Ranch books. He's also mentioned in my West Meets East series and my Silver Foxes of Westminster series.

In my head, he has a complete, complex, and epic backstory. Lived both in Europe and America, was a spy in two wars, and just wants a little peace now that he's settled in Wyoming. If you want anything "taken care of" go to Theophilus Gunn. <wiggles eyebrows>

Angi Morgan
Frank in Gunslinger. He's a retired Texas Ranger but you don't find that out until halfway through the book. He's a funny old coot who seems to take care of everyone in Hico. Right now, he only appears in Gunslinger...but just wait for Ranger Warrior!!

Jacqui Nelson
I’d be very challenged to pick my favorite hero or heroine, but when it comes to my favorite secondary character, my choice is clear! It’s Grandpa Gus Peregrine! In my Christmas novella, The Calling Birds, Gus is a lovable troublemaker who works hard but also knows how to have fun. More often than not, he’s joking and smiling. My mom was the inspiration for Gus’ personality, but instead of being absentminded she was extremely stubborn. So much so that she’d make me worry about her safely—just like Gus’ grandson Jack can’t stop worrying about his grandpa.

E.E. Burke
I’d say Billy Frye in Fugitive Hearts. He's been on his own since he was 5. He's slept in boxcars and been passed around from family to family. At 11 now, he’s a tough kid with survivor instincts, very clever, and despite being treated poorly has a big heart. He adores my heroine (Mrs. Claire Daines) who wishes to adopt him and takes him in. He will protect her with his life if need be, and that's what ends up getting Billy and Claire into big trouble.

Donna Michaels
My lovesick cow, Lula Belle. She's in love with my hero from Book 1 and causes trouble for his heroine all throughout the series. She's a riot to write!

This is a new column for GLIAS! 
Starting once a month we'll be sharing thoughts "behind the scenes" with authors--new projects, appearances, convention buzz, as well as a contest or two!!

**JUNE 14.2018**





**Do you have a question for one of our authors? Leave it in the comments and  we'll try to answer it asap!!

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