Guest Post:The Right Stuff by Tess Oliver
As a writer, I’ve developed this rather annoying habit of imagining up story scenarios for complete strangers I see while driving or shopping or doing whatever it is that takes me into the world. It might be a quirky mannerism like a jogger stopping to touch a certain light post before turning around or a driver pounding out a drum solo on his steering wheel.
Sometimes these strangers become an inspiration for a sidekick or interesting secondary character in one of my stories. It’s rare when I see a stranger on the road or street who has hero potential but it happened the other morning on my way to work.
A rather shabby car with a pile of stuff tied down to the roof drove up next to me at a signal. It was a young guy. The interior of his car was filled with even more stuff. Immediately I started wondering what could have happened in his life to make him squeeze all his belongings into his battered, semi-safe car. Was he leaving a girl he’d broken up with? Had he been kicked out of the house? Or maybe he was off to some cool new job in another state. My head spun with all kinds of plot lines. (Of course there was always the less romantic possibility that he’d cleared out some closets and was making a trip to Goodwill.)
Eventually, he switched lanes and was driving in front of me. When we came to a stop, I noticed a cat lounging in the back window atop a round, fuzzy cat bed. I smiled and had my usual ahh reaction that happens whenever I see a cute animal of any kind. And that’s when it occurred to me– my character of the morning wasn’t just some guy who seemed to have a sketchy, got to leave town, story surrounding him. The guy driving in front of me in a beat up car with a lot of junk tied to his roof had hero potential. Why was this guy different? What gave him that extra edge that made him the kind of guy I love to read and write about? It wasn’t the fact that he had endured some perceived tragedy or problem in his life. It wasn’t that he was driving a pathetic looking car loaded down with his equally pathetic life’s belongings. It wasn’t just because he was nice looking with an appealing five o ‘clock shadow and a just hopped out of bed head of hair. Those things were part of his charm for sure but the thing that really nailed his hero potential was that no matter what had made him pack up his life, no matter what had befallen him that had sent him out alone in the world, no matter where he was headed to, he was taking his cat with him.
Think about your favorite romantic hero. What is it that makes you think — oh yeah, I want one just like him?
About the Book:
Freefall is a New Adult Contemporary Romance.
After leaving high school, with a hard won diploma and the title of most likely to break hearts, Alexander “Nix” Pierce has left his wild, out of control years mostly behind him. A small inheritance from his grandfather has given him the funds to open up his tattoo shop, Freefall, and he has started to pull his life together. Aside from trying to keep his best friend, Dray, from killing himself in the fight ring, and his slight obsession with a pin-up model he’s never met, Nix’s life is going smoothly . . . until Scotlyn James, the object of his obsession, walks into his shop.
Ever since a tragic accident killed her family and left her alone in the world, Scotlyn James hasn’t spoken one word. Up until now she didn’t care that she had no way of talking to people. Her awful aunt would never have listened, and Lincoln Hammond the arrogant, selfish man who pulled her from the streets of Los Angeles wouldn’t hear her words if she could speak. But when Lincoln insists she get a tattoo to cover up a scar on her side, Scotlyn meets the artist, Nix Pierce. And now she longs for her voice. Now she has found someone who will hear her.
About the Author:
Tess Oliver is a USA Today bestselling author of young adult, new adult and adult romances. She lives in southern California on a mini-suburban ranch with her husband, kids and a lot of adorable animals. She’s also a teacher with a Masters in curriculum and instruction. She loves any movie set in 19th century England, any book written by Jane Austen, any food containing chocolate and any song sung by Eddie Vedder.
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