Thursday, March 7, 2013

Falling in Love with Your Characters - Guest Post by Merry Farmer - Win a Starbucks Gift Card

Falling in Love with Your Characters
Guest Post by Merry Farmer
Conventional wisdom in the writing world says that you should write the kind of books that you want to read. That is absolutely true. But I am going to take that a step further for those of us who write Romance. When writing Romance, you should not only write the kind of story you want to read, you should create the kind of hero that you would fall in love with.

Falling in love with your hero is the best part of the process of writing a Romance, as far as I’m concerned. Just like a relationship in the real world, writing a first draft is like those first few weeks of dating. You’re getting to know the guy, his habits and his quirks. You’re exploring those things that drew you to him in the first place. And as the first few chapters develop into something more, you get that delicious, twitterpated feeling every time he walks into the room. The blush of first love is sweet indeed!

The best is yet to come, though. Over time you really get to know that character. You often get to see him at his worst as you put him through the trials and tribulations of the plot. The awesome thing about a hero in a Romance setting is that you get to see him hit rock-bottom, and then you get to witness the turn-around. Because in Romance the hero always rises above the pain of his circumstances. He stands by his woman and sacrifices for love. In Romance there is always a Happily Ever After. And that’s what makes the hero so irresistible!

I love every one of the heroes I’ve written so far. Okay, maybe that borders on polygamy a bit, but each one of them has something about them that really shakes my jig. I love Crispin in The Loyal Heart for his steadfast devotion to Aubrey, in spite of impossible odds and her own rather mean rejection (at first). I love Jack in The Faithful Heart for the sheer joy with which he faces life and the fact that he will do whatever it takes not only to win Madeline’s love, but to help the people who depend on him. I love Ethan in The Courageous Heart for his willingness to change when he hits rock-bottom – perhaps the rockiest bottom I’ve ever given one of my characters.

But lately I’ve been thinking a lot about my hero Michael West from Our Little Secrets. I could make the case that Michael is my favorite hero of all and that if every hero I’ve written was lined up in front of me, he would be the one I would go for. The thing is, Michael is not an alpha hero. He’s fast approaching middle age, he’s not particularly tall or handsome, and he wears glasses. He may also be the most tortured soul I’ve written. He can’t let the secrets of his past go, even when he can see the promise of the future in front of him.

Yep, I love a good tortured soul. And even though my best friend tells me I should stop making friends with crazy people, I can’t help but love Michael for all the whacky ways of thinking and painful missteps he makes throughout Our Little Secrets. He’s a great guy at heart, he just needs his heroine, Charlie, to bring it out in him. I cheered for him throughout the entire process of writing and revising that book, in spite of the facepalm-worthy mistakes he made along the way.

I love Michael as though he is a real person. And in the end that love shows through the pages. He’s real to me. All of my characters are real to me and they deserve all the love I can give them. In his book On Writing, Stephen King talks about how we as writers have to really know and respect our characters, even if we aren’t in love with them, but as I said at the start, I am a firm believer in the fact that in Romance love is most definitely the answer.

So who do you love? Which characters, of your own creation or someone else’s creation, are you head-over-heels for? Leave a comment below letting everyone know. One lucky winner will land themselves an eBook of Our Little Secrets so you can see who I’m in love with and a Starbucks gift card. Good luck and good loving!

Our Little Secrets
by Merry Farmer

Michael West swore he would never fall in love again. So when the beautiful and wily Charlotte steps off the train looking for a new life he jumps at the business opportunity she presents. Engaged forty-five minutes after meeting, married the next day, Michael thinks he’s found everything a respectable man should have. Except that Michael is as far from respectable as they come. They agreed not to ask questions about each other’s pasts, but when the past seeps into their present Michael suspects his passionate new wife is not who she says she is. Too bad he’s already fallen in love with her.

Charlotte Baldwin has a secret. She fled Philadelphia to escape the sins of her past but someone is following her. What better way to hide than by marrying Michael West, Cold Springs, Montana’s enigmatic shopkeeper? A new name, a new life, and a passionate husband is exactly what she needs to leave her sins behind. But when it comes to keeping secrets Charlotte may have met her match in Michael. When a connection neither of them expects catches up with them, the shocking revelation means Charlotte may have run right into the arms of her enemy.

No sin stays a secret forever….

About the author:
Merry Farmer is an award-winning novelist who lives in suburban Philadelphia with her two cats, Butterfly and Torpedo. She has been writing since she was ten years old and realized one day that she didn't have to wait for the teacher to assign a creative writing project to write something. It was the best day of her life. She then went on to earn not one but two degrees in History so that she would always having something to write about. Today she is a giant History nerd and a hopeless romantic waiting for her own love story to start. Her first book, The Loyal Heart, is a swashbuckling Medieval Historical Romance involving a love triangle that will keep you guessing.  Both The Loyal Heart and its sequels, The Faithful Heart and The Courageous Heart, are available wherever eBooks are sold.  She has also begun a new Western Historical Romance series set in Montana in 1895.  The first of that series, Our Little Secrets, is now available.  The second, Fool for Love, will be released in early 2013.  Merry is also passionate about blogging, knitting, and cricket and is working towards becoming an internationally certified cricket scorer. 

Find out more at

As mentioned above, Merry is giving one lucky winner an eBook of Our Little Secrets and a Starbucks gift card. To enter, leave a comment answering the question asked by Merry. Then, to keep you from having to publicly display your email addresses, please fill out the Rafflecopter form after you have commented.

Sorry! This giveaway is now over.


  1. I'm reading Divergent now so my current crush is Four, the silent and strong instructor of the main character. Thanks for the giveaway!

  2. Just finished reading Opal (The third in the Lux series) and I'm head over heels for Daemon. He's such a jerk, in the most wonderful of ways. Love me a flawed hero. :)

  3. I'm a little bit in love with Raphael, the romantic lead in Nalini Singh's Guilt Hunter series. He's a bit of an a... er, jerk. :-) Very arrogant. But he adores the MC and because he loves her he is willing to listen, learn, and grow in ways Archangels usually don't. And, I admit, I'm also a little bit in love with TWO of the men from my own Sunwalker series. :-)

  4. I love Edward Cullen from the Twilight series and Peeta from the Hunger Games series. Both are loyal, kind and cute! Thanks for this amazing giveaway - I would love to win!

    susanw28 (at) mindspring (dot) com

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. Just finished Immortal Ever After: An Argeneau Novel by Lynsay Sands and Im head over heels for Anders .Thank you for sharing I enjoyed your post .Have a great weekend .

  7. Love the cover, so sweet:)

  8. Edward from Twilight is one of my favorites.
    Thanks for the chance to win!



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