Writing A Lady's Heart of Gold has been an incredible experience. I hope you enjoy these characters. Original illustrations in the book, including two full page illustrations AND the "chapter end" illustrations were created by Melanie Bateman, of MAB Illustrations.
CHARACTER INSPIRATION: MOLLY MCKINNEY
#charactersketch #characterinspiration #mollymckinney
I looked long and hard for the right "Molly" face. I found one with Ella Hunt. Brown hair, brown eyes, with a look that honestly reminds me of so many girls I was friends with a long, long time ago. Honestly, she looks like a real person to me. Which I love.
Molly Elizabeth McKinney is the heroine of my upcoming Hearts of Arizona novel, A Lady's Heart of Gold.
She's the British half of our romantic couple, and our hero finds her ADORABLE. She's determined, stubborn, curious, and has an adventurous heart.
Did I mention she's a newspaper reporter?
In the late 1800's, women were starting to make a splash in the newspaper world. In London, a woman both owned and edited a large newspaper. Women's magazines were taking off. Nellie Bly was an established figure in the world of investigative reporting. So it stands to reason that a determined woman with literary skills would find a way into that profession.
In this book, you'll learn all about Molly. For one thing, she publishes under her initials, M.E. McKinney. That keeps both her editor and her readers from assuming a woman doesn't know what she's talking about.
I hope y'all enjoy this little sneak peek into what's ahead.
(First posted on Sally Sweet Romance Fans Facebook Group)
Another random fact about me: I LOVE the Lord of the Rings. Aragorn is my fave.
He's one of my desk/office buddies. Lately, he's been hanging out on the shelf next to my friends from The Princess Bride, but he makes little appearances on the desk now and then. Isn't he a cutie?
I LOVE Tolkien's worlds. I read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy prior to seeing any films, unless you count the creepy Hobbit cartoon from the 70's. In fact, my senior literary thesis class was called "Tolkien and Friends." One of the two professors team-teaching (they both resembled hobbits, by the way) had actually MET Tolkien years previous. It was an incredible class. I learned so much about the interpretation of literature and film.
So who's your favorite Tolkien character? Do you have one? Why is that one your fave?
I love Aragorn - both book and movie version, which are quite different - for his honor and strength of character. He's a wonderful fictional hero. And my lil' Aragorn inspires me to write men of valor in my tales of romance!
Get your own Funko Pop Aragorn for your desk/shelves HERE!
How Do You Decide What to Write Next?
Sometimes, I have to look at what's due. What have I promised to my editor? My fans? Is anything on pre-order? Once I've met obligations, and it's literally just ME picking what happens next, I choose the story that's most impatient to get out. I have those. Stories that are on my mind, with the plot and characters doing circles from the back of my brain to the forefront, over and over until I take notice of them. That's how I decide. Which story is taking up the most of my mental bandwith? That's the one that has to get out next!
Do you like character bios? I always have, and they're pretty essential for me to create as an author. Today, I'm sharing the heroine for my next western/Victorian novel: Evelyn Lyon, Countess Tyneham. At least, that's her name for about half the book. Then she becomes Mrs. Evelyn Morgan, wife to our favorite foreman, "Frosty."
Evelyn is so much fun to write. She's my third heroine who starts her novel as a widow - but she's the first one who isn't all that sad about it. She's too busy surviving to mourn a man who didn't hold her in very high regard. I've loved writing about her as a love interest because she has so much going on in her head and emotions, so much to worry about, with a daughter as dependent on Evelyn making good choices as Evelyn is.
Karen Gillan (ugh, typo in the graphic - sorry!) is Scottish. My heroine is not. But Karen has that copper-haired, playful beauty that I picture as I write Evelyn.
This book is different from the first of my westerns because, this time, we have a woman who is used to the stylish life of English High Society suddenly dropped in the desert, amid coyotes and cowboys, and expected to learn how to do everything a prairie wife has to accomplish every day. While caring for three children and coming to know the near-stranger she married.
Evelyn has a lot of pluck, though. She's determined to make the best of things. And if that cowboy she married wants to flirt with her, he can go on ahead and flirt! She'll just keep on guarding her heart. At least. She'll try. ;-)
She has a hard road to travel. Her mother brought Evelyn up to believe that her only asset is her beauty and her only value is that of a pretty wife on the arm of an important man. Before long, Evelyn discovers what her mother taught her may not be the only way to claim a place in the hearts of others.
Copper for the Countess is the second book in the Hearts of Arizona Western/Victorian romances. It's available for pre-order now and will be released in September.
I write clean and sweet Historical Romance Novels, I live in the desert, I'm a mom of four, madly in love with my husband, and I love to read!
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