I am so thrilled to have author Maggie Preston by today to talk with us and to share her book Sex and Insensibility – I can’t wait to get a chance to read this one. It looks exactly like something I’d love!
The Characters I Love to Read and Write by Maggie Preston
Would you still love the books you love if the characters developed differently? Would we revel as much in their happily ever-after-ending? No. Why?
To me, it’s because they are the story, the reason we’re reading. The plot is what happens around them, to them, but they are what make us care. Readers connect with the characters. The plot may intrigue, the setting may inspire, the dialogue may make us laugh, the sex scenes may make us….well…let’s skip that part. Characters are why we turn the page. Readers want them to succeed or fail, grow or perish, reach the brass ring or fall into the fiery pit. And it’s their journey that readers crave.
Few character types intrigue me more than the bad boy or bad girl. Rebels without a pause button. Outsiders who don’t look in. The bad boy/girl appeals to the part of us that wants to defy expectations. Because let’s face it, most of us do what’s expected. The bad boy/girl challenges the expectation. They are usually ostracized for it and our bad boy/girl responds with strength and conviction to their own expectations rather than those of others. And whether or not they want it for themselves, readers want acceptance for them, even if it’s only with their soulmate. We want others to see how wonderful and special they are, even if they are “bad.”
The wounded soul. Desolate souls adrift without a compass or an oar, and there’s a hole in the boat. No, two holes. And sharks. They are so beat down by life they’d have to look up to see rock bottom. Theirs is a story of second chances, not just at love but at life. They are strong. They just don’t know it. Every victory they take, every step, every newfound piece of confidence is Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas morning and New Year’s Eve rolled into one glittery package. While you want them to succeed, success is not the prize. For the wounded soul, the prize is a rediscovery of their self-worth.
While the first two character types can apply to men and women equally, I think the next two are fairly exclusive to one gender, at least in fiction. There are always exceptions, and good ones at that, but for the most part, you’ll find these two stick are respective to a particular gender.
The alpha male characters are massively popular with romance readers. Navy Seal. High-powered exec. Fire fighter. Uber rich guys with six pack abs, a limitless American Express card and a private jet. They tend to be male because the vast majority of romance readers are female. For me, the alpha male appeals to that part of me I don’t talk about, the part that wants to be taken care of. Finding an honest, sexy, funny strong man to take that off the shoulders now and then is appealing. The alpha male’s take charge attitude and endless sex appeal make us feel soft and feminine. I’m not promoting a cave-man mentality. These guys know the special qualities that make us strong also make us desirable. We appeal to them as much as they appeal to us. What’s not sexy about that?
For my female character, I love to take her and put her totally out of her element. Not just a fish out of water, but a genetically modified, one-finned speckled grouper in an alternate dimension of space and time who’s running out of oxygen (or water, she’s a fish after all) while the aliens converge on her spaceship. I find these characters appeal because it ignites the survival instinct in us.
The great thing about the FOOW is she appeals to both alpha and beta males. Alpha males see her personality as a strong complement to their own. Beta males – more reserved and intellectual – love watching her solve the puzzles of life.
Regardless of the arc type, the arc is what is important. That progression to a new and better self. The character is the reason we go on the journey. They take us with them because we want to go. We are invested in their story with each page and the payout at the end makes it worth it.
Lovers of Belle Terre Book 1
by Maggie Preston
Only a few things stand in the way of Lara Haley and Will Kenner finding their happily ever after: his ex-wife, her dead husband, three kids, two dogs, one kitten and a flaming bulldozer.
Lara Haley has it all. At least that’s what everyone tells her. Husband (estranged). Home (her mother-in-law’s). Family (smothering). When she finds her estranged husband’s dead body behind her Buick along with her prize-winning camellia he was trying to steal in the – ahem – dead of night, Lara decides it’s time for a change.
Will Kenner left town in the back of the sheriff’s car and never looked back. He left behind his family (estranged), the town (smothering) and most of all, Lara (sexy). Now he’s back, intent on saving the struggling town and his family. And this time, nothing will keep him from pursuing Lara.
Passion over takes common sense and sensibility for our two lovers. A hilariously uncomfortable funeral, a protest that pits neighbor against neighbor, and a few secrets are all that keep Will and Lara from finding their happily ever after. Piece of cake.
Check out an excerpt here
Purchase your own copy at Bookstrand.com
Maggie Preston writes emotionally packed stories of second chances, with things that usually blow up along the way. Her first book, Sex and Insensibility, was released in June. Visit her at authormaggiepreston.com or follow her on Twitter @maggie_preston.