BLOG POST TITLE: On Characters, and how they change
Hi peeps! I’m so happy to be here on Jennifer’s blog, chatting to you all about FOOL’S GOLD.
FOOL’S GOLD is the second in The Diamond Series, featuring Pearl and Garrett, characters introduced in the first book, ROUGH DIAMOND. In ROUGH DIAMOND, these characters were purely there to support the protagonists, to be their foil, their guide, their sounding board, to advance the plot of that story. However, when my editor asked me to write Pearl’s story, I had to rethink these characters entirely, and come up with goals and motivations for Pearl and her hero, Ethan Garrett.
It’s amazing how these things germinate and then grow, becoming lovely blooming flowers (how’s that for a metaphor??). I started with Pearl and wondered why did she agree to move all the way from Chicago to Wyoming, to become the star of her friend’s burlesque spectacular? Pearl was a big-time chorus girl in Chicago, used to the accolades of many. Why would she drop that and move to the wilds of Wyoming, to a small town comprising roughly 200 people because her friend asked, a friend she hadn’t seen in years? I mean, that seems a bit odd, right? So...why?
Well, Pearl was a chorus girl in the late 1800s, and men—rich men—would assume she was for sale. When all you wanted to do was perform, when the love of the stage drove you, it must be disappointing—devastating, even—that you couldn’t escape that assumption. And, worse...what if you were tempted to say yes? So, Pearl left before she succumbed, before she gave in and hated herself for her weakness.
Yay! I had a motivation for Pearl, and the basis of a conflict. Pearl didn’t much like rich men for the reminder of her weakness. So what did I need to do? Make Ethan a rich man, of course!
But how could I do that? In ROUGH DIAMOND, Ethan Garrett was established as a coal surveyor, a man hired to determine the value of the heroine’s claim. He seemed a regular sort of man, one who drifted from place to place, following the coal. How could he become a rich man?
Well, Ehtan must have had a family at some point. What if it was a family he hadn’t seen for years? What if his family was rich, if he’d grown up in wealth? What if he developed a passion for coal, and his family hadn’t understood? What if he left home to pursue his passion, and his family wanted him to give up his silly ‘playing in coal’?
Boom! Conflict! Goals! Motivation! Huzzah! Now that I had all of that, I could write the story of Pearl and Ethan, and that’s exactly what I did!
Leave your answer to the following question about FOOL’S GOLD along with your email address in the comments below and you’ll go in the running to WIN a USD$5 Amazon.com Gift Card, as well as a signed FOOL’S GOLD postcard, a signed ROUGH DIAMOND postcard, a FOOL’S GOLD magnet and a ROUGH DIAMOND magnet. International entries are welcome - if Australia Post can reach your country, you can enter!
Here’s the question, peeps:
In FOOL’S GOLD, what is it about Pearl that makes Ethan haul her into a passionate embrace? (Hint: Check out the excerpt, peeps!)
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I'd like to thank Cassandra for joining us today. Fool's Gold sounds awesome!
Cassandra will announce her winner on Thurs. March, 7th.
~Author Jennifer Labelle~