Every character must have one. The real test is figuring out the trick to creating a truly unique person. As an author, you want your hero to walk off the page, sweep the reader into his arms, and carry her off for the ride of her life.
The task can be easier said than done. Personally, I have tried any number of methods for fleshing out characters–from studying horoscope profiles to reading about the sixteen personality types. I’ve invested hours in studying the GMCs (Goal, Motivation & Conflict). In the quest to create memorable people that stand apart from the crowd, I’ve slapped my characters with scars, childhood traumas, and Tic Tac addictions.
Zachary Hunter, the hero of my erotic paranormal novel, The Mating Game, walked off the page Totally British. He’s a mystery suspense novelist and a sexy werewolf. He also possesses a dry wit and biting sarcasm. His voice was crisp and clean, but his vernacular presented an immediate issue. I, his author, am from Northern California. My familiarity with English accents derives primarily from Monty Python and Joss Whedon characters.
California has a great deal of diversity, so Brits are sometimes spotted in the wild, lurking about pubs and book stores. My early attempts into research began with tea and scones placed under a box trap, but the English are shy, wily creatures. The snare stood empty for days.
When I switched to baiting with hard liquor, I caught a fine Scottish lad immediately. Only I coldna understand a word he said. Not fer the life o’ me. Sadly, I set him free and turned to Google.
“The Best of the British” and “A Dictionary of Slang” are the top two hits to return when searching “British Slang”. Both are fun and interesting sites with a ton of useful information. I highly recommend them. I had a blast doing the research, and it presented a real challenge to use the jargon sparingly.
Zach talking to the heroine, Theresa:
“I’ve got a deadline, love. My editor is an absolute slave driver. That’s why I’m in this state.” He indicated the odious apparel with a flourish.
She rolled her eyes. “Of course. Your editor made you run through the forest in an orange dress. Makes perfect sense. I’m sorry I asked.”
He frowned. “I was running on four legs, love, not two. You know that.”
“Of course I do, but you didn’t expect anything but a hard time—showing up here in that.” Grinning, she gave him a quick up-down.
Zach chuckled. “Not really. To make a long story short, I left my clothes in a hunter’s blind but when I returned, my clothing was gone.”
“Did someone find your clothes?” she asked with a worried frown. Such a minor thing might result in unforeseen troubles for the pack. As a rule, the local werewolves went to great lengths to conceal their presence from the human population. Normal people in the small Nevada town of Iron Stone remained blithely unaware of the wolves living amongst them.
“Not someone—something,” Zach said. “Raccoons: three of the scrotty little sods. They ripped my clothes to shreds and dredged the creek with my shoes.”
“Oh, no!” Laughter again threatened to split her sides. She pressed her hands to her ribcage and gasped for breath. “Did you eat them?”
“No.” Zach looked miserable for the admission. “It was a mum and two babes. I didn’t have the heart.”
Theresa reached out and touched his hand. “You’re a good man, Zachary Hunter.”
“Thanks, but I’d rather be a clothed man,” Zach said. “I stole this getup off a laundry line in the Widow Crawley’s yard.”
“For shame! Stealing from a little old lady.”
Zach rolled his shoulders to add emphasis to the voluminous dress. “Not so little.”
The Mating Game
The Mating Game
Genre: Erotic Paranormal Romance
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Date of Publication: June 20, 2014
ISBNs: 978-1-62830-378-0 Paperback; 978-1-62830-379-7 Digital
Number of pages: 344
Word Count: 82,508
Cover Artist: Rae Monet
Two males…two friends…a competition for the right to claim The Heart of the Iron Stone Pack.
An alpha female at her core, Theresa Sanchez struggles to protect her young daughter, but rivalries and politics create volatility in the pack. As Theresa comes into heat, lust and need rule her body. Her pack demands only the most virile male have her. How can she choose only one mate when her body craves two—the virile beta and the man she loves?
Zachary Hunter will do anything to take Theresa as his mate, even if it means killing his best friend. However, Robert Blane is just as determined to ascend to Alpha. Both their beasts howl to mark her flesh, but only one can survive to claim her.
But with enemies circling, they must fight…for the pack, for Theresa, and for a future together.
Warning: Book contains wolf shifters, pack politics, gritty fight scenes, offbeat humor, and sizzling sexual adventures between a ménage of partners.
Fast Facts About Melissa Snark:
- Melissa Snark is published with The Wild Rose Press & as an Indie author with five unique titles: A CAT’S TALE, THE MATING GAME, LEARNING TO FLY, THE CHILD THIEF, HUNGER MOON.
- Her Loki’s Wolves series includes THE CHILD THIEF, HUNGER MOON AND BATTLE CRY (to be released in 2014).
- She lives in the San Francisco bay area with her husband, three children and a glaring of cats.
- She is a professional cat herder and unrepentant satirist who blogs about books and writing on The Snarkology.
Bright and early Saturday morning, Theresa Sanchez opened her front door to discover Zachary Hunter clad in a bright orange dress on her porch. The loose bodice fell low on his chest, displaying dark blond curls and showcasing his broad shoulders and powerful torso. The neon hemline stopped above the knees, revealing muscular calves, strong ankles, and shapely feet.
It was unusual attire for a dominant male werewolf.
She stepped closer and sniffed, seeking to satisfy the impulses of her she-wolf. The earthy scent of him flooded her nostrils—masculine and potent—inciting the heated ache of arousal between her thighs. She licked her lips, hoping that drool hadn’t dribbled down her chin. The man made her mouth water.
“My eyes are up here, love,” Zach quipped in a crisp British accent. His hand lifted and a long, elegant finger tapped her chin.
“Oh, right. Sorry.” She forced her roaming eyes upward, away from his buff chest, striving to remember that she and Zach didn’t play like that. The man was many things to her: best friend, confidant, and protector. He fixed leaky faucets and kept her ancient car running. But of all the roles he played, he remained “lover” only in her dreams.