Today I would like to welcome to the blog author Avery Flynn. Avery is on tour promoting the release of her book A Dry Creek Bed. Please give a warm welcome to Avery everyone.
Stealing it All
Tom Cruise as Les Grossman in Tropic Thunder.
Melissa McCarthy as Megan in Bridesmaids.
Grandma Mauzer in Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum novels.
What do they have in common? These characters steal the scene. They walk into this fictional world for only a short time, but when you put down the book or walk out of the movie theater you are still laughing (or crying) because of them. Sure the hero and heroine are the stars, but the scene stealing characters, well, I can’t help but have a soft spot for them.
As a writer I don’t set out to write a scene stealing character, but in every story of mine you’ll find them. In Up a Dry Creek, the Layton family matriarch, Glenda, almost walked away with the readers’ hearts even though she was only in a few scenes. In my latest, A Dry Creek Bed, she does it again interacting with her eldest son, Hank.
The kiss curled Beth’s toes. Suddenly, January turned unseasonably warm and balmy under the tight confines of her wool coat.
"What is it with my children? Where did I go wrong?" Glenda Layton's indignant questions cut through the lust fogging Beth’s brain.
Hank ended the kiss. "Hi, Mom.”
"You are in public you know." Never one for the cold, the only part of Glenda visible was her brown eyes above the neon green scarf wrapped around her neck and face. Her matching green down coat reached her knees. The entire outfit was topped off with a white ski cap that she'd managed to bedazzle with neon green stones. "If it wasn't for this God forsaken cold, Bob and I would sell the RV just so we could keep an eye on you kids. First Claire and now you getting frisky at inappropriate times. It's like I raised free-love hippies or something."
"Yep, we're planning on turning Dry Creek into a nude commune. I'm going to ditch the whole sheriff gig to grow pot."
Glenda harrumphed and rolled her eyes. "Nobody likes a smart mouth."
Hank dropped a quick peck on his mother's wool cap. "Only you, Mom."
A shy wall flower Glenda is not. She’s not always the most subtle of characters, but she loves her children and really wants to see them happy - even if she has to push and shove them in the right direction.
So why do readers (and I’m counting myself as a reader too) love scene stealing characters? Because they often are our voice in the story, prodding the main characters to realize something they may not be ready to acknowledge yet or they may be the much-needed laugh in a tense situation. In addition, the scene stealers help to show off the main characters’ personalities without the author having to resort to tons of internal dialogue or description.
A prime example of this is from the Lion King and the evil trio of hyenas who steal the show. You already know Scar is a good for nothing villain before you see him interact with the hyenas, but after that first meeting in the elephant graveyard you see the true depth of Scar’s villainy. The way the hyenas suck up to Scar shows how he needs to have yes-men (or yes-animals in this case) around him to feed his massive ego. Their interactions tell far more about Scar as a character than the scenes ever do about the hyenas.
That’s how it works with Glenda. She has a different type of relationship with each of her four children, but she works hard to help them see the light and make their way to happiness. Glenda has her work cut out for her in with Hank in A Dry Creek Bed, but I wouldn’t bet against her.
"I do believe I can arrest you for looking at someone like that. You've got to be breaking some indecency laws."
Taking a deep breath, she recovered her bearings. Mostly. "You're out of your jurisdiction, sheriff."
Dry Creek County Sheriff Hank Layton is the stuff of dreams. Nasty, steamy, delicious fantasies that leave Beth Martinez weak-kneed and desperately wanting the man she can never have.
Hank can’t stop thinking about Beth to the point where he’s afraid of becoming permanently bowlegged. And even though the sexual tension between them is thick enough to trip over, she runs every time he chases.
But when a mysterious developer forces her neighbors off their land, Beth becomes the one person standing between the scoundrel and millions of dollars. Only Hank can help her uncover the truth. Together they risk their lives exposing decades-old secrets and learn that everything is not as it seems in their rural Nebraska town.
Places to Purchase:
She stopped with her back to him. "One kiss?"
“One little kiss.”
A fall breeze brushed the tips of her mahogany hair across her back and she straightened her shoulders. Spinning around, she made her way back to him with a fuck-you strut. Stopping just short of his feet, she dropped her gym bag. It hit the pavement with a thud, the whole world seeming to have gone silent around them.
"Let's get it over with."
Something primal inside of him howled its approval. He wanted to devour her full lips then and there.
Stick to the plan, dude.
He held firm. Barely. "OK, you can kiss me."
"Wait a minute -"
"You're the one who says there's nothing between us, so I figure you should set the tone of the kiss. It's up to you to disprove my theory."
"Of all the stupid things." She huffed out a breath. "Fine."
Hank held his breath, hoping all his bluster would pay off. God, this woman undid him.
She laid her soft hand against his chest. There was no way she could miss the hammering behind his ribs.
Navy blue nails shone bright against the red of his cotton shirt. Her shoulders twitched with a shiver. A flicker of doubt shook him. Maybe she'd ignored him after the party for a reason.
Then her lips touched his. Chocolate and caramel coffee teased his taste buds as their tongues twisted around each other.
His hands roamed to the bottom of her soft, wool sweater, snuck underneath the hem and caressed the soft skin above the low waist of her jeans.
Her vanilla perfume surrounded him as he lowered his mouth to taste the sweetness of her neck. He lost himself to the hungry lust streaming through his veins and the moaning woman in his arms. There was no street, no gawking neighbors, no one else in the world.
"Hank, stop." Beth's breath brushed against his cheek.
More plea than demand, her words sliced through his euphoria. Unwilling to let her go yet, he lifted his head but kept his fingers tucked into her waistband. Still tasting her on his lips, he couldn't form any words.
A flush pinked her cheeks as she pursed her kiss-swollen lips. "So ... that's ... out of the way."
Her hand shook when she patted him on the chest, her fingers lingering for a few seconds over his pounding heart. With a sigh she pulled out of his embrace and trudged up to the house, never looking back.
She thought this was over? After a kiss like that? His balls couldn't be any bluer if they were made of blueberries. For a smart woman, she sure wasn't thinking straight.
Avery Flynn, the author of UP a Dry Creek and A Dry Creek Bed, books one and two in the Dry Creek series set in Nebraska, grew up in a small town in the western part of that state, a far cry from her present day home just outside of Washington, D.C. It was no accident that she went back to her roots for the small town setting for her romantic suspense.
“When I graduated high school,” she says, “I couldn’t cross the state line fast enough. The older I got and the farther I moved away, the more I realized what a wonderful place Nebraska had been to live. I swore I’d set a novel there as a way to give people a look into the amazing folks that live in my home state.”
The name Avery Flynn is a pseudonym for the author who, at least for now, prefers to remain behind the scenes. She believes having Avery as her alter ego is a very good thing because, as she says, “Pen name Avery is way cooler than me. Her favorite color is hot pink. She drinks single malt scotch on the rocks. She loves the Argentinean tango and stays at Iceland’s Ice Hotel.”
Author Avery has been writing since she was a child and her father gave her a baby blue Brother typewriter. She couldn’t read but nonetheless wrote numerous stories about her stuffed animals in gibberish. She hasn’t stopped since, though she maintains that her spelling has gotten much better and she now prefers to write in English.
Today she’s enjoying her own happily ever after with her dashing husband, three crazy kids and two arthritic dogs. She dreams of one day having a floor-to-ceiling library à la Beauty and the Beast and is working to perfect the coffee IV drip.
Places to find Avery: