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Saturday, May 11, 2013

Guest Post with Author Anne Lange and Giveaway

Today I would like to welcome author Anne Lange to RFTC. Anne is currently on tour for her book, Worth the Risk and has stopped by to chat about characters. Please give Anne a warm welcome.

Anne Lange grew up with a love of reading. In fact, if you take a close look, she’s got a book with her where ever she goes, and will usually sneak in at least a chapter or ten whenever she can spare a few minutes. She reads many genres of fiction, but prefers to write sexy romance with attractive men, strong females, and always a happily ever after.

While embarking on a career as a romance author, Anne juggles a full time job and a family. She grew up in Southern Ontario (Canada), but now makes her home in Eastern Ontario where she lives with her husband and three children, and Rocky the bearded dragon.

Places to find Anne:

The All Important Question: What Do They Look Like?

I haven't been writing for all that long, but regardless of the type of writing you do, whether it's as an author of fiction or non-fiction, an academic, a poet or any other type of business person or professional, we always strive to keep our audience in mind when we develop a presentation, a report, a textbook…or a story.

Who's going to read this? What type of information do they need to have? What would they like to have? How can I keep them interested in my…whatever?

One of the tools available to fiction authors is developing characters they hope the readers will like, love or hate. People they can relate to—people their own age, people with jobs like them, people with similar ethnic backgrounds, people who have faced similar issues or who have similar disabilities. We describe them in such a way that (hopefully) they can visualize them and then care about them.

The character should fit the description and should fit the story line. We need to take great care in ensuring consistency in our descriptions. We don't want to describe a heroine who has long blonde hair and then a few chapters later she has short red hair. Now, if she hit the salon for a make-over on the way home from work, then her little side-trip should be noted somewhere along the way so the reader doesn't have a “whoa” or a “huh?” moment. She can't be bursting out of her C-cup one minute and then later be searching down her shirt for the slightest embellishment. We also try to ensure our cover images generally match our story as well. I wouldn't want to have 17 year-old girl on the cover of my erotic romance novel, period.

For example, if I'm creating a beautiful, sexy, female lead she's probably not going to look like this…

But she might look like this…

For my hero—the strong, handsome, alpha is not going to resemble…

But he might look like…

Now for the villain. Oh, I personally think there is much more leeway with the villain, because bad guys come in all shapes, sizes, forms, and level of attractiveness. From creepy or scary…

To, young and well dressed, and just plain sexy.

You can imagine how different the story may be or the connection between the author and the characters, and the reader and the characters, if just the right character isn't chosen for the part. In film, actors often audition, hoping they have the right “look”. In creating stories, the reader can't “see” the character, so it's the author's job to create the perfect visual.

How important is that visual for you? Does the image help you connect to the character?

Even the hottest sex might not be enough to ease the pain of the past…

Molly Simpson arrives at a beautiful provincial park, ready to spend the May Two-Four holiday camping with friends. This weekend is the highlight of her year—or it was, until Tanner Daivies showed up. Her high school crush is all grown up, sexy as sin, and he’s demanding answers—answers Molly isn’t sure she can give him. She had her reasons for leaving him all those years ago, but now, sex with Tanner is scorching, and when they’re together, it’s clear they were never meant to be apart. But the past doesn’t want to stay buried, and Molly isn’t sure reliving it is worth the risk…

Purchase: | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | All Romance | Kobo |
It was really him. Curiosity got the better of her, and she glanced back over her shoulder. Memories assaulted her as he removed his six-foot-plus frame from the car to stand in the center of the welcome circle. Her friends were all talking at him, their voices filled with excitement. Judging by his glazed expression, their reaction left him a little overwhelmed.

Ten years. She rubbed her chest, thinking back to the invisible ache that had bothered her earlier on the drive here. She’d struggled the entire two hours to keep her focus on the road and not on painful memories from her past.

She flexed her fingers. Maybe the cause of her earlier distress was the fact that this year served as a milestone. Ten years since graduation, ten years since she last saw Tanner, and ten years since…fuck. When did she start counting? Molly searched the area for possible escape routes.

Colleen’s gentle shake brought her back to the moment. “Brad texted me earlier and said he took the afternoon off. He also said he was bringing a surprise with him. He’s been dating somebody new. I just assumed—”

“Um…yeah. I wouldn’t have expected Brad’s surprise to be Tanner either. It…ah…caught me off guard. That’s—” Oh, crap. “I just need a few minutes.”

“You’ve got no color in your face. I’m sure it will be OK. Awkward, yes, but probably fine.”

Molly’s heart palpitated. Colleen’s mouth moved, but the buzz in her ears drowned out the words. She swallowed hard. Air, she needed air.

“Besides, the others won’t let him cause a scene. You’re the one we’ve stayed close to over the years, not him. Our allegiance is to you, honey.”

Molly swung her gaze to where her childhood friends had gathered around the car, effectively pinning Tanner against it. Sam and Olivia, a couple since they were in diapers, were married now, and both glowed like beacons.

Violet, a transplant from Toronto when her parents divorced, hovered close, waiting for her turn to say hi.

Brad and Tanner had been best friends through grade school and high school. Brad had been pissed when Tanner left town without a word to anyone. Looked as though he got over it.

Molly had never told anybody why she and Tanner broke up. She’d stressed over it at the time, deflecting comments from friends about him disappearing days before graduation. She hated the thought of being subjected to the pity she’d see on their faces if they knew the truth. Everybody just assumed the breakup had been his doing. She never corrected them, just implied she’d agreed with his decision.

Colleen’s words began to cut through the insistent noise. Molly nodded. “Thank you. That means more to me than you know.” Unshed tears burned her eyes. She opened her mouth and sucked in a shaky breath, but at least she had oxygen in her lungs now. “You’re right. It will be…fine.” She gulped. “Why don’t you go over and say hi?”

“Are you sure?”

“Yeah. I’m going to wait here for a few more minutes.” She began calculating the odds of sneaking past her friends and making a quick getaway before any of them noticed. She made a mental note to back her car in next time.

“OK.” Colleen gave her a final squeeze and walked over to join the others.

Breathe in. Breathe out. Molly closed her eyes, wishing for a paper bag. A really big one. She so did not need this in her life right now.

Check out what's up for grabs.

Up For Grabs Tour Wide:
  • 1 lucky winner will win a $10 Amazon + $10 Starbucks Gift Card + an eBook copy of Worth the Risk

To Enter: 
  • Please answer the question: How important is that visual for you? Does the image help you connect to the character?
  • Please fill out the Rafflecopter form.

Good Luck! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I think an image can really make or break a book for me sometimes! Its amazing how much more invested i seem to get with characters who are described as being someone i would be physically attracted to. It can also kind of push me away if they are described with things that are turn offs for me. Most of the time though i try to just forget about the image and see through that to the characters personality though.

    1. I agree Casey. Personally, I think that's why I typically read fiction - because for the most part, the characters have many traits, qualities, and aspects of their physical descriptions that attract us - I mean, it's fiction - these people are supposed to be just a little bit better than the real thing right? Non-fiction - not so much. But you are correct, at the end of the day, it's their personality I actually connect with. If I don't like them as a person, I won't like the book. Thanks for stopping by and commenting! :)

  2. For me the cover is the first thing that draws me to the book. Makes me want to pull it from the shelf.. It does not necessarily have to have a person or person's on the front, but it has to have something intriguing or bold for me to pick it up. A good title helps too.

    1. Agreed! Doesn't mean I'll actually buy it or read it, but it's generally what attracts me first - for all kinds of reasons too. It can be attractive, scary, odd, whatever - something about it has to intrigue me enough to flip it over and read the back blurb! Thanks for stopping by Kathleen! Have a great weekend. :)

  3. Thank your for allowing me to visit today! I really enjoyed putting this post together. My only problem was settling on the pics for the villain. There's so many to choose from! I hope your readers enjoy. Have a great weekend! :)

  4. I think a visual of a character is key. Clark Gable as Rhett Butler fits the book and makes the movie a classic.

  5. Me too. Thanks for stopping by Mary Jo. Hope you have a great weekend. :)

  6. To me, the cover art is how I see the characters in the book. Except when the girl is prettier than me...then I mentally block her out and imagine myself instead ;)

    1. LOL! Good point. I like that idea. Thanks for the suggestion Lauren!

  7. The characters are huge to me. I write and read purely fiction so I like to see a cover that matches the description like you said Anne. Nothing is worse than having them not match is very disruptive to my um, over-active imagination! lol
    Vivid descriptions are such a huge part of the story. They can really make the book unique when they are well done. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on them! I am excited to read your book!

    1. I'm excited for you to read my book too, Liberty Ann ! :) And yes, I like the covers to come as close to the character descriptions as possible. Just makes is more believable in my little mind. Thanks for stopping in and commenting! Enjoy your weekend.

  8. For me I expect the cover to reflect what the characters look like in the book. When I was doing the cover art for my book, I insisted on it and my CA nailed it. :)

    Great post and your delicious picture of Andy Garcia... *faints*


  9. I'm a visual person, so the cover is very important! But, I cannot judge a book by it's cover. I have read beautiful stories and the covers where very plain..and on the opposite side, gorgeous cover with an ordinary story. I like authors who have a descriptive style of writing, you can almost feel the surroundings. Nice to meet a Canadian author, I'm from Quebec, Canada.
    I would love to read your book!thanks for the giveaway!

  10. Sometimes it does help. I like when the cover mols look like the book describes the characters.

  11. Hi Nicole. I'm very visual too and I often find myself glancing back to the cover.
    Thanks for stopping in! It's always fantastic to see and talk to another Canadian, especially somebody who's so close by! I was actually born in Montreal but grew up in Ontario and I live and work in Ottawa now. Take care and enjoy the rest of your weekend!

  12. Great post Anne. I love visual

  13. Yes, the image help me connect to the character.

  14. I absolutely connect to a visual, but just enough to let me run with a the image. Overdone description can be too much, too.
    Great post!

  15. The cover and the author are what draws me to a book. The image helps me connect to the characters.

    Anne, I loved your post.

  16. I like the cover to have characters who resemble the characters the author describes. It's annoying when I'm reading about a blonde hero but the cover has a brunette.