I’m pleased to announce that I’ve been invited by Maria Alexander to participate in the Meet My Character Blog Hop. This blog tour is meant to highlight a main character from a WIP, recently published, or soon-to-be published work by us, the authors.
Maria’s stories have appeared in publications such as Chiaroscuro Magazine, Gothic.net, and Paradox: The Magazine of Historical and Speculative Fiction, as well as numerous acclaimed anthologies. Gothic.net once called her “…a darker, angrier Neil Gaiman.” Her debut novel, Mr. Wicker, comes out September 16, 2014 from Raw Dog Screaming Press.
Thanks, Maria! Now, here are the author answers to the questions about one of my WIP characters.
1) What is the name of your character, and is he an historic character?
Neal Hendrix is a modern fictional character and the main protagonist in my soon-to-be Indie-published romance novel.
2) When and where is the story set?
Modern times – 2014 with the initial meeting of the two leads occurring ten years earlier, in high school (California). Later, most of the setting is Northern Lower Michigan, the Lake Michigan side, but there are also quick jaunts to England and Hungary.
3) What should we know about him?
Neal is London-born and bred by a single mom who married and moved with her husband to California when Neal was seventeen. After graduating, he started out in a successful rock band before going on to record OST music for movies and video games. He’s a talented guitarist who takes after his legendary father, but it isn’t revealed until later in the story just who that man is and the rocky relationship he and Neal share.
He’s a tall man (6′ 2″) with shoulder-length, dark auburn hair he usually ties behind him. Of course, he’s built nice with the prerequisite broad shoulders, slim waist, long, sturdy legs, etc. He slightly resembles his father: dark brows above slightly narrow jade eyes, wide cheekbones, equine nose, and a winning smile.
While he did go on to achieve success in life and publicly appeared in online and magazine captures with other famous women, he’s never forgotten how it felt to see that girl back in high school. When they finally meet up again, he’s anxious and determined to start up a lasting relationship with her.
He’s a thoughtful man who spent a majority of his life feeling obligated to take care of his mother (fostering resentment and detachment issues with his father). Neal has a sense of humor and likes to have a good time, but he’s also impatient, likes it when things go his way, and because of his childhood, the jealousy issue is difficult for him to out-grow.
He’ll manage to get his act together, though.
4) What is the main conflict? What messes up his life?
Well, without giving away too much, Neal arrived late in his senior year of high school, and because of his looks, height, and British accent, became a big hit right away. At the end of his first day, he felt overwhelmed and couldn’t wait to leave when he see’s her heading for the exit. Neal, being impulsive, slides in front of her, gazes into her emerald eyes, and he kisses her.
She wasn’t popular, and the most popular girl had her eyes on Neal, so she gets jealous and devises an awful scheme to get her out of the way of her progress with Neal (it is based on an actual event with changes to avoid lawsuits 😉 ).
So, that kiss sealed their fate. Her life was ruined afterward, and Neal wasn’t able to make amends like he hoped he could. Not until much later, when their paths cross again. She isn’t as receptive as he would like, but the more he learns about her and the things she went through as a result of that kiss, the more he feels determined to do the right thing by her while also gently coaxing her back into his arms.
5) What is the personal goal of the character?
Neal’s immediate goal is to form a lasting relationship with the leading lady of the story, but it is the one thing he can’t have (as he’s used to). Women adore him and he’s been on a few World’s Sexiest and World’s Most Eligible lists with time, but these are the things that help to make his efforts seem fruitless because she has avoided publicity and socialization for close to ten years.
Aside from winning her heart, Neal also needs to come to terms with his estranged father, and this is accomplished after having to witness the trials and tribulations the leading lady goes through in order to put the pieces of her own shattered life back in order. By strengthening this relationship and realizing where he went wrong early in life, Neal is better able to deal with the need to be with her on a permanent basis.
It is a learning and growing process, give and take, accept and move on existence for them both.
6) Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it?
Not at the moment. Titles are the hardest thing for me to think up, much less like once I do decide what to call the story. I usually will lean on a song lyric for this purpose, but right now I’m stuck for a title. There are excerpts on my other blog: RainsWriting that you’re all welcome to look over and even critique if you’d like.
Maybe something about that kiss.
7) When can we expect the book to be published?
I’m so hoping it will be ready for Indie upload (probably at Smashwords) in October at the earliest; December at the latest. After a lot of beta-reads, critique at various websites, and numerous rewrites, I feel confident about its release once a few last-ditch efforts at edit are finished.
Thanks kindly for dropping by and taking the time to learn more about my endeavor to create a memorable character through my writing.
Next, please visit Susan Peterson Wisnewski and find out more about her writing experience with a specific character from one of her novels. Susan is the author of Secrets in San Remo, and Chasing the Rainbow, both romantic suspense novels. She will be releasing a new series of paranormal thrillers this fall, tentatively titled Adams Thriller I, II, & III.
Veronica Forand: Veronica is an attorney and an award-winning writer of romantic suspense. An avid traveler, she loves to roam across continents with her husband and kids in pursuit of skiing, scuba diving, and finding the perfect piece of chocolate. Her novella, Code Red, was just released by Boroughs Publishing.
Xio Axelrod: Philadelphia native and global citizen, Xio Axelrod writes contemporary love stories, sexy romance and what she likes to call “strange, twisted tales.” She is the author of the upcoming Falling Stars series.