Thursday, October 4, 2012

Starla Kaye: Bringing a Character to Life

Starla Kay is here as part of the blog tour for her gay erotic romance novella, The CEO and the Cowboy.

CONTEST: Leave a comment and your email address for a chance to win a copy of either MAGGIE’S SECRET WISH or STARTING OVER from Decadent Publishing and a special gift: a cowboy plaque about A Son’s Prayer.

Here's Starla...

I write stories in many sub-genres of romance: mainly contemporary and historical westerns, medieval, Regency, Sci-Fi, and general contemporary. With over 50 published works, I have created a ton of characters (main and side characters).  The main characters all become “real” to me, as I hope they become “real” to my readers.

The following are some of the items I consider when I create a character:

Choosing a Name: The word or nickname phrase by which a character is designated. Harsh consonants give the impression of strength and perseverance. Softer sounds give the impression of gentleness.

Physical Attributes: The body characteristics of a character, including age and weight, body features and shape, eye and hair color, glasses, contacts; hair length, and distinguishing marks. The physical expressions in response to emotions, events, people, or things around a character.

Personality: The visible aspects of a character as he/she impresses others; faults and strengths; likes and dislikes; fears and favorites. The phonology, grammar, and vocabulary style used by a character. It should reflect character’s age, background, and verbal mannerisms. The type of clothing normally worn makes a statement about a character.

Background: The events, acts, and ideas from a character’s past that has influenced him such as childhood diseases, education, emotional traumas, religious beliefs, family and friend relationships, and love relationships, career, and talents.

Goals: The achievement for which a character struggles, can be immediate or long range.

The CEO and the Cowboy

The whole thing about relationships and feelings confuses the heck out of Calhoun. He’s a simple cowboy and he’d been planning to marry a long-time friend for a while. When he finally realizes it doesn’t feel right, he lets her go. He probably shouldn’t have gone to her wedding to another man, but she wanted him there. But that’s when he really gets confused. His eye is drawn to a seriously hot businessman…and that sure does unnerve him…and yet….

Emotionally burned by the last man he thought he’d loved, Daniel isn’t anxious to replace him. But there is something about the proud, bedroom-eyed cowboy who shows up at his friend’s wedding. The CEO isn’t even sure if the cowboy’s gay, although the heat firing between them makes him wonder….

What he does know is that he plans to find out.

Available from:


Daniel Patterson had tried to figure out what about the tall, ruggedly handsome cowboy kept him searching for him in the crowd. When he’d first seen him striding into the church, he’d felt the tension around him. He’d glanced at his long-time friend standing at the altar waiting for his bride to appear and saw the tightness in his expression. He’d known right then that this was the man who had kept Tom from marrying the woman of his dreams for over a year. This was the cowboy who still owned a good share of Katherine’s heart. He should have resented the man for showing up at the wedding, but there’d been something about him that drew him. Still did.
He liked the way the cowboy handled himself, standing determined and proud in the midst of people he had to have known didn’t want him there. He’d shown up because Katherine had wanted him to come. Tom had told him about it at the bachelor’s party. His friend hadn’t been happy about it, but he loved her enough to put up with seeing her ex-fianc√© at his wedding. Tom was a good man. Daniel had a gut feeling that Calhoun Cordell was as well. He wanted to talk to him, dig a little and find out why Katherine liked him so much.
Besides that, he was curious about why his “hot guy” inner warning system had been going crazy. Sure, Calhoun had plenty of brawn barely hidden under his tailored Western-cut suit and he certainly admired brawn in a man. Plus the cowboy had killer eyes, warm brown and bedroom soft. He’d noticed that each time Calhoun had looked away from Katherine and at the crowd anxious for him to leave.

Find Starla Kaye at:
Website: Starla Kaye
Twitter:  Starla Kaye



Starla Kaye said...

Thanks for having me here today to share my thoughts on creating a character.

Faith said...

I've always taught my editing clients and writer students to choose a character's name wisely. I agree with you re soft and hard consonants, etc.

Heck, I've even told my kids that once they started having children to name them carefully. A name needs purpose, meaning because it will represent their personality their entire lives. :-)

Faith said...

Whoops, forgot my email addy (I think I need more coffee this morning!).

bicknellbrown AT sbcglobal DOT net

Jessica Subject said...

Great post, Starla! When I'm creating characters, I have such a hard time finding the right name for them. I tend to use my baby names book and look up meanings, or use Google Translate to look up latin translations.

All the best!
jessicasubject.writer at gmail dot com

Starla Kaye said...

Choosing names is really important to me and I've had to change some names because the characters just didn't seem to like my choice. Only another writer would understand the oddity of that thinking.

Thanks, Faith and Jessica, for stopping by.

Ann Q said...

Names we choose are often based on people we have come across in our life. we can associate certain names to people that we have not liked for one reason or the other.I can see that you would want to match names to your characters personalities.

Starla Kaye said...

Yes, names need to fit the character's least in my opinion.

And, yes, sometimes we are biased good or bad about a name based on our experiences with a person in real life who had a certain name.

June M. said...

I am always amazed that authors can recreate characters, settings, and stories that seem so real. I don't know how you all combine these bits together so that they seem like someone you actually know, and are able to keep everything in order. I don't think I could ever do that even if I had all the time in the world, lol.
Congrats on the new release!
manning_J2004 at yahoo dot com

Starla Kaye said...

A writer's job is to make everything from the characters to the settings feel as real as possible, even in sci-fi or fantasy or whatever. It is tricky, but I enjoy it.

Thanks for stopping by.

Starla Kaye said...

I'm happy to announce that Faith is my contest winner. Thanks to all of you who left a comment.