First Sentence Friday! Chapter Five

The back flap copy of the book cover says, “Wallis Ann is as practical and sturdy as her name.”

An early reviewer who posted on Goodreads, said, “Wallis Ann is a fantastic main character. She is strong and can work like a man but she still has the feelings of a young girl.”

These two pieces of information about my protagonist, who is only fourteen, give you a hint as to what sort of person she is.  It’s clear from those statements she’s hardworking, and effectual in getting things done.  You’ll hear writers talk about getting to know their characters, and that’s absolutely a true statement.  That’s just what happens.  What was a bit different about Wallis Ann is I already had in mind one particular trait about her, and that was she needed to be strong.  Not only physically, but mentally.

As I’ve written these stories, I tend to start thinking of my characters in a very personal way.  I start to “see” them, and “hear” them, and know how they would react.  This doesn’t happen instantly.  I have to keep writing and writing, until, just like getting to know a real person, I’ve spent sufficient time and know them as well as I do myself.  Since I like to have an element of danger in my stories, this makes for interesting character building.

In THE EDUCATION OF DIXIE DUPREE that danger was human, while in THE ROAD TO BITTERSWEET, it’s nature, the struggle for basic needs and choices made.  One thing is a fact, Dixie was a true survivor of something horrific…and Wallis Ann is too.


After I left Mrs. Stout, I walked fast to make up time, only stopping long enough to eat a couple of crackers.

A Publishers Lunch BUZZ BOOK Fall/Winter 2017, and a SIBA (Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance) Trio Pick for 2018, THE ROAD TO BITTERSWEET releases December 26th, 2017.  

***I’m using #FirstSentenceFridays on Twitter and tagging @Kensington Publishing Corporation.  Follow along and tweet out/share if you’d like!***



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