Let Your Characters Write Their Story

You’ve heard authors say, “My characters were resisting me” or “My characters ran away with the story.” Some writers complain about that. I call it magic when the characters talk to me and tell me their love story.

When I set out to write In My Dreams, all I had was that snippet from the song, I’ll Be Home for Christmas–if only in my dreams. It is my favorite Christmas song and brings me to tears every time. In my mind, that song says all there is to say about wartime and a soldier’s yearning to be home with his family and his friends. I can not imagine anything sadder than being away from home for the holidays, doing the same old, same old, as every other day in the service or on the battlefield, wishing you could be home for the holidays.

So, when I sat down to start the story, Juan Montoya was a soldier, halfway around the world in a jungle, fighting warlords and guerrillas, dreaming of Christmas and song, and home. And since this was a friends-to-lovers story, I had Jessie Ortega back home in Lake Willowbee, being a nurse at the local hospital. And…no matter how many times I tried to start with Chapter 1, it just wasn’t happening. Until…Jessie announced she was a soldier, fighting in Africa and Juan was a physical therapist back home, working with wounded vets.

Like finding the missing pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, the story came together. Juan and Jessie told me of their childhood friendship, how they had been there for each other through everything, until their friendship broke, and they hadn’t spoken to each other in years. Even with the years between them, at her lowest moment, Jessie’s first thoughts are of Juan.

In My Dreams is a story of the power of wishes and being careful what you use them on. It will be in the Christmas Wishes on Main Street boxed set with the other Authors of Main Street.

Do you believe wishes can come true?


Jill James, romance writer

Seasons

Being originally from Baltimore, Maryland I was used to four seasons: spring, summer, fall, and winter. Moving to California–not so much. LOL I’ve always joked that Cali has two seasons: wet and cold and hot and dry. Nowadays, it seems like it is landslide and fire.

Photo by Nong Vang on Unsplash

I did not realize when I moved to Reno, Nevada last year that we would again have four seasons. It has been glorious. It is already becoming autumn here. Today’s high was 74, with it being barely 50 this morning. The leaves are turning colors, the wind is cool and crisp, and the skies are a bright blue with a million stars at night.

 

Photo by Bogomil Mihaylov on Unsplash

The natives said summer was hot. After the years in California’s Central Valley, not so much to me. We had most days in the low 90s with a few days during the whole summer hitting 100. It was awesome.

 

 

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Spring was amazing. In the winter, everything is dormant and dead-looking, so each new bud, every little flower is a celebration of the earth waking up after a long-winter’s nap. If it wasn’t for allergies, spring would be the best season of all.

 

 

 

 

Photo by pparnxoxo on Unsplash

For the first time since I was a very little girl, we live where it snows for the winter. Looking out over a blanket of white covering everything is magical, no matter how old or young you are. Where we live, the snow is a few inches overnight and in the morning. By afternoon the sun hits it and it melts away.

 

 

It has been an experience to write for the boxed sets with the Authors of Main Street. Trying to feel the heat of summer when I’m sitting in my slippers, sipping hot tea and trying to envision the chill of a snowy mountain day as I swelter with the fan on full blast. A writer’s imagination is her greatest gift, but mine is still tasked sometimes to bring to life the opposite season it is. 🙂

Coming Soon! In My Dreams by Jill James in the Christmas Wishes on Main Street boxed set.

What is your favorite season? And why?

Jill James, romance author