Sunday, March 10, 2013

Cupid Rocks: building characters and backstory

Readers have asked me questions about creating back story and how I develop my characters. Well, I got into the habit of writing character sketches of my hero and heroine. I've included what I wrote up for Joe and Mandy, along with inspirational images for the characters.

Joseph Schwarzerwulf / Joe Blackwolf. 

Joe was born February 9, 1973—just turned 40. He plays guitar. He’s 6’1” and 190 lbs.  He has large hands.  Left hand has short nails and calluses on the fingertips. Right hand has long nails and no calluses.He feels like he's the family “disappointment” because he went into rock music instead of becoming a classical guitarist.  He legally changed his name to Joseph Blackwolf when he started playing in rock bands at the age of 20.

He is the oldest of three sons born to Leopold and Maria and his brothers are Jacob (opera singer) and Julian (trumpeter).

Joe's musical influences:  Andres Segovia, Christopher Parkening, Jeff Beck, Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Eddie Van Halen, Yngwie Malmsteen – since joining The Pack he’s discovered blues guitarists due to Eddie Goldwolf’s encouragement.

Joe practices four to six hours daily.  If he can manage it, he practices eight. He’s a disciplined musician who is determined to be technically excellent.  He’s driven to prove that he’s as good a musician as his father even though he doesn’t play classical music. If he doesn’t have time to practice enough before a gig he can play well but doesn’t feel as “prepared” as he thinks he should be.

When he left home (and college) at twenty to pursue rock music his father gave him a Les Paul sunburst Gibson guitar. Joe has many guitars but he practices and almost always performs using the LP.  He still has the Hauser acoustic guitar his father gave him when he began playing classical guitar. When he practices classical music, he’ll pick up the Hauser to practice on.  He also takes the Hauser on stage to play acoustic tunes.

Mandy Goldwolf

Mandy was born July 28, 1977 - she's 35 years old. Mandy is a plus-size female who makes the most of her curves. She knows males love her full breasts and round butt, but she still sometimes worries about her body. She is the only pup of Eddie and Carly Goldwolf and while she knows she is well loved by them both, her childhood wasn't simple or idyllic.

Her parents, Eddie and Carly, met when they were twenty and eighteen, respectively, and have been together ever since. Their mating wasn't an easy one, despite the fact that her parents were—and are—True Mates. Eddie resented finding his mate so young because he didn't get the chance to get wild with females and live out the whole "sex, drugs and rock and roll" dream. Also, Carly's father looked down his regal nose at Eddie and Eddie responded by going on benders and disappearing for days. When Mandy was ten, Eddie finally chose to dry out. Now, Eddie regrets putting his mate and his daughter through such hell, but Mandy remembers it and it colors her budding relationship with Joe.

Mandy loves music. She was born in The Pack and sang with the band from a very young age. However, when she was eighteen, she had a traumatic performance experience. She participated in a competition and forgot the words to a song, completely freezing on stage. It was so bad that Carly had to come onstage to help her off. From then on, Mandy developed stage fright. It grew worse and worse until she quit performing in public.

Since she could no longer perform, she chose to follow her second love…photography. She shoots portrait work to make money, but loves to do art photography too.

Mandy and Joe together

When they meet, the attraction is immediate and fiery. But there are some bumps along the way because Joe still views himself as the black sheep of his family and keenly feels his father's disapproval. Mandy is still fighting her stage fright and has some baggage about her parents' history. Joe and Eddie have built a friendship, but Eddie has an almost pathological fear that his daughter will end up with a musician like him and this fear rebounds on Joe, when Mandy's parent's find out about the relationship.

Cupid Rocks revolves around the family issues in Mandy and Joe's life and how they work through their problems to end up strong and together in the happily ever after they deserve.

* * * * *

Cupid Rocks

When her parents' rock band, The Pack, performs at Zach's bar, Mandy discovers her True Mate, Joe Blackwolf, the band's lead singer and guitarist. All she has to do now is convince Joe that she told a little white lie to make her mom happy, her father that rock musicians aren't all alike, and her new mate's family that rockers aren't all that different from classical musicians.

Joe Blackwolf is celebrating his 40th birthday. And what he wishes for when he blows out the candles is to find his True Mate. He succeeds when he meets Mandy Goldwolf. Problem is...she belongs to someone else. Finding out the truth leaves him free to explore every inch of her smokin' hot curves, but now, Joe and Mandy are neck deep in overbearing relatives and everyone is in for a rockin' Valentine's Day!

* * * * *

By reading any further, you are stating that you are at least 18 years of age. If you are under the age of 18, it is necessary to exit this site.

An Excerpt From: Cupid Rocks
Copyright © FRANCESCA HAWLEY, 2013
All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.

“Am I dead, Angel? Cause you look like you’re straight from heaven!”
“That has to be the worst line I’ve ever heard,” Mandy laughed, looking up into warm brown eyes. She shivered as he settled into the chair beside her.
“Maybe, but it made you laugh.” He took her hand. “Can I buy you a drink?”
Joe waved over a waiter and ordered for them without once releasing her hand. She could feel the rough calluses guitar playing had created on his fingers, but they turned her on. He turned her on.
This was Joe? “Good ole Joe” as Eddie called him. He was neither good nor old. No. He was gorgeous…and talented. Zach wasn’t kidding when he’d said this Blackwolf was a great guitarist and singer. For the first time since Carly bugged her, she wished with all her might she hadn’t lied about Zach being her mate. Zach might be handsome, but Joe made her throb in places that hadn’t throbbed in all of her thirty-five years.
“So what’s with the camera, Angel? Fan or reporter?”
Mandy looked down at her fingers clenched around her camera strap. If she told him who she was, he’d back off so fast she’d see skid marks on the floor. Just this once, she wanted to pretend she was someone else. Just tonight. She leaned forward pressing her lips against his ear.
“I’m more than a fan. I’m a groupie. Can’t you tell?” He shuddered, turning his head he met her gaze. The fire glowing in his eyes set her boiling. Yes. She had to have him. Now.
“A groupie? For just any rock musician?”
“No, Joe. I want you.”
“Fuck, yeah,” he growled, standing so abruptly his chair toppled over. No one nearby noticed as he dragged her to her feet. “Where?”
Mandy looked over toward the hallway leading to Zach’s office and smiled. They had a clear path. She pulled him after her and they ducked into the shadowy space. He pressed her to the wall and took her mouth in a deep kiss. Their mouths meshed together. Joe pulled back to nip at her lips, then ran his tongue along the inside edge of her lower lip. She caught his long dark hair in her fingers, holding his mouth to hers.
Fire. Heat. She’d never felt anything like this in her entire life. She moaned as his mouth slid to nuzzle her neck. Mandy wrapped her free arm around him, clutching his leather jacket. She lifted her right leg along his hip. He stepped into the opening she’d created, thrusting his hips against hers.
She shivered as his rough fingers slid along her leg and under her skirt. He slipped his fingers under her panties and cupped her ass. Grasping her, he pulled her more firmly against his hard cock. He reached up to her peasant top, untying the drawstring to bare her bra covered breast. His hot breath teased her neck and then his warm tongue grazed her skin as he licked his way over her curves
“Hey. Anyone seen Joe?” Mandy and Joe froze as she heard Eddie’s voice. He was close. Too close. She looked out of the entrance of the hall. She didn’t see him, but he was right there. She knew it. Mandy closed her eyes, fighting to keep her panting excitement from giving them away.
“I think I saw him with a hot chick earlier. I didn’t get a good look at her though. Just noticed she was his type.” Tom responded with a laugh.
Joe groaned in her ear, and kissed her cheek. She turned to look up at him. He was still on fire, she could see it but there was a definite question in his dark eyes? Stop or go?
She lowered her leg and he sighed, then she smiled and grabbed his hand. “This way,” she whispered.
Mandy knew there was an empty unlocked office back here and she wanted this wolf and she wanted him now. He chuckled as they moved into the darkness. She found the door on the right and turned the knob. Hearing the click, she pushed, wincing at the creak when the door stuck. He pushed her through and they shut the door behind them. Mandy flipped the light switch, blinking a bit to adjust to the table lamps that came on. She’d been expecting an overhead. They looked at each other and grinned.
Joe pulled her over to the empty desk and she climbed up onto it. He stroked her cheek. “You’re sure?”
“Yes. I don’t want to stop. Not now.”

* * * * *
Releasing from Ellora's Cave February 22, 2013.
* * * * *
Francesca Hawley, author bio

I’m Francesca Hawley and I’m a fat chick. A woman with dangerous curves just like my heroines.
I first began to read romance when I was in my teens. I loved the genre, but the heroines were all thin. Their thighs didn’t rub together…had never rubbed together…and frankly I had trouble relating to these ladies. The stories were great—full of emotion and well told, but the heroines weren’t like me and that was a major disappointment.  I kept wondering where were the fat heroines? I found some occasionally, but to have their Happily Ever After they usually had to lose weight and go from ugly duckling to swan.

Well, I wanted a fat heroine who loved herself—or at least learned to love herself—and a hot alpha hero who liked her jiggly bits just the way they were. Since I didn’t find many big girls to read about, I decided  to write about them myself. After all, I loved to write anyway and had been writing almost as long as I’d been reading, so Francesca Hawley – author of Romance with Dangerous Curves was born.

In a Francesca Hawley romance, my readers will find authentic, sensual, fat heroines who love and are loved by their intense, passionate, and seductive Alpha heroes. I hope you enjoy their dangerous curves just as much as their hunky heroes do.

web site - http://www.francescahawley.com/
blog - http://francescasmindstream.blogspot.com/
facebook - https://www.facebook.com/FrancescaHawley.author
twitter - https://twitter.com/francescahawley
goodreads - http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/608399.Francesca_Hawley
pinterest - http://pinterest.com/francescahawley/
yahoo group -  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/francescahawley/


Tina Donahue said...

You and I must be twins, Francesca, and separated at birth because I do character studies like this - and very long outlines - before I begin to write the first sentence of my novels!

Cupid Rocks sounds wonderful. :)

Kelli Scott said...

I wish I could do this *whines*. Most of the time I get to know my characters while I write. I have tried writing short character studies...name, age, physical characteristics, quick backstory...I think you have inspired me to try again :)