Character Spotlight ~ Lisa Wingate’s Allie & Bonnie

Wildwood Creek

Meet two women born centuries apart in

Lisa Wingate’s

romance novel

Wildwood Creek

Bethany House

The Story

Allie Kirkland has never been one to take wild risks. But when she’s offered a costuming assistant’s job on a docudrama in the hills near Moses Lake, she jumps at the chance. She’s always dreamed of following in her director-father’s footsteps, and the reenactment of the legendary frontier settlement of Wildwood is a first step. The family expectations will have to wait.

But in 1861, the real Wildwood held dangerous realities. Town founder Harland Delevan held helpless residents, including young Irish schoolteacher Bonnie Rose, in an iron grip. Mysterious disappearances led to myths and legends still retold in the folk songs of Chinquapin Peaks. Eventually, the entire site was found abandoned.

Introducing Allie & Bonnie

Allie Kirkland – present day

Brief physical description

Curly red hair, brown eyes, olive skin. Allie has always been the quintessential ugly duckling. Tall and awkward as a child, now as a 25-year-old grad student, she’s still sort of a dreamy-eyed nerd on the inside, but a swan on the outside.

Resembles…

See picture!

Strengths and weaknesses

Allie’s biggest strength is her intelligence and her creativity. Like her movie-director father, she has a mind of that quickly weaves stories from the events of every day life. This skill helped her to survive Her father’s death when she was young, and to endure growing up in a blended family where flights of fancy are summarily discouraged. Everything Allie loves and wants to do with her life is strictly against the family code.

Allie’s biggest weakness is her lack of confidence in herself. Her choices and decisions, as well as her desire to follow in her father’s footsteps behind the scenes in the movie business, have been criticized to the point that she very often questions herself and the validity of her own dreams.LisaWingateCharacter

Quirk (if any)

Allie is funny. She tends to laugh at herself and at difficult situations. Humor is her way of diffusing anxiety and dealing with painful or threatening situations.

Your inspiration for the character

I’ve worked with many teenagers over the years as a teacher and a volunteer. It’s often a difficult world for the creative ones. Sometimes, they don’t quite fit in, and as they move into adulthood, they are confronted with the difficulty of satisfying the creative parts of their personalities, while also figuring out how to pay the bills. Allie, with her determination to strike out against her family’s wishes and pursue a graduate degree in film, is a bit of homage those kids who sometimes have trouble seeing that God has made them beautifully unique.

Background to the story

While I was mulling over concepts for this last Moses Lake book, lakes around Texas were slowly drying up due to a summer drought. Old tombstones and bits of ghost towns began rising above the surface after decades beneath the water. I began wondering what sort of mystery might lie hidden beneath Moses Lake for over a century, and suddenly resurface during a drought. Wildwood Creek, a fictional frontier town that met a mysterious end was born of that sense of wondering.

The idea that a modern-day film crew might decide to reenact this mysterious period of history in hopes of solving the mystery, probably came from my own latent desire to travel through time and step into the shoes of my ancestors. In truth, though, I have a feeling that if I were ever become part of a reenactment, as Allie does in the story, within a  few days, I’d probably run screaming from my hoopskirt and look for someplace with a hot shower and an air-conditioner!

Bonnie Rose – 1861

Brief physical description

Curly red hair, brown eyes, olive skin. Though only 18 years old, she bears the scars of a horrific ordeal, and bears the responsibility for supporting the only remaining member of her family, her nine-year-old sister.

Resembles…

See picture again!

Strengths and weaknesses

Bonnie’s strength is her courage in attempting to move beyond her tragic past, and escape the prejudice that has limited her future. Despite all that she has endured, she is determined to build a respectable life for herself and her little sister, Maggie.

Bonnie’s weakness is her inability to let go of the shame from what she has endured. Even though the pain that has been inflicted upon on her is not her fault, she cannot release herself from the blame, and she sees herself as a permanently stained woman.

Quirk (if any)

Bonnie’s quirk is that, as a person who has endured both captivity and abuse, she has a deep understanding and sympathy for the slaves she encounters as she travels to Wildwood. (People don’t always realize that Texas was a slaveholding state, and part of the Confederacy, even though the allegiances of different groups in Texas were actually very divided during the time in which Bonnie Rose would have lived.

Your inspiration for the character

Bonnie’s character was inspired by a number of Wingate family stories of women who stayed up through long nights alone while wolves scratched outside frontier cabins, and family members who moved west to scratch ranches from unfamiliar country.

Background to the story

The story and the frontier town of Wildwood Creek, and the mysterious disappearance of its citizens, was partially inspired by a roadside historical monument I ran across in my travels. I would tell you about the monument and what it says, but… well… that would ruin the story. Suffice to say that there is a bit of real history behind Wildwood Creek :-)

Thanks so much, Lisa!

Relz Reviewz Extras
Character spotlight on Mallory Hale
Reviews of Larkspur CoveTalk of the Town and Word Gets Around
Lisa’s Pop Quiz
Visit Lisa’s website
Buy Wildwood Creek at Amazon or Koorong

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One Response to Character Spotlight ~ Lisa Wingate’s Allie & Bonnie

  1. Thanks for the giveaway. Your book sounds wonderful!

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