Today the spotlight shines on……………………………Caroline Sweeney
Here are Rachel’s insights on Caroline:~
Brief physical description:
Caroline is a chestnut brown, medium build, green eyed woman. She loves to wear flip flops and skirts, drives a beat up ’67 Mustang convertible. She’s a confident servant type.
She has a few men in her life. Mitch is a country star, and just falls under the “good looking” category, fill in the blank. He’s athletic, with a tender heart.
Rel: Couldn’t go past the only country star I know, fellow Aussie Keith Urban!
J.D. is the typical southern county Sheriff. I consulted with detective and fellow author, and neighbor I might add, Mark Mynheir. J.D. is bulky, arrogant, a ladies man, handsome, yes, a cliche, but a real character of law enforcement.
Rel: I’ve never seen the show but how about Sheriff Jack Carter from Eureka aka Canadian actor, Colin Ferguson as J.D.?
I really try to focus on the heart of the characters, strength and weaknesses, and paint them from the inside out.
I really want the reader to “see” the character their way. If I do too much describing, I might rob the reader of creating their own image, one they can identify with instead of what I like and see.
I think I described Caroline as a dark Cameron Diaz, but she’s really unique, not like anyone we’ve seen before but in our own hearts.
Strengths and weaknesses:
Caroline’s strength is her servants heart, consequently, like it is with most of us, it’s her weakness. She can’t say no. She settles for just “being” instead of doing.
Mitch’s strength is his confidence, his talent, his ability to go for what he wants. Quite the opposite of Caroline, which leads to heart break. But it’s his weakness too. He’s stubborn, somewhat of a rebel. He has to overcome his pride to succeed.
J.D.’s strength is just his sheer manliness. He’s the alpha, alpha male, but he has a heart, and a desire to do good. His weakness is his ego and libido! Ha!
Caroline’s quirk was her desire to please everyone, and she’d say, “ho, boy,” when she was frustrated.
Mitch doesn’t have a quirk, really.
J.D. was his manner and his Foster Grants.
Your inspiration for the character:
Caroline’s inspiration evaded me for a long time. I wasn’t sure what kind of story I was writing for a few months, but once I visited Beaufort, South Carolina, and researched the area, I was inspired. It just took me a long time to know her, but once I did, she became a fast friend.
I also wanted to write about someone very opposite of me. One who lived with pain, abandonment, felt so unsure of her life, but yet didn’t mind being the glue that held others together. I do love to serve and help, but I’m not as eager to surrender who I am as Caroline.
Background to the story:
Originally, Caroline was going to be a cooking show host who didn’t know how to cook, she was just good in front of the camera. But I realized Beaufort and a cooking show didn’t really mix, plus I’d added the Frogmore Cafe, and wow, the story became convoluted.
So, I axed the cooking show and worked with the idea Caroline still couldn’t cook but inherited a run down restaurant.
Because of the NashVegas books, my editor wanted to bring a country music thread, so Mitch O’Neal became a country artist. J.D. was always a deputy, and always an ladies man. He ends up doing something lousy to Caroline, but I really liked him. He’s redeemable.
Also, Caroline’s spiritual journey eluded me until I decided with her background, and family, she’d never met Jesus as friend and Lord. It was fun to take her on a God journey.
I also felt once Caroline met God, her heart would be unlocked with all the things He put there. Sort of found treasure. So, the ending isn’t typical for that reason. I wanted a journey true to her, not necessarily the expected one.
Thanks Rach for another fascination glimpse into one of your characters!
Stay tuned in the weeks to come for spotlights on Rachel’s NashVegas characters and a special sneak peek spotlight on Jade Fitzgerald, Rachel’s newest character from her 2009 release Sweet By and By, a collaboration with country music star, Sara Evans.
Next week I will be spotlighting Venus Chau from Camy Tang’s Single Sashimi, the third book in her Sushi Series ~ check back Monday!
Thanks for your feedback on “Character Spotlight” I am following up on some author recommendations. This segment is booked weekly into 2009! Would love to hear more of your thoughts so keep them coming!