by Wendy L Curtis
I’m often asked what inspires me to develop my characters. Are they me? Are they my hubby? Are they anyone that I know personally? The fact is I draw my inspiration for my Action & Adventure heroes and heroines from everyone I’ve known. But especially I look to everyone doing the daily grind, keeping their heads above water, being a part of a family, and continuing the pioneering spirit of our people.
Here are seven must-haves for my action & adventure characters to ensure they can handle all that I’ll throw at them:
- Working Class Values – every one of my heroines and heroes must work hard. They have to know what it’s like to do an unfair day’s work for too little pay, or at least they have learn along the way that sometimes you have to put in more than you seem to get out.
- Be Resourceful – when something needs to get done, I like to know that it will get done. It may not be the prettiest way, or neatest way, or even the logical way but it gets done. This comes from the wonderful attitude that there’s more than one way to do things. Sure some ways are more advisable, but when the chips are down and resources are limited, don’t give up; find another way.
- Be a Teacher – a chain is only as strong as its weakest link and breaking that link won’t help. Just because a person can’t do something doesn’t mean they are an idiot, they just need to learn, practice, get confidence. Teach, support, and build confidence. Never criticise, ridicule, or assume it’s a gender issue. This is where my support characters come in also. To break down barriers and stereotypes.
- Have passion – yes, okay, my books do have the detailed sexytimes, but we all know passion is about way more than that. My characters must have passion. They need something that they swoon over, something that makes them livid, something that tickles their funny-bone, something that breaks their heart every time. If they have a goal, they have it for a good reason, and even if it takes forever, they keep plugging away. Emotions people. Have them. Feel them.
- Cooking skills – I don’t care if it’s a sausage on a stick in the flames or a six course gourmet meal, but my characters will get some food on the table. I also don’t care who‘s cooking; male or female, as long as they both can do some kind of food then I know no one is going to starve or sit around wasting time waiting to be fed.
- Dream Big – if they don’t have a dream then they are going to get one. Just like in real life, my characters have to dream big, have to want more. There has to be a reason to get up in the mornings. Even by the end of the story, they still need to have things to aspire to.
- Sense of humour – if we don’t laugh we’ll cry. We do this, all the time. Humour can help diffuse a situation, it can help people find rapport. Looking at the funny side of things is an endearing quality, and can also be infuriating. There’s real skill in having and great sense of humour and knowing when it is appropriate and when it isn’t appropriate, and sometimes failing at both.
All investigative journalist Roxy Williams wanted was a hot one-night stand: quick, dirty, and completely one-off. A business transaction to ease stress, loosen tension, and allow her to get right back to her job — exposing the heart-breaking realities of people smuggling. So when all hell breaks loose in a small village on Papua New Guinea, the last person Roxy expects to see is her one-night-stand and male escort, Rob, with a boat, a beach, and an escape plan!
Rob is supposed to be long-gone from this assignment, but after their one night together, he can’t seem to let Roxy go. Using all his resources, Rob risks his job to keep track of her — and when a huge storm threatens, he goes after the sexy journalist. Now they’re together, in danger, and fighting for their lives. People smuggling is a big money industry, and the smugglers are playing for keeps.
We’re giving away a copy of Wendy’s Above and Beyond title. To be in the running, leave a comment, including your email address, telling us your favourite action hero/ine of all time.