Go Behind The Book: Author Brenda Minton on Understanding Your Characters
by Brenda Minton, author of Her Oklahoma Rancher
My name is Brenda Minton and I’ve been writing for Love Inspired for 12 years! My second book for Love Inspired took me on a new path, with the start of a cowboy series, and His Little Cowgirl set the stage for all my future books.
My most recent book, Her Oklahoma Rancher, is a continuation of my Mercy Ranch series. The books are set in Hope, Oklahoma, and focus on the residents of a ranch for wounded veterans. Eve Vincent has been a continuing secondary character from the previous books in the Mercy Ranch series, and it felt like a natural choice for her to have her own story. Secondary characters are important in series writing as they give depth to the story and also give an author ingredients for future stories. Eve has held my interest through each of the other books and I hope readers will connect with her and want to see more of her story.
In order to write Eve’s story, it took research to understand her life as a paraplegic, her struggles and her victories. I read articles, watched videos and tried to put myself in her place. As an author, it is so important to understand who your characters are so that you can give them a journey that makes sense to readers. It isn’t about how I would act or feel in a situation, but how my character would act or feel.
As with most stories, Her Oklahoma Rancher evolved as I wrote and as I got to know the characters. Each chapter reveals something about both the hero and heroine, and about their relationships with secondary characters. At times, it feels as if the characters are revealing their own secrets as the story unfolds. That can change the entire story. I think the biggest reveal for me started the moment the hero walked into Eve’s life with a baby.
My favorite part of this story, or the writing of the story, was the growth in the characters as they learned more about themselves and each other. We often take things for granted in life and this story teaches us that everything is fluid, shifting and changing constantly.
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About Her Oklahoma Rancher:
Paralyzed veteran Eve Vincent has built an independent new life at a ranch for wounded warriors. But when she and her ex-fiancé, Ethan Forester, are named guardians of an orphaned baby girl, they must face down past misunderstandings to make a future for Tori. And caring for the little girl together might just rekindle their love…this time for forever.