round robin 18th April


So, this month’s topic is what glues me to the pages of a book and what hooks do I use to capture my readers.

It’s all about the characters and the choices they make. If I’ve fallen for the hero, want the heroine as my best friend and the older folks as my mentors, then the author’s got my unswerving attention and loyalty. Add some cuties (children, animals, wayward weather, great scenery) then I’m grateful, but truly it’s about the characters.

I used to write drama and I still have to hear the characters voices clearly. I am often hazy about their looks and am woefully bad at hair colour, eye colour and that sort of thing. Voices, on the other hand, are paramount.

Characters whose principal trait is demonstrated by fringe lunacy get up my nose big-time. I am out of patience with the female ‘tec who heads off without backing or even a functioning torch down a dark alley while saying something on the lines of, “I knew I should have waited for back-up/phoned the hero/charged my phone/cleaned my gun”.

I frequently skip to the final pages and leave the middle bits.

In my own work, I try for consistency of character and voice. I love to create dramatic scenes and I love to leave them just as the reader has heard something to make them wonder… If you scroll down, you’ll see a great offer currently running on my Edinburgh historical, Bella’s Betrothal. You could see for yourself.

In addition, I like to set my historicals in Edinburgh and London. I live in Edinburgh and can get out and walk the streets and pends my heroines get themselves lost in and I visit London fairly often so I can do some of that there, too. I recommend Louise Allen’s great walking tour books for doing this in London.

Fiona McGier follows me in this tour and the complete list is below. do visit. We love to meet you. Anne


Beverley Bateman
Diane Bator
Ginger Simpson
Skye Taylor
Marci Baun
Margaret Fieland
Helena Fairfax
Anne Stenhouse
Fiona McGier
Connie Vines
Rachael Kosnski
Victoria Chatham
Lynn Crain
Rhobin Courtright

Bella’s Betrothal is on special offer till April 28th. for 99p you can find out what happened when Bella did not stay off that horse:

Amazon UK US  AU




/apple itunes



9 thoughts on “round robin 18th April

  1. Lucky you, living in such an ancient and beautiful city. It was one of the highlights of a trip I took.

    I think we are all talking about character, but it is still interesting what everyone has to say.


  2. I would absolutely adore living in Edinburg – what a grand place to set stories and to be able to walk out and “Feel” the ambiance would be so lovely. I do, however, live in the oldest city the US, St Augustine Florida and there’s a lot of history here. I have several pending ideas for a book set here once I finish my current series which is set in a fictional town in NC. As for characters I can care about, you are right on. I want to fall in love with the hero and I want the heroine to be my BFF. I want to like them and I want them to be complicated, interesting people.


    • Good morning, I did once visit Charlestown and Savannah and was hugely impressed by the houses and, in particular, the wonderful iron-work. I didn’t know St Augustine held that honour and that’s really interesting. So, lucky you, Skye. thanks for dropping in. I’ll look out for anything you set in St Augustine. Anne


  3. How lovely to be able to get out and walk in Edinburgh. I love that city!

    Although I have a longer list, I do agree that the characters are the most important component of a story. If I don’t like them, I won’t read any further.


  4. “Characters whose principal trait is demonstrated by fringe lunacy get up my nose big-time.” They get “up your nose”? That must be a local-idiom. I used to get a lot of those from my late father, who was from Glasgow. And we do watch Dr. Who, so I get some “Britishisms” there. But I’ve never heard of something getting up your nose as being annoying. How appropriate.

    And I’m with you about heroines who charge off half-cocked. They’re the TSTL, too-stupid-to-live heroines. Once I realize that’s what they are, I drop-kick that book across the room. (Most damaging to my Kindle! ;-D)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s