Yup, I love a flawed hero as well.  Sometimes all that perfection can be daunting and unrealistic.   A knight in shining armour is all very well, but have you seen that knight try to get off his horse?

My fave character so far is Alexandra Truelove, the heroine in my just finished novel, High Speed.  She says all the things I wish I could say and does all the things I wish I could do.  Like driving fast cars, having men fall at her feet, effortlessly chatting up the media.  No matter what happens to her she is fighting to overcome all obstacles.  But don’t think she is perfection, oh no.  Alex has a couple of very nasty secrets.  The nastiest of them all is that to get the money to be a race car driver she slept with a man.  No, not the hero.  A man who was obsessed with her, tried to control her and reduced her to such desperation that she thought it was her only option.

I agonised long and hard about writing a heroine who had sex with a man to gain something.  But at its most basic level the book is about her quest for redemption – to accept what she did and move on.  She is such a strong, kick ass character that her low point had to be pretty low.  I’m still worried about it though.  Will a romance reader sympathise with her predicament or see her as grabbing and ruthless? 

It’s been a struggle for me to finish High Speed.  Not because of lack of ideas or lack of motivation, but lack of time.  I’ve two small children and I work part-time so life is very busy.  Writing get slotted in when (miracle of miracles) everyone is having a nap, or if Hubby makes it home from work early and spends some quality time with his offspring whilst I hide in the study.  I’m often writing late at night, which is usually a mistake, firstly because I write drivel – am just too tired to make sense, and secondly because I end up dreaming about my characters.  Very disconcerting!

I’m a dyed in the wool novel plotter.  I’m a Capricorn you see, and we old goats like to have a plan and like even more to follow it.  I have an outline with a detailed list of where I want to go in each chapter – although I don’t always follow it.  You know what characters are like, sometimes they just hare off in their own direction and the scene you though would last for a thousand words ends up being two hundred.  When this happens I re-write my outline.  Gotta have that plan!  I think writing this way is the only way I keep on track given my hectic lifestyle.  When I sit down to write I know where I’m going so I can dive right in.  No messing about.  Okay just a little messing about.  Okay so I update my blog, read the paper, check the weather, email friends, argue with my husband on instant messenger, and then write…

My characters are a hotch-potch of people – not really based on one person.  I may use a movie star or model to sketch out the physical attributes, but the character takes on its own personality in line with the story I have in mind. 

Have to say I am really enjoying being here and chatting. Thanks so much for having me!

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