November 28, 2011

building character

Bloggers Note: I'd like to welcome author Anna James as today's guest blogger. With several books under her belt and another one scheduled for release in January, I am pleased to have her on the blog to discuss what makes good characters. 

Read my reviews of Guilty as Charged and Shattered Dreams.

Take a break from everyday life and get lost in a world filled with  passion, drama and romance!

By Anna James
Guest Blogger

Hello Everyone,

Since this is the first time I am here at Change the World I wanted to introduce myself. I am Anna James, author of contemporary romance stories that allow women (and sometimes men) to take a break from everyday life and get lost in a world filled with passion, drama and, of course, romance!

I have been writing for more than twelve years but have only recently been published (July 2010). I have a total of five novels / novellas published to date, one story that was included in Christmas anthology, and another novel coming out in January 2012.

Today I’d like to ask you a question: What qualities are important for a romance novel hero and heroine to have?

As a romance writer, my goal is to create stories readers will enjoy. The key is to capture a reader’s attention from the start and keep them engaged throughout the book.

I believe a good story starts with the characters in a book. As a reader as well as a writer, I need to feel a connection to the characters. They have to be real to me; someone who I can relate to and someone who lingers long after I’ve finished reading (or writing) their story.

I believe each heroine should be unique in her own way but I have found they all have certain things in common. I strive to create heroines that:
•  Are strong , smart, confident woman – survivors NOT victims.
•  Are passionate about love and life.
•  Are persistent and won’t give up just because the going gets tough.
•  Believe that love triumphs over all odds.

What about the hero you ask? I have read well over 1,000 romance novels and I have found that heroes have a variety of qualities. They can be:
•  Sophisticated, mysterious, and a bit dangerous
•  A moody rebel, who can be very arrogant
•  Have a complicated personality, hidden conflicts, and secret past

The most important qualities, as far as I’m concerned, are:
•  Strength of character
•  Honesty and dependability
•  Compassion and reliability

He needs to be someone who can be admired and has integrity. He may not be handsome but the heroine must be strongly attracted to him.

I’d like to introduce you to some of my heroes and heroines: 

Guilty As Charged – Bradford Sisters Trilogy #1

Passion ignites between Nicole Bradford and Max Paradis the second they lay eyes on each other. Nicole seems to be everything that Max is looking for in a woman. She’s sweet and loving and incredibly sexy. But looks can be deceiving. Hadn’t he learned that the hard way?

Nicole is crazy for Max. He is sensitive, caring, and his kisses are to die for. But when secrets from her past are revealed will she be found innocent, or is she guilty as charged?

Now available from Sugar and Spice Press (
Read Laura's review of Guilty as Charged here.

Shattered Dreams – Bradford Sisters Trilogy #2

Natalie and Reed seemed so happy when they got married just a few short months ago, but an unexpected pregnancy and a subsequent miscarriage throw their marriage into turmoil.

Natalie deals with the loss by burying herself in work. Reed is supportive but doesn’t understand why she is spending so much after-hours time with her handsome, sexy boss. And what about their dream of having a family? How can that happen when with each passing day Natalie becomes more distant?

Will Reed and Natalie find a way to work things out, or will all their dreams be shattered?

Now available from Sugar and Spice Press (
Read Laura's review here of Shattered Dreams here.

Stay tuned for the last book in the trilogy:
Shattered Illusions – Bradford Sisters Trilogy #3

Four years ago Kate Bradford met Raffaello D’Onofrio while attending a semester abroad. Rafe ran the family vineyard in the Lazio region of Italy but the thing that attracted her to him most, besides his ruggedly handsome good looks, fathomless deep blue eyes and well-
toned body, was his love of art. It was a passion they shared together.

He had been the perfect man as far as she was concerned and in a few short months she fell deeply in love. She had thought that love was returned. Then she found Annalisa De Luca

in his apartment wearing nothing but the shirt Rafe had been wearing the evening before. All her illusions were shattered. Distraught and wanting to escape the pain of Rafe’s betrayal, she returned to her home in Chicago, IL.

Now Rafe is back in her life and much to her chagrin, she is still attracted to him. How can just one look from those sexy blue eyes affect her so deeply and what is she going to do about it?

Rafe D’Onofrio has just agreed to allow the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art to display his unique art collection - a collection he has always kept private until now. This after learning the museum’s new assistant curator was none other than Kate Bradford. Once he had thought himself in love with her but after her abrupt departure from his life with no explanation he convinced himself it was just an illusion. So why, after all this time, can the mere mention of her name still send his pulse rate soaring? And what is he going to do about it?

Will Rafe and Kate shatter the illusions of the past and find love again? Or are they too much to overcome?

If you’d like to learn more about my other heroes and heroines stop by website: or visit me on facebook: and meet Christine Kincaid and James Buchanan from Coming Home; Isabella Sheridan and Jake McAllistar from Isabella’s Dilemma and Pru Bailey and Matt Cavanaugh from Visions.

Thanks Laura for having me here today!

Happy Reading,

Anna James

1 comment:

  1. Hi Laura,

    Thanks for having me here today!