Saturday, August 1, 2015


It's my pleasure today to introduce T. B. Markinson.
T. B. just recently released The Miracle Girl and she's here today to talk about character creation. 
Take it away, T. B. Markinson!

Hello! It's a pleasure to be here today and to meet all of you.

I’m often asked how I create the characters in my novels. This question fascinates me, since I don’t know the answer. When I start a new writing project, I don’t know much, including what will happen, who’ll grace the pages, and how long it’ll take. Soon, as I begin to get to know the characters and their stories, I learn as much as possible about them. Even more than the reader. I’m lucky. I get to spend hours with the characters to find out who they are, to uncover their dreams, their fears and what makes them tick. Some characters are difficult to get to know. Others are open books. Each one is a delightful challenge.

In my latest novel, The Miracle Girl, JJ Cavendish at times was a difficult nut to crack. She’s an alcoholic and addict. I’m neither. Also, she has a devastating secret that she’s desperate to keep under wraps. However, we had certain things in common. She used to be a travel writer. And I love to travel. I was able to pull memories from my previous travels to relate to JJ. At one point in the story, JJ shares an experience she had in Zambia.

Back in 2010, I spent several wonderful days in Zambia, which is one of the most stunning places I’ve ever visited. While listening to JJ’s recollection, these were the images running through my mind. Below you'll see the Zambezi River, Victoria Falls, and some of the amazing creatures I saw.

Wonderful photos T. B. how exciting to have visited such an amazing place.
Thanks for sharing with us.

Now onto T. B.'s book
The Miracle Girl

                         To secure a loving future, she must shed an addicting past.

The blurb:

Newspaper publisher and world traveler JJ Cavendish continually feels pressured to live up to her Miracle Girl nickname. Not many people know she’s living a carefully crafted lie. She may not hide ties to the LGBT community, but she does hide past struggles with addiction.

When the Colorado native is handpicked to take the helm at a dying Denver newspaper, she ends up reconnecting with her long lost love in this contemporary lesbian romance. Only there’s a catch. If JJ fires the most belligerent editor at the paper, she risks losing the love of her life.

Mid-afternoon office romps abound in this romantic comedy while also focusing on what it takes for a newspaper to remain relevant in this age of social media.

Must JJ lose everything in order to gain a life more fully her own?

Available on Amazon:


“This was a mistake. I’m sorry. I should have known.” She fumbled around looking for her jeans.
         “What was a mistake? This?” Once again, I pointed to the bed.
Earlier that night, both of us had walked across the stage to receive our degrees. I received one in journalism, and Claire a business degree. She had some job interviews set up for the following week, while I was heading to Europe to backpack for six months. It was my graduation gift from my parents. They had started putting money into a college account before I was born, and when I received a full four-year ride, they decided to give me the money when I graduated. My desire was to see a bit of the world before I started a career.
         Claire let out a long breath. “I’m sorry, JJ. I love you. I really do. But I need more stability in my life. Not a gypsy.”
         “Gypsy!” I couldn’t help laughing at the idea and fell back onto the bed. I wasn’t loaded, but I’d never struggled financially. When I returned from Europe my father had a job lined up for me at the Denver newspaper where he worked. He was a sportswriter and arranged for me to start in the advertising department. Not my ideal job, but it was a job nonetheless during times when not many graduates had one lined up. At least it wasn’t the mailroom.
         “I shouldn’t have started something I knew wouldn’t go anywhere. This was too risky.” Claire sat heavily on the couch on the far side of the room, shaking. My studio apartment didn’t allow much room for escape.
         “This? You mean I’m a risk?” I placed a hand on my chest. “Or do you mean being with a woman?” I slipped her T-shirt over my head and wrapped my arms tightly around my chest, suddenly feeling exposed and vulnerable in the small space.
         “You know I don’t give a crap about being with women or with men. You’re not the first woman I’ve slept with. You know that.”
         “Yes, but you’ve never had a serious relationship with a woman. You’ve only been serious with Andrew.”
         Andrew had been Claire’s boyfriend during most of her undergrad. He was a bit of a prick, but I tolerated him for Claire’s sake. I never let on that I was in love with Claire, and Andrew never suspected.
         “Andrew asked me to marry him. I wasn’t sure at first, but …”

About the Author:

T. B. Markinson is an American writer, living in England. When she isn’t writing, she’s traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs, or taking the dog for a walk. Not necessarily in that order.

Join my mailing list and get a FREE copy of my first novel, A Woman Lost

Thanks again for having me on your blog!

It was my pleasure T. B. Thank you for sharing such lovely photos of Zambia.

Readers how do you create your characters? 
Do you hunt for them? 
Or do they find you?
Are they close to you and your personality, or something completely foreign? A stranger?
Please share...

Have you read The Miracle Girl?


Today the WEP-Write...Edit...Publish first flash fiction challenge has posted. Sign up to participate via the InLinkz and amaze with your Spectacular Settings piece.


  1. Characters sure can take a life of their own as we begin to get to know them

    1. And sometimes they take over our lives, insisting the book get done and their stories told. :) Hi Pa!

    2. I used to think authors bossed their characters around. Now I know we are at their mercy.

  2. JJ certainly is an interesting character. I can relate to her gypsy tendencies.
    Loved the photos of Zambia!

    1. Hi Debbie, thanks for dropping by. T B 's wanderlust is inspiring. Visiting Zambia would be amazing!

    2. Zambia is such a beautiful country. Maybe I'll go back and spend more time.

  3. TB has created lots of fantastic characters in her books. Cool that this one shared her travel bug. I always love to see her photos from her adventures!

    1. Hey Julie, TB's an amazing writer!

    2. Finally a character that allowed me to discuss one of my faves: travel.

  4. Loved this interview, Yolanda; thanks for sharing, and for introducing TB. MIRACLE GIRL sounds awesome! Much success with it, TB. (Oooh, and awesome photos. Jealous of your travels!) Characters... yes, always a struggle, especially when they have traits wholly alien to us. Still, I find that my best characters are those: the ones I have to put in more -- more time, more effort, more digging in myself -- to get to know. Writing from a male POV, for instance. Or an elderly person. Maybe being expats helps? Living in a country and a culture not your own does provide insights (into you, into others) that are otherwise hard to come by. Hmmm... Food for thought :)

    Thanks for hopping over to my place earlier, Yolanda. Glad the Counting Crows version surprised you--and got your vote, too ;)
    Guilie @ Quiet Laughter

    1. Hey Guilie, I agree the best are the one's that take the most effort. Nicely surprised. Thanks for stopping by!

    2. Getting to know characters is one of the biggest challenges. Some are hard to crack, like JJ. I haven't written a novel based in London yet, but I hope to. It takes time living somewhere before you really know a place.

  5. Thanks for hosting TB Yolanda. I love the sound of Miracle Girl and can't wait to read it. Character creation is wonderful. Loved reading TB's post. And any of those wonderful photos would be perfect for Spectacular Settings at WEP. Don't you agree?

    Denise :-)

    1. It's funny, because I don't think readers really understand how much time we spend with our characters for better or worse.

  6. Thanks for hosting me Yolanda!


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