Welcome, Ruth Axtell Morren, who doesn’t write just romance…but a love story.
She is an author of love stories set in history, specifically Regency England. Her novels not only inspire the romance between a man and woman, but sprinkle the fingerprints of a Divine love throughout the story.
Learn more about her books from her website at: http://www.ruthaxtellmorren.com/
Okay Ruth, you’re my first vict…er…guest on character creation in novels. Thankfully, I only torment you with two questions, so –
Who is your favorite hero &/or heroine from any book you’ve written (They don’t have to be from the same novel) and why are they your favorites?
My favorite hero is Simon Aguilar, my Jewish-agnostic, member of Parliament in my first published book, Winter Is Past. I love all my heroes, Simon is one of the more complicated, troubled ones, and oh, how I love those dark heroes!
What I enjoy best about Simon is the discovery of his vulnerabilities as the novel unfolds. You understand the discrimination he’s suffered as a Jew in regency England, so you understand why he is ambitious and wants to prove himself, yet you also see that ultimately he must fail, because his priorities are off. So you feel for him, at the same time you are rooting for him. You also see his need for love, even before he admits this need to himself.
(You can read an excellent review of Winter Is Past at: http://christianfictionaddiction.com/book_reviews/winter_is_past.htm )
My favorite heroine is perhaps Geneva in my second book, Wild Rose (actually written before Winter Is Past). Of all my heroines she probably is the most me.
With Geneva, it’s that same mixture of vulnerabilities behind the defenses she has built up around herself. In her case, it’s the illusion of someone who doesn’t care about anyone’s opinion of her odd lifestyle and her belief that she doesn’t need anyone. When ultimately she does allow herself to care for someone (the hero, Caleb), her old premise is proved right when he has to leave her. It is only when she gives herself over to God’s love, that she is able to give and receive love without fear of rejection. What draws me to her is seeing her become a new woman in Christ.
For a review of Wild Rose, check at this link: http://reviews.armchairinterviews.com/reviews/wild-rose
Okay Ruth, question #2:
What is the behind-the-scenes story behind these two characters? Where did you get your ideas for them?
Simon came to me in a dream, but he was fleshed out during all those months of researching and meditating on the story. He has a lot of my younger brother in him, as well as observations of many intellectual agnostics I’ve observed over the years.
Funny, Geneva also came to me in a dream, many years before Simon. I woke up, dreaming of the opening scene in Wild Rose, where Geneva spills this basket of vegetables from her garden which she is going to sell. She is in a humiliating position, being the object of ridicule in a small community. I also drew on a person I had known a little in college–someone who dressed in mannish clothes and whom most people found unpleasant. I found myself thinking once that if she smiled and fixed her hair a little, she would be quite pretty 🙂
Thanks so much, Ruth, and everyone –
if you have an opportunity to read her work – Do it! The stories are a beautiful blending of love, faith, and dynamic storytelling.
For my review of her novel, Dawn in My Heart see: http://pepperbasham.wordpress.com/2009/09/11/dawn-in-my-heart-by-ruth-axtell-morren/
To get a review on about every book Ruth has ever written, check out Melanie Dickerson’s blog at: http://melaniewrites.blogspot.com/2009/05/bride-of-honor-by-ruth-axtell-morren.html
Character Creation Tip for the Day:
Take a blurry vision in your head and flesh it out until he/she begins to breathe, feel, speak.
Stop by tomorrow and find who Book of the Year winner, Julie Lessman, says her favorite characters are and how why they ‘stand out’ from the rest.