Who’s Got Character with Tammy Barley

by | Nov 19, 2009 | Fiction Book Reviews | 3 comments

 With breathtaking historical detail and nail-biting emotional drama, Tammy Barley’s debut novel “Love’s Rescue’ has lots of people talking. Set in war-weary 1863, Love’s Rescue couples a beautiful love story with spiritual truths such as forgiveness, hope, and second chances.

It was in the top twenty of ChristianBook.com’s bestseller list.

Her next book in the Sierra Chronicles series is due out in July 2010, entitled Hope’s Promise and is a continuation of Love’s Rescue.

To learn more about her writing, visit her website at www.tammybarley.com

I’m so happy to have Tammy join me.

Now for the questions:

1.    Who is your favorite hero and heroine you’ve ever written and why?

Heroine—Jessica Hale! We women could all use a little more Jessica Hale spunkiness in us—she truly doesn’t believe in “can’t.” To her, “can’t” is merely a challenge issued, a tantalizing dare, to prove to the person who uttered it that they are wrong.

Hero—that’s quite a dilemma. I love Jake Bennett (he’s a horseman, a man of honor, and he looks like Hugh Jackman; what’s not to love? Pepper inserted an ‘Amen’ right here) but I also love Jessica’s brother, Ambrose Hale, based on an actual black and white photograph of a Civil War soldier, Isaac Stevens, who died in 1862. (The photo is currently at Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_Stevens.)

Isaac Stevens looked like a man who was determined to fight to the end . . . and who appears in his photo to have somehow known that the end would come soon. He was a powerful inspiration for Ambrose.

I love Jake because he’s a heart mender, not a heart breaker. He lives by a code of ethics and a behavior toward that I admire greatly, one many women search their lives for but rarely see. Here’s a paragraph from Love’s Rescue:

“Cattlemen respect women, Jess. Other men claim to, but all too often their words and their actions don’t match up. Cattlemen live far from settled towns, seeing nothing dust and cows for months on end.” His voice softened. “When they finally catch sight of a woman, it’s like finding a diamond in the desert. That beautiful thing is so precious to them and they’re so awestruck by it, all they can do is stare. And rather than use it in some manner for their own gain, they’re likely to keep watch over it, as if the Almighty had entrusted its care to them. They’re likely to protect it, and not let anyone or anything bring it harm.” Jake searched her face. “Something rare is treasured, but there are those who have come to treasure the call of gold and silver above human worth.”

(Pepper here – Tammy, I couldn’t help but put in that pic of Hugh Jackman…I mean, seriously, why not?!? Great ‘teaser excerpt’ by the way)

2.     What is the behind-the-scene story for these characters?

Heroine Jessica Hale—I’ve been called “feisty” and “determined,” and someone even said “I think you were born wearing size 16 steel-toed boots” (believe it or not, that was said in admirationJ). When God made me, he didn’t make a willow, and I had to write a character with the same spirit and spunk. As a Southern woman in the Union-sympathizing and rugged Old West, Jess couldn’t be any less. One reader e-mailed me to comment that the woman on the cover of Love’s Rescue looks like Catherine Zeta-Jones. Jessica Hale is much like Catherine Zeta-Jones’s character in The Mask of Zorro and its sequel, though I wrote the character from my mind, experiences, and family history, before I ever saw the Zorro movies.

Hero Jake Bennett—Like Jessica, Jake came from my imagination and historical research. In the Old West, most cattlemen lived by a code of ethics, and Jake had to personify that code. He is honorable, works very hard, helps out anyone in need, protects those who cannot protect themselves, and doesn’t ask questions that are not his business to ask. In addition, I wanted a character with earthy wisdom and who listened—really listened—when his lady spoke to him.

At my Web site ( http://www.tammybarley.com/ ) you’ll find a book trailer for Love’s Rescue (which turned out fantastic—very enjoyable to watch), and also a contest you can enter to win—get this—a one-week vacation for two to a Western guest ranch resort to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Includes the lodge stay, three phenomenal meals per day for two, and all the horses you can hug (yes, you also get to ride them)! Hurry, though—the drawing is only a couple of months away!

(For a review of Love’s Rescue check this link out: http://rorreviews.wordpress.com/2009/08/16/loves-rescue-by-tammy-barley/

Thanks Tammy for being a part of this.

Character Creation Tip of the Day:

Everybody wants something. So, for your character, what is it? What makes them wake up in the morning? What keeps them alive throughout the day? What gives them the drive, the hunger, the ache, the need, the passion to make it through 60,000 words or more to get to some sort of resolution?

For every character it will be different at its’ core, but it will be there, and many times it’s more than one desire. Dig into the soul of your character and discover his/her hidden passion, then throw in an antagonist to ‘stop’ him/her from getting their goal, or a romantic partner who wants the very opposite. Sparks may fly, both good and bad, but it makes for a great story.


Seeker, Camy Tang, joins us to give us Romance with a kick of Wasabi. Come by to find out who her favorite characters are…and what they have to do with wasabi? 😉


  1. pepperbasham

    So tickled to have you on today and love your promotional ideas for your book 🙂
    My website has hit-or-miss visitors, but hopefully people will keep looking and discover your beautiful book.


  2. Tammy Barley

    Thank you so much, Pepper, for letting folks know a little more about Love’s Rescue! Now all we need to do is hope it becomes a movie and that Hugh Jackman is available to play Jake!



  3. pepperbasham

    Woohoo, how’s that for a happy ending to a story 😉 I’d see that movie for sure!!
    Thanks, Tammy.


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