Beginning January 1, 2013

Stop by and let us know what you think of the new look!

Monday, August 30, 2010


Thank you to the hostesses of LASR for having me as a guest blogger! Especially since I did not turn this blog in as quickly as I’d hoped.

At first, I had several great ideas. This was about a month ago. Then, it started raining. (Literally.) We’re not talking “April showers make May flowers” sorts of rain...we’re talking about the skies opening up and pouring down bucket-loads of rain in quantities I’d never imagined in my high-altitude, semi-arid climate of Colorado.

That was when I stopped thinking of blog ideas and started thinking about building an ark. Or at least thinking about how to stop my basement from flooding. Multiple times.

Several rainstorms and several hundreds of dollars of drainage work and re-grading of part of my yard, and I’m back on task...and trying to think of a way to somehow work this into my next story. :-)

I write historical romance, so modern-day homeowner problems may seem like a stretch for story ideas, but I’ve noticed something over time: what grabs me as a reader and really makes me relate to a story is not the accuracy of historical detail (which IS important, but let’s face it, if I wanted a lecture, I’d sign up for a class), but the little details that transcend time. Things every human can relate to. The things that make characters seem real.

I could easily picture a nineteenth century heroine trying to help save her family home during an unusually rainy year (or a river flooding, if they lived near the bank of a river), armed with nothing more than a bucket, pushing hair out of her face as water streamed down, soaking her dress until the garments grew heavy, the bottom eight inches spattered with mud. Her toes are numb because rain water is freezing (even in summer, and especially if it’s mixed with hail), and her two year old niece is terrified of the storm and doesn’t understand why auntie won’t just stop and comfort her...

Now there is a heroine I can relate to, sympathize with, and root for. She’s doing her best in the face of tough (but not insurmountable) odds, and she’s protecting her loved ones. Of course, if it’s a romance, there’s a love interest as well, but in terms of getting me to care about who a character falls in love with, I first have to care about her.

Sometimes it can be even simpler...the kid on the playground who gets teased for wearing thick glasses, or the brilliant scientist who might cure cancer but couldn’t whip up a grilled cheese sandwich (or any other meal) if her life depended on it, or any one of a million little quirks that make real people, well, real.

So my question to you is:

Who are some fictional characters you love (or who are most memorable to you), and what little, “everyday” details made you fall for them, made them so real to you?

Thanks for stopping by this blog! As a relatively new author, I really enjoy “meeting” new readers and friends online. And for those who leave a comment with the answer to the question above, one of you will be selected at random to receive a signed copy of my first novel, Nothing But Scandal.

Have a fantastic day!


Allegra Gray has had a love for stories for as long as she can remember. After years of reading and even teaching literature, she thought, “why stop here?” and began writing her own stories. Allegra launched her career as a novelist with the release of Nothing But Scandal (Kensington Publishing, 2009), to enthusiastic reviews. As the Romantic Times put it, “Gray's steamy passion and well-developed characters will hold anyone's interest.” Allegra eagerly anticipates the release of her next book, Nothing But Deception, in August 2010.


Diana Cosby said...

Hi Allegra,
Sorry about the flooding. Iks! I'm in Texas and you can send that rain this way. Memorable characters for me are those who against the odds, against what society dictates, follows their dream. One of my all time favorite stories is, "For The Roses," by Julie Garwood. It's about orphan boys finding a baby dropped off in an alley to die and decided they're going to move west and raise her. It's an incredible story, on that touches me on many levels.

My sincere best to you and wish you every success! ^5

RomVets ^5

Kathy said...

Hi Allegra I would love to create the character that you want to root for. I tend to get caught up in stories I'm reading and the people become real to me. If they don't I never go back and finish the book.

Kayelle Allen said...

Hi Allegra,
(from a fellow RomVet) :)

I recently re-read If Angels Burn by Lynn Viehl. In the first pages of the book, the heroine, Dr. Alexandra (Alex) Keller, is turning down an offer of $4M to come to a patient's home. Her main reason? She would have performed surgery for 1/10th the amount, but anyone who would pay that much and demand secrecy is surely up to no good, and she wants no part of it. :) She then proceeds to help a few other patients who clearly have issues, multi-layered walk-ons who serve the purpose of showing us Alex's world. When she is then kidnapped and taken forcibly to meet with her "patient" we are just as annoyed with him as she is. Seeing the world through his eyes, however, shows us an amazingly captivating man who immediately garners our empathy and heart. His reason for secrecy is he's immortal, and a vampire.

What I like best is that we see the characters by what they do, how they go about getting what they need, and what they're willing to sacrifice to obtain it. I ended up buying the entire Darkyn series and loved them all.