Beginning January 1, 2013

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

Wednesday, August 3, 2011



When I began writing my upcoming Romantic Suspense release, EDGE OF SURVIVAL, I’d decided to use a setting in Northern Labrador that I’d had the pleasure of visiting as a fish biologist. I used much of my personal experience as the heroine’s own—minus hooking up with a hot helicopter pilot (I’d just got engaged)—because it worked for the plot, and was authentic and exciting. But the heroine isn’t me, so I got to thinking about who she was, and from out of the ether I got this idea she had diabetes. 

She’s not diabetic. She has diabetes. She hates being called diabetic. It’s a disease, not a hair color.


So Dr. Cameran Young was coming through loud and clear in my head. She was smart, feisty, determined, trying to live her life and prove she was just as capable as everyone else. She’s happy, bubbly person despite life’s trials—but it isn’t easy trying to balance everything. She’s more complex than your average girl next door. Has struggled with survival on a daily basis since she was diagnosed at 14 years of age.

So what sort of man, what sort of hero, would fall for Cameran Young and vice versa?

OMG. Just let me tell you this guy gave me fits. He’s a former elite British soldier who’s fallen from grace into a bitter, what-the-hell-is-life-worth-anyway, mentality. He has a reckless regard for how he lives just so long as he fulfills short term needs with no hint of commitment, no desire for a relationship beyond the basic. But he can’t shake his deep-rooted need to defend people from danger and when he discovers Cameran has diabetes it unlocks long forgotten protective instincts.

Daniel Fox uses everything he can think of to push Cameran Young away, but the more threatened she becomes, the more he’s forced to leave his self-imposed exile and deal with reality. There’s a lot to forgive my hero for. There’s a lot to forgive most of my heroes. But all of them carry a very fierce sense of honor. I hope this shines through. I hope I do them justice. 

I started with the idea of a heroine fish biologist and ex SAS helicopter pilot but they quickly morphed into amazing, complicated people who I loved getting to know. This happens to me all the time. And although I do choose my characters, once I’ve found them they jump in and tell me exactly who they really are.

Who are your favourite flawed heroes?

What do you think of a heroine who suffers from diabetes?

EDGE OF SURVIVAL comes out 23rd November 2011, from Carina Press.
(As a note, I’m donating 15% of my royalties to diabetes research).

Toni Anderson is a former marine biologist who conducted her Ph.D. at the Gatty Marine Laboratory in St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland. She was born and raised in the U.K., but now lives in the harsh but beautiful Canadian prairies with her husband and two children, living about as far from the ocean as possible. Her first romantic suspense, Her Sanctuary, was released in 2009, followed by Sea of Suspicion and Storm Warning from Carina Press in 2010.
Toni’s links: Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Mailing List


Doris J said...

If I was not already wanting to read this book I really would now :-)

I enjoy hearing about your writing process. I always wonder how writers come up with plots and characters.
Thanks for sharing a bit about Cameran and Daniel.

Toni Anderson said...

(((Doris))) Thanks!

Kathy Ivan said...

I think its wonderful to have characters with flaws, and having diabetes can be a major one. Incorporating that into that person's outlook on life and making a part of WHO they are and not WHAT they are--how terrific.

Looking for to the release of this book. And giving 15% to diabetes research, a cause near and dear to my heart, is wonderful.

Shirley Wells said...

I love flawed characters. I'm really looking forward to this book!

Claire Robyns said...

Love the way you talk about your characters, reminds us how real they have to become as you write them. Looking forward to this one

Cathy in AK said...

These two sound like great characters to work with, if a little frustrating : ) But hey! If they were easy to write, they wouldn't be as fun.

I love it when characters reveal things to you as you write their story. Like, "Huh, I didn't know my hero was afraid of snakes because as a kid his big brother terrorized him. Better use that!" :)

Congrats on the upcoming release, Toni!

Gabby said...

I think flawed characters are cool in there own right because for me it sort of gives the book a bit more reality if they have a disease or problem that I can relate to.

In fact I just finished a book not too long ago where the heroine had diabetes, the book was pretty good but it made me like it even more because the heroine had a such a serious disease but she still managed to get her happily ever after.

Ms Anderson the way you go about writing your characters is very intriguing, how do you decide what their names will be?

Toni Anderson said...

Kathy--it's such a huge problem and my contribution is a drop in the ocean, but I hope it can help a little.


Claire--it is amazing how real they become, and that is when you have them nailed.

LOL Cathy, I love snakes. My hubby hates them. I must find out why...

Gabby--I'd love to know the name of that other book? As for names, that could be a post all on its own. Usually the first name just comes to me and seem to fit. In fact, I love naming characters, it's a bit like naming your baby and all the names you couldn't pick you now get to use. But the names have to work together and I try my best to pick a surname that, should they get married, will not sound comical. I do have a few names I detest: Miranda is one (apologies to any Mirandas out there). But I can't use a name I don't like.

Susan Edwards said...

I love flawed characters and even write them myself. I think when writers can make people aware of things like diabetes, it is great. You may help someone with it. Your book sounds great and as someone with type 2, I can't wait to read it!

Virginia said...

I love the flawed characters. My husband just found out he has diabetes so I would love to read this books and see what the outcome is.


Elise Warner said...

Definitely on my list to be read as soon as possible. I believe in your characters already and I haven't ordered the book yet.

Toni Anderson said...

Susan, it is such a terrible condition. I hope yours is relatively stable.
Virginia, so sorry your hubby has it. I hope he takes care of himself.

Elise--thank you! I hope you like it when you eventually read it.

Coleen Kwan said...

Genuine, interesting characters make all the difference in a book, whether we love them or loathe them. Congrats on your new release - it sounds very intriguing!

Toni Anderson said...

I agree, thanks Coleen.

Debby said...

I have always found this to be an interesting conversation. I have heard some authors say that they just do not cooperate. really neat thought. debby236 at gmail dot com

Hillary Jacques said...

An excellent post! I love the characteristics evolving into characters, even when the characters are obstinate.

And that's such an excellent cause, Toni.


shadow_kohler said...

This sounds great! I love characters that have flaws and arent perfect. It makes them more believable and easier for us relate to. Thanks for sharing!