Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Some Things I’ve Learned From My Characters

As an author, it’s in my DNA to make up characters and throw them into situations that test their faith and sometimes push them to their personal limit. In each situation, the characters have issues in their life that they must be overcome before they can find their happily ever after.

As someone who writes Inspirational Romantic Suspense, there is an element of danger in each of my stories. It adds another wrinkle to the dilemma the characters face.

But sometimes when I making up stories in my head, I find that my characters actually teach me a thing or two about life.

For instance, in Forgotten Past, Faith McKenzie taught me that no matter how dark the road ahead of you may seem, if you have someone to travel it with you, you’ll never have to face the darkness alone.
JT Wyatt taught me that there is such a thing as second chances in this life, no matter how painful the starting over might be.

Teddy Warren and Derek Thomas taught me that if you have a few good friends to back you up and believe in you, even if you don’t believe in yourself, you can make it through just about anything.  

In Rocky Mountain Pursuit, Jase Bradford taught me that true men of valor still exist. They serve our country in all branches of the military and they sacrifice their safety to protect ours. Jase taught me that you never leave a man behind. And when one of your comrades dies suspiciously, you will move heaven and earth to bring their killer to justice.
Reyna Peterson taught me that you don’t have to serve in the military to risk your life for your country.

Eddie Peterson taught me that there are some things in life that are worth chancing everything to protect.

In my upcoming June 2017 LIS – Deadly Memories, Ella Weiss taught me that you can survive just about anything as long as you have faith. And CIA Agent Kyle Jennings taught me that sometimes, all you have to cling to in life is hope.

So what about you? Whether you’re an author or a reader, we all have characters that speak to us. What have some of your favorite characters taught you about life?


All the best…


Mary Alford

Deadly Memories – Coming June 2017


Amnesia may be keeping Ella Weiss from remembering her past—but not from saving the little boy who's been her fellow prisoner the last seven years. After managing to escape her cell, all she wants is to find where little Joseph is being kept. Instead she runs straight into CIA agent Kyle Jennings. Kyle isn't sure if Ella is actually a kidnap victim or if she's working for the gunrunner he's been after. One thing he is certain of is her uncanny resemblance to the wife he thought he'd buried. To save a child's life and stop a terrorist from slipping through his fingers, he'll need to uncover the secrets of Ella's past—and whether or not she's really the woman he's never stopped loving.  


  1. Mary, your blurb for Woman Without a Past hooked me! Love the whole premise...and then you added that the heroine looked like his dead wife! YIKES!!! It all sounds so, so good!

    My characters often struggle with baggage issues that keep them from embracing life--and love--to the full. I see that happening in real life too often so it's a theme that resonates with me.

  2. I agree, Debby, but I think that makes the characters so endearing to me. We are all flawed. I love the struggles they go through to find their happily every after.

  3. I can't think of a specific incident, Mary (I've been in too many meetings today), but I know I benefit from writing my characters' struggles. They force me to wrestle with my faith and how I live it.

  4. Absolutely, Cate. And I feel that I've grown as a writer through each book. I love them for that.

  5. I always pray before brainstorming a new story and ask the Lord to help me create a character that will touch someone somewhere. Hopefully that happens. The process itself enhances my trust in the Lord. He never abandons me.

  6. I often put bits and pieces of my life into my stories from a topic I'm passionate about to a specific incident.


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