Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Secondary Characters

I want to introduce you to one of my favorite secondary characters. I wrote the first Silver Sage Creek novel, Better She Die without any thought of two more books, until I finished. Several of my secondary characters were so strong that I decided to write Better She Live and Better She Love
Silver Sage Creek is my factious town in northern Texas created through my characters. As the novels grew from one book to three, the town also grew.  Now with a developed western town in the late 1800s, I can’t stop, so my work in progress is book four, Better She Lie.

One special character stood out in my first book Better She Die. Ruby Thornton has agreed to let me interview her, but she refuses to give away any significant information that would keep you from wanting to read her story in Better She Live.

Judy:  Have you lived all your life in Silver Sage Creek?
Ruby:  No, my cousin, Mary Ann and I were about seventeen years old when we found our way to the small Texas town. We were only going to stay long enough to make enough money to buy a train ticket back to Atlanta, Georgia, but it wasn't our destiny to return.

Judy:  What do you do for a living?  
Ruby:  I own Silver Sage Saloon. It’s a respectable business now, but it hadn't always been.

Judy:  Why did you settle in Silver Sage Creek?
Ruby:  An old gentleman owned the Silver Sage Saloon when Mary Ann and I found ourselves stranded in the town. He offered us a job. We agreed to stay and work for him until we made enough money to return home.

Judy: Did you ever return to Atlanta? 
Ruby: Yes, once, during a difficult time. It’s too sad for me to go into right now.

Judy: Are you part of all three books? 
Ruby: Yes, in the first book, I don’t have many friends, but Clare Rose and I discovered we have something in common, drawing us together as dear friends, which is down right baffling. If you'd known Clare Rose before the Indians took her, our friendship would never have happened. The second book is when you’ll really get to know me. I’m not a complicated person, but I do have problem with allowing people to love me for who I am, and that has much to do with my scarred body and my upbringing. And, you’ll understand more in book three where you'll actually get to meet my daughter.

Judy: Why do you shy away from being loved? 
Ruby: The one think I have going for me is my business skills. I know how to run my saloon and make money, but when it comes to feeling pretty and worthy of someone’s love, I don’t find it easy to open up, especially knowing how ugly the scar on my body looks.

Judy:  From the first book, we discover you have a daughter? Do we get to meet her, if so, what is her name and in which book will she arrive? Yes, I have a daughter, but I hadn’t seen her in years until she stepped off the train in Silver Sage Creek in book three. Her name’s Millicent Thornton and she’s a doctor.

Judy: Do you have a love interest in the first book? Who is he and why does it not work out?
Ruby: Sort of. He’s a Texas Ranger and I love him dearly, have for years, but his heart belongs to another. He married my cousin Mary Ann, and when the Indians murdered her, he and I turned to each other for comfort. I know he loves me, but not the way he loves another.

Judy: Do you finally meet someone that loves you?
Ruby: I do, but it isn't easy for me, because I own a saloon and he thinks I’m a prostitute.

Judy: Do you have a favorite scene that you can share?
Ruby:  Sure. This short excerpt comes from book two, Better She Live: 

The slow gait of a horse drew her gaze down the road behind the town buildings. She squinted through the bright sunshine. Mr. Stryker’s lazy smile showed off white teeth beneath his thick mustache when he connected eyes with her.
She tipped her head in his direction. Not many folks road this side of the buildings. Where was he going?
“Fine morning, Miss Thornton.”
He halted his horse in front of her porch, leaned a forearm on the saddle horn, and shoved the brim of his white Stetson upward. She couldn’t help but notice a lock of curly brown hair drop from beneath his hat. He looked good in his blue cotton shirt and brown leather vest and chaps.
“Mr. Stryker.” She couldn’t stop her gaze from trailing down to the gun on his hip, hanging relaxed on his long muscular thigh. He never appeared to be in a hurry. “Are you out to enjoy the day or do you have business to attend to?” No sooner had she ask she bit her lip. Why was she so curious about this stranger?
His left brow lifted then his nice smile spread his lips the moment he straightened. “Business, always, ma’am. First business of the day is to proposition you for an evening of pleasure, if you’re free tonight. And, your charge for the evening.”
Ruby’s head jerked back. Springing to her feet she stomped to the edge of the porch. Her wide eyed glare aimed at him. With her fingers curling into a tight fist, her infuriating voice spat out her words, slowly, “Mr. Stryker, if I had a pistol in my hand at this moment, your condescending ass wouldn't be sitting on a horse. I’d shoot you down. Your assumption that my business is a place of ill repute couldn't be further from the truth. Now, I suggest you ride on and not step one boot inside of my establishment again.” She stood straight, placed her hands on her hips, and stared into his eyes.
With an expression that appeared amused, he pulled his hat square on his head and started to rein his horse around when his gaze shot beyond her to the door.

Thank you Ruby for giving us a look into your life. I'm sure readers will love to read more about you in the second book of the Silver Sage Creek novels, Better She Live.

Do you have some favorite secondary characters that you would like an author to write about? Who are they?

To kick off Spring, I have an ad in BTS eMag. It's free. Check it out.

If you're a reader, this is a free emagazine. My ad is in the Contemporary and Historical section, page 18. They did a great layout of my books. Let me know what you think.


  1. So you have a Ruby too! What a great idea to interview your characters. Nice read. And I love, love, love the ad. Congratulations on your successes!

    1. I know. I thought of you Ruby when I was interviewing her. She is one of my favorite characters.

  2. Judy, I enjoyed your interview with your secondary character, Ruby Thornton.

    1. Thank you Rose, I appreciate you stopping by.

  3. Thanks for sharing your character. It's interesting that she owns a saloon. I love characters like that. I also have used BTSE Mag. They are great!!

    1. Thank you Melissa, It's always fun to hear from you.

  4. Isn't it interesting how characters enter a story with their own tale. Thanks for sharing Ruby with us.

  5. Thank you Morgan for stopping by, it's always good to hear from you.


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