I'm tying my blog in with Blog-Hop Thursday this week, and answering the question posed by LP Robinson:
Thursday, Aug 4th 2011:
How does a writer make marketing their stories easier on themselves?
For me, marketing includes finding new ways to acquaint readers with your work...not just the title, but exposing them to the book's character and setting, then hoping you've left them hungering more more. I find it entertaining to share a glimpse of the old west with readers, and it's easy for me since I put myself in the character's shoes when I'm writing. For the next few days, I'm going to be introducing my western heroines and setting the scene of their era and some of the dilemmas they face. I'm starting today with Cecile. Join me, please.
Cecile’s gaze froze on the striking man leaning against the hitching post. Her heart seized with a gasp when she nearly stepped off the edge of the wooden walkway. She turned her attention back to delivering her father’s mid-day meal but fixed a smile on her face and slowed her pace, hoping to catch the stranger’s eye.
Imagine being a woman back in the 1800s, especially the spoiled, only daughter of the town banker. Here's Cecile, delivering her father's lunch, while noticing a new handsome man in town. Women were required to be more proper back in the old west. Flirting wasn't an art, and acting the part of a lady was important at all times...especially when you had a controlling father, and most men were controlling back in the day.
At Almost the exact moment she walked past, he stepped onto the sidewalk and made eye contact. In a polite doffing gesture, he touched the wide brim of his hat and smiled. For a second, his blue eyes held her captive.
Suddenly, the weight of the tray tripled, and her breathing quickened. Her cheeks warmed at the crooked smile that told her he knew she'd been staring at him. In her haste to escape embarrassment behind the bank's doors, just a few steps away, she caught her heel in a large knothole in the wooden sidewalk. She tried to recover gracefully but fell flat on her bottom with a resounding plop, hitting the wood so hard it jarred her teeth. Her dignity suffered as she realized how pitiful she looked with her father's lunch spilled all over her.
Quite a first impression, don't you think? I can only imagine how much her dignity suffered, falling in front of such a handsome specimen. But, rest assured Walt didn't waiver in his attraction to Cecile, and they marry and move miles from civilization to propel the story in the true direction my character needed to take to become a mature, responsible woman and wife. Besides her disappointment with what he considers a "ranch," she is madly in love with her new husband and intends to adjust her attitude and make things work...that is until he travels for winter supplies and fails to return. Can you fathom being left alone, in the middle of nowhere, with no neighbors, and having to rely on yourself for the first time in your life. Now that you've pictured that...picture this:
As Cecile rocked back and forth, thinking about the possibility of motherhood, she heard footsteps on the porch. Funny, she hadn't noticed the rumble of wagon wheels in the yard, but then she'd been preoccupied in thought. Walt was finally home? Her lips spread into a wide smile.
Cheerfully tossing her crocheting aside, she prepared to jump up and give him a warm welcome. Before she could get out of the chair, the front door flew open and hit the wall, vibrating the whole house, and in walked a stranger. Fear seized her throat. Frozen to her chair, she wondered if this was her time to die.
The man before her was a mirror image of Indians she'd seen only in storybooks and magazines, and those tales didn't portray red-skinned people kindly. This one wore fringe-trimmed buckskin leggings and shirt, and had long ebony braids. He towered over her; his cold, steely black eyes bored through her.
Cecile stared back, he mouth agape, trying to accommodate the scream rising in her throat. Strangely, she couldn't make a sound. Escape entered her mind, but even if her trembling legs supported her, there was nowhere to run.
As quickly as the Indian entered, he fell to the floor at Cecile's feet. She remained seated for several minutes, dazed, confused and frightened, waiting for him to move. When he didn't, she cautiously slid off the rocking chair and knelt beside him.
Was he dead?
Clearly, Cecile faces a dilemma. Should she help him? Remember, she's young, alone, scared and thinking she might be pregnant. Without her husband, she has no idea how to find her way back to civilization and winter is fast approaching. What will she do? Guess you'll have to read to find out. Hey, teasers are a good thing.