Character Exploration — Kathleen Rouser

Today I’m happy to introduce Kathleen to you…

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Kathleen Rouser is the award-winning author of Rumors and Promises, her first novel about the people of fictional Stone Creek, Michigan, and its sequel, Secrets and Wishes. Kathleen wanted to be a writer before she could even read. She lives in Michigan with her hero and husband, Jack, and the sassy tailless cat who found a home in their empty nest.

Connect on:
Her website – kathleenrouser.com
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/kathleenerouser/
Twitter handle – @KathleenRouser

Character Exploration

This is a little brainstorming exercise that can help you when you’re stuck. Not sure you know your character well enough? Or perhaps what they need to do next to progress the story?

Have fun with your characters. I start by praying for God’s leading. Close your eyes and picture your character. Where is he/she? Think about the sights, sounds and smells around them, putting yourself in their shoes. Now, what is your character doing? Talking to someone? Looking for something? Painting a picture? Or just a wall? Playing a musical instrument? Running down a road? Sitting under a tree?

You may find new things out about your character you never thought of before. I had a character, who had a lost love she “hadn’t told me” about before. He returned to her life. I wound up with a whole new twist to my plot. My character actually wound up marrying this lost love, who becomes a stepfather to her son. This complicates family relationships and holds her back for a time from making important decisions she needs to make about her commitment to God. Doing the brainstorming exercise brought out a whole new layer to her story.

It’s funny how a simple five or ten-minute exercise of the imagination can help breathe new life into a story, give more depth to a character and guide them down paths we hadn’t originally planned.

Do you have a “stuck” two-dimensional character that needs to have more depth of “life” breathed into them? Try this exercise and see what happens!

Secrets and Wishes

Tag line – Can unexpected love flourish amid the ashes of grief?

More than fists fly after a fight between Philip and Zeke. When their widowed parents, Maggie Galloway and Thomas Harper meet they can’t seem to agree on much.

But when he is deathly ill, Maggie nurses him back to health, and takes his children in hand. Growing affection between them is quickly denied by both. An old beau appears offering Maggie a new opportunity. But then tragedy strikes the town and Thomas and Maggie find themselves working together to save the children of Stone Creek from a huckster’s potion.

As Maggie considers leaving town, Thomas wants to offer her an alternative. Is he too late to declare his love to the angel of mercy who has captured his heart?

Writing News — March 4

Surprise, surprise! Pray Through the Bible in a Year Journal, scheduled for a November 1st release from Barbour, is available for preorder now. This book greatly blessed me in the writing of it, and I hope you will join me on the exciting journey.

Pray Your Way through the Bible–in 365 Days!

This beautiful deluxe journal features a plan for reading through the Bible in a year with an accompanying devotional prayer inspired by that day’s scripture reading.  Each entry encourages you to read a passage from the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs and provides plenty of journaling space for you to record your thoughts and prayers.  It’s a lovely way to keep track of a year spent in prayer and in God’s Word!

https://www.amazon.com/Pray-through-Bible-Year-Journal/dp/1683227344/

I have finished the rough draft of Puss ‘n’ Boots. Praising the Lord! I had a lot of fun writing this one.

Oklahoma City Christian Fiction Writers (OCFW) is starting on our third annual collaboration. Details coming.

Reviews for “Angel in Disguise”

Angel in Disguise

New convert Rosie Carson can’t understand why her church doesn’t do more to help the needy of San Antonio, the way the early church did–and decides to do something about it. Texas Ranger Owen Cooper, home recuperating from a wound, is recruited to investigate a series of petty thefts among church members. Can Rosie and Owen do the right thing for the poor, for the victims–for each other?

Learn more at Amazon

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REVIEW SNIPPETS

“A heartwarming story of redemption, new life in Christ and belief in oneself. The ending was very touching!

Rosie an angel in disguise, though her methods need a lot of work! A new convert to Christianity, she absorbs all she can from the church on the teachings of Christ.—ever curious and eager to learn! She literally takes the teaching of taking care of the poor and providing for the orphans to heart. When approaching the church on her ideas concerning this, many look down on her due to her sullied past. Only one person truly knows her and knows she’s a new creation—Ranger Owen Cooper. Now to convince the rest of the congregation! Not easy breaking through hardened hearts, but God can! I admire Rosie’s heartfelt love and compassion for those who are less fortunate than her. I love how Cooper protects her and shows her a better way of fulfilling God’s call on her life. And I detect a bit of romance brewing for these two! Seeing the church finally embrace her ideas, it truly warmed my heart. May we always be the same way, providing for the poor & needy among us!”
TRIXI

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Oh my, oh my, oh my! This is such a good book. I truly felt for Rosie, a new Christian, as she applied scripture to her life. However, the ends do not justify the means and she could get into some real trouble. Very clean, easy to read, and engaging story I highly recommend.

  • ROBIN

This was a sweet fast read.

Rosie was poor and did whatever she needed to in order to survive. Will God change her heart? One way to find out….”

  • MARSHA B.

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Authors are always grateful for reviews and I appreciate every review I receive for one of my books. Thank you to these ladies for sharing their thoughts. Happy Reading, everyone!

Writing News — February 18

Here is the cover for my next novella, which is scheduled for release on April 1. It’s part of the xxx collection.

It’s another retold fairy-tale. Puss ‘n Boots comes to life on the coast of Maine when Max Roy’s father leaves him nothing except the fishing shack they used during the summers and their old fishing boat. A Will she be the harbinger of good fortune as he pursues the lessons his father wanted him to learn?

I’m halfway through the rough draft. It has a number of autobiographical notes. I used my great-granddaughter and granddaughter’s middle names for the heroine: Alyvia Bailey. And I decided to not only draw on my experiences in East Boothbay, but I actually set the shack along the bend in the road from my parents’ cottage back in the day.

Toss in Bootsie the kitten and Thomas, the wise older tom cat, two of my favorite creatures on earth, the story is practically writing itself. Today, how will Alyvia react now that’s she’s learned a little bit more of Max’s history? I can’t wait to find out.

I’m also working on a proposal for 100 Ways to build a Christian Writing Career. It’s not about how to write, or how to market, even. More about the business of writing, time management, record keeping, business contacts, etc.

Review of All Roads Lead Home are beginning are beginning to trickle in.

“Really fun and interesting story…” Judy DeVries

“This is an amazing book. I’m not totally convinced the 1st page isn’t a time travel portal… It certainly FELT like I was right there in Waynoka, OK.” Sarah Sarber

“The history that was involved in this story was as amazing and along the stops that they made.” Karen Riley

Writing News — February 11

Finished at last! ALL ROADS LEAD HOME

ALL ROADS LEADS TO … WAYNOKA, OKLAHOMA?
One day Graceanne Willis was enjoying a softball game between the Waynoka Harvey Girls team and a team made of train engineers from the same depot.

Then Charles Lindberg landed on the playing field and announced his plans make Waynoka the hub of the first ever transcontinental transport service by air-and-train. Graceanne’s beau Peter is offered a job with the fledgling air transport

Does Graceanne trust God—and Peter–enough to let go? The two of them embark on a cross country journey to discover whether their paths will merge, or head in separate directions.

My story about the Harvey Girls, Charles Lindbergh and softball turned into a journey of discovery, as my heroine and hero traversed my beloved Southwest via the Santa Fe Railroad and stopping at some of the most famous Harvey Hotels. Join them on the trip—I believe you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.

ALL ROADS LEAD HOME is now available for purchase at https://www.amazon.com/Roads-Lead-Home-Darlene-Franklin-ebook/dp/B079NLB48P/

All Roads Lead Home was the most difficult novella I’ve written in a long time. After writing 7 novellas in 2018, it’s taken me four months. When I reached crunch time in January, I ended up in the hospitals and computer problems caused me to have to edit the same four chapters four times!

So it’s with a huge sigh of relief and offering of gratitude, I’m glad to say I’ve also turned in Praying through the Bible In a Year! That’s scheduled for release next November.

Next week I’ll fill you in on what’s next. Until then, stop by https://www.bookfun.org/ for the February issue of The Book Fun magazine with my View Through my Door column.

Reviews for “Small-Town Bachelor”

Small-Town Bachelor

The struggling single mom is doing her best to raise her three kids. But when her eldest son is caught skipping school, she needs help. Thankfully, truant officer Garrett Sawtelle is on her side. Soon Verity is turning more and more to the caring educator, who’s awakening tender feelings she can’t afford to act on.

Garrett wants to make a difference. He knows it’s against the rules to get too close to the families he counsels. But the spunky widow and her children are fast becoming part of this bachelor’s dreams for the future. Can he convince Verity that, together, they can build something real and lasting?

Learn more at Amazon

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REVIEW SNIPPETS

Single mom Verity Clark has her hands full! Widowed five years before, the family is still grieving both husband and father. When the oldest son Keenan begins to act out by skipping school, Verity knows she needs help. Truant officer Garrett Sawtelle steps into their lives and things will never be the same! Dedicated to turning young lives around, he begins to care for this family more than he imagined. Has God put these two together for a happily ever after?

I related to Verity in a small way. Having been a single mom once, I can understand the struggles of everyday life & just trying to make ends meet. She’s riddled with guilt when things begin to take a wrong turn with her son. When reinforcements come in the form of Garett, can she rely on both him & the Lord to work things for the better for her family? I really fell in love with Garrett! He has a real heart for wanting to help young teens stay the right course. He’s the kind of man that I can admire, he’s Godly, believes in the power of prayer, and is tender hearted. He begins to not only care about Verity, but for her children as well. I enjoyed reading their love story! Filled with faith, love, overcoming through God & a tender romance riddled with obstacles to overcome, this story touched my heart. It shows the everyday real life of two flawed people who put their trust & hope in God!

Thank you Darlene for a touching story filled with hope in the Lord!

TRIXI

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A very good read. An insight into a widow’s problems with 3 children. Along comes our hero but she isn’t sure just how close she should get. Is it time? You need to read it for yourself.

  • ROBIN

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Authors are always grateful for reviews and I appreciate every review I receive for one of my books. Thank you to these ladies for sharing their thoughts. Happy Reading, everyone!

Writing News — January 7

I’ve come down with a stomach virus that’s sapping all of my energy. I’m making myself keep up with the book that’s due on February 1st, but aside from that, letting myself recover.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Do you choose a “word” for each year? I’ve been doing it in recent, and I’ve found it very helpful.

My word for 2018 is “New.”

I believe God is telling me that the new year will take me in exciting new directions. And that they won’t be anything I can predict. That generates a feeling of hopeful expectancy. Each day I wonder, “will it happen today, Lord?”

That attitude changes how I look at what I’m already doing. I wonder with glee, what is God going to do with this? And my new tinted glasses turn a rosy hue.

God has drenched me with blessings this Christmas week. Take those new glasses. I saw the optometrist last month and he ordered new glasses with a special tint to help me with the problems I’m having with bright light. A few weeks later, they told me I couldn’t get the glasses because I already received a new pair in July. I pointed out I never got those glasses.

When no one said anything further, I decided it wasn’t going to happen. I was waiting until after the holidays to ask for the prescription so I could get them elsewhere.

Yesterday the coordinator brought me the glasses I had ordered in November.

It changed my attitude about something as simple as a pair of new glasses. So I look forward to a year of growth and transformation.

All the while resting more, accepting the changes the age brings, removing the clutter from my activities to focus on what is important.

Join me on the journey!

P.S. I have no new books this month. Check next month when A 12-Month Guide to Better Prayer and All Roads Lead Home will release.

Writing News — December 31

Writing News this week:

Brainstorming: God has given me so many blessings this week, including a fairly idea for a book unlike anything I’ve ever done before (totally different genre). The fact it occurred to me on Christmas day makes it feel like it was a gift from God and I should write it.

I’m slowly polishing the proposal for Holidays of the Month Club. I’m moving from writing a 22K novella to a 75K full length book. I needed to develop a detailed synopsis to make sure I had enough material for a longer book. I wrote one, went back and studied it, rewrote it. Now I almost have too much for a book! But if that happens, I can cut out some of it. I had the rough draft earlier. Now I have a middle-stage proposal. Everything is there. Now I need to make sure it’s my best writing and that everything is complete and consistent.

Writing: I’ve completed 80% of the prayer book and staring down the barrel at the end of this ambitious project. I have grown and prospered in the project. Please pray that my enthusiasm won’t flag as I finish this offering.

I carved out a few weeks to finish a book my granddaughter asked me to write: Spirit: A Horse and a Girl. I’m about two-thirds of the way through this 16 chapter mid-grade chapter book.

Editing: I received back edits for the 2019 edition of Daily Wisdom for Women. Finished them and returned them to the editor. On the books I’m currently, my attention jumps back and forth from writing, editing, back to writing.

Marketing: My monthly column will now also appear in Pastor Resources.

All January long my publisher is holding a month-long New Year’s Eve party. Tons of GREAT prizes – check it out at https://www.facebook.com/groups/400037533750695/.

See you again next year!

2017 in Review

God is now here. He’s always been here, but it’s the first and only time I’ve been 63 in December, and I feel the weight of the years. I’m like Anna in the temple, worshipping God and praising Him that now at last I see the fulfillment of His promise. He multiple the twelve years I plowed into the craft of writing and multiplied them into a crop of fifty-two books and more.

But the books are what I do. They’re not who I am. God often uses writing to show me what He wants to do in me (and through me).

50 books isn’t about me. It’s about the God who fulfilled a promise and stamped His approval on my calling.

Take the abundance of nonfiction this year. God opened new doors and equipped me to write in ways and venues I never expected. God’s so in charge of that.

If teachers and preachers learn the most, so do writers as they put words on paper. Long before anyone else reads my words, I’ve offered them as a personal communication with God and they are transforming me!

More than that, God is answering my prayers in direct, measurable, exciting ways. I’m in awe. I’m just as sinful, self-willed, as always. There’s no how-to formula. It’s not anything I’ve done—it’s all gifts from God.

If I’ve learned anything from this year, it’s that a lifetime of sincere if faulty discipleship is worth it. Because not about the disciple, but about the Master—and He is everything He promised and more.

Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year