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Character Stuff

Meet My Character Blogfest: Callie James

Hi Everyone!!

Welcome to the Meet My Character Blogfest where you get to learn a little about Callie, the main character from my manuscript DARE YOU TO MOVE.

Huge thanks to my friend and YA author Melanie Hooyenga. She nominated me for this fun blog series and she has an awesome book, if you’re into awesome things. You can find the latest in her FLICKER series FRACTURE here, and you can meet her main character, Biz here!

Here’s a little about DARE YOU TO MOVE before we get into meeting Callie.

Callie can’t dance.

Not the waltz, not a shuffle, not even a jig. This wouldn’t be a problem if she had just been left alone for the summer. But instead of basking in the sun and lifeguarding at the city pool, Callie’s sister drags her to Lake Sherman Ballroom Dance Academy. Callie thinks she’s going to camp to hang out with her sister, fill her stomach with s’mores, and maybe learn a move or two.

But she’s wrong.

Her sister conveniently forgot to tell her that Callie has to participate in the camp’s dance competition. In the spirit of sisterhood, Callie reluctantly embraces the idea and stays. But just when she thinks she’s got the hang of this dancing thing, her partner gets kicked out of camp, forcing her to re-learn the complicated moves with someone new. And as if the dance gods were cursing her for lying, that someone new happens to be one of the instructors, Tucker–the same guy who treated her like smooshed marshmallow on the bottom of his shoe the day they met.

As the summer days tick away, Callie learns that dance camp is more like dance hell and she wants out. But when her sister injures her foot and can’t compete for the coveted grand prize, Callie has to rise to the challenge. There’s just one misstep, in order to win she has to put her trust in Tucker, who despite her disdain for, she’s developed an unhealthy crush on. With fierce competition and other dancers threatening to expose her secrets, winning isn’t going to be easy.

Callie James x2

1) What is the name of your character?

Callie James

2) Is he/she fictional or a historic person?

She is fictional. Although, she’d be kind of fun to have around ;o)

3) When and where is the story set?

It’s set at a ballroom dance camp near Charlotte, North Carolina.

4) What should we know about him/her?

Hmm, well she daydreams a lot. She’s kind of anti-romance and most importantly, she can’t dance. Which makes going to dance camp a bit… awkward.

5) What is the main conflict? What messes up his/her life?

Her sister dragged her to dance camp for the summer. When her sister gets injured, Callie is the one hope her sister has to win the grand prize. She also falls in love with her instructor. Whoops.

6) What is the personal goal of the character?

To step out of her sister’s shadow and overcome a hideous 4th grade dance debacle. Find herself.

And now for a sneak peek at DARE YOU TO MOVE:

I swim back to the beach and grab my clothes, rushing to put them on. I stick my foot into the right hole of my thong, but my ancient toe ring I put on so no one would look at my mangled toe polish gets caught on a loose piece of lace. “Shit.” I try jerking my foot away and tear more of my thong. I’m bent over, my foot arched into the cloth, hopping on one foot, and that’s when he decides to swim toward the beach. “Stop. Don’t look!”

He spins around to the woods. “How long does it take you to put your clothes on?”

I try to twist the ring off my toe but it’s as if it’s glued on. “I’m just having a… wardrobe malfunction.” And dying a little on the inside.

He laughs again.

“Shut up.”

“I can help,” he says completely out of character. Where’s the stoic, stiff dance instructor?

“Just… I only need a second. If I could just…” I yank at the silver ring one last time and it pops up and hits me in the eye. “For the love of—seriously?”

How did I really think this would go?

I’d walk up to the beach, my body shimmering in the moonlight. My hair would be wet and sexy like girls’ hair in the movies.

“You can turn around,” I’d say.

He’d turn around, swim up to the shore, stand in all his naked glory, and we’d make-out for like ten minutes, a half hour.

“I’m turning around,” he says.

Here are the awesome authors who offered to join in the fun next week!!


1. Rae Chang is an assistant for author, blogger, and contest queen Brenda Drake; She interviews agents, critique queries, assists in running the contests, and mentors writers as a Pitch Wars mentor.

When she’s not doing that, she’s a writer, freelance editor, composer, food blogger, nerd, cooking instructor, youth mentor, and school speaker.

Rae Chang — Assistant to Brenda Drake

(208) 629-6596

Contributor @

2. Brianna Shrum is from Colorado, where she lives with her husband, two little boys, and two awesome hound dogs. She is represented by the fabulous Bree Ogden of D4EO Literary, and her debut novel, NEVER NEVER, is coming out in September of 2015 from Spencer Hill Press. Website: Twitter: @briannashrum

3. Carey Torgesen  is a teacher, mom, and a writer of kisses–mostly the Women’s Fiction and YA Contemporary kind. She lives outside of Seattle with her daughter and two kitty children. Her book, THE PRINCESS PARADOX, will be out this December. She is currently querying a YA Little Mermaid retell called SPEECHLESS, and working on new shiny Women’s Fiction WIPs.

4. L.L. McKinney

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Vloggy Vlog – Character Goals & a Little Guitar

 Hi Everyone!!

I hope you are having a smashing weekend ;o) Since I don’t have a lot new to say, I wanted to post a vlog I did on dna writers.

I ramble a little (shocking, I know), but you can hear me play the guitar… albeit not that well… I’m much better now. This was 5 months ago. Okay. I’m done.

Have a great rest of the weekend. LOVE you all!!

<3 Er

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Empathy Works!

Hi Everyone!

I hope you had a nice week! A lot going on today around the blogosphere!

The wonderful and talented Elana Johnson has a fantastic post on what to blog about. Actually, there’s a whole week of posts that are fantastic, in fact two other bloggers have also taken on the subject; the uber awesome Jennifer Daiker & Alex Cavanaugh. Check it out, seriously good stuff on all their blogs. Elana also wants to see how different people post about one topic. I signed up.

I know. I almost never do that. But I’m curious…

So. The topic is compelling characters.

Hmm… what does that entail you may ask. Well, truthfully, it’s all relative. What is gripping and original to me may not be the same for you. But, we all know when something is fake, or when it seems put there for a reason. So…

How do we get compelling characters?
  • We use our voice, we make sure we know all the in’s and out’s of our characters.
  • We make sure they are Authentic. It’s next to impossible to have a compelling character if he/she is not authentic. So how do we make our characters authentic then?
  • We make sure every decision that our characters make are true to who they are and true to their pasts. This includes the face scrunches, dialogue, actions, internal monologue. The whole shebang, as it were.
This is what I do…

That’s my take on it ;o) What do you think? How do you get your characters to be compelling?

Wait.. there’s more!!

I knew it would happen one day. I’m in two places at once. I know. I bet you didn’t think it was possible without some sort of science experiment. The wonderful Dolly over at Writer Revealed invited me to share my writing journey! It’s filled with government conspiracies and alien abductions… don’t believe me? Check it out! Ha! See what I did there. Dolly, has a fantastic blog. Stay a while, check out the others in the series, too!

I hope I haven’t lost you yet. I know this post is long. We’re almost done, I promise!

I’ve made it to 200 followers! THANK YOU ALL! Wanna enter for a chance to win *80’s candy, a $10 B & N Gift Card, a 50 books to read before you die bookmark, a book of opening lines and LINGER by Maggie Stiefvater? Check it out Here! Yes, there’s a Vlog too, so you can see me make a fool of myself, oh and meet my kitty Zeus, too!

That’s about it. Hope you have a great weekend!


*candy not from actual 1980’s.
**photo taken by me of Mackinac Bridge on a beautiful September day

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Monday Featured Blog… Becomes Friday Featured Blog!


Miss me? Yeah, I know. Not really… LOL

I hope you had a nice time last week. I’m sorry I only had a chance to make it to some of your blogs last week ;o)

My time away was good! I got to know my characters a bit – which was the point, but I have to admit, I’m having a hard time with this part. I’m really not sure what else I can do. I’ve interviewed them, put them in situations, found celebrity photos of them… I think I’ll just go back to the rewrite and see where it goes!

Well, as the title to this blog denotes, I am changing the Monday Featured Blogs to Fridays. Basically, I find that I have little time these days on the weekends to write those posts, so instead of eliminating them altogether, I chose to switch the day. So we’ll see how this goes. I’m going to try and blog a little more during the week about what’s going on with writing and such.

So look for Sara’s blog, The Babbling Flow of a Fledgling Scribbler this Friday!

I just learned that my Bowling League’s pot is $600! So, time to buckle down and get serious – wish me luck ;o)

Have a wonderful Monday!

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