Creating Characters from Real Life

Romance Beckons welcomes Tricia Andersen.
Thank you so much, Paloma, for having me on your blog today. When I talk about my novel with Sweet  Cravings Publishing, Black Irish, one of the questions I am asked
frequently is what inspired me to write it.  The story itself comes from all sorts of places such as my life in Iowa (the heroine is from Iowa) to an Irish Literature class I took at the University of Iowa that had less to do with poetry and tales and more to do with the Troubles in Northern Ireland.
However, the most significant influence I had molded the hero, Sloan O'Riley.  That influence was my Grandfather, Don.  It is that branch of the family tree that my own Irish heritage comes from.  He had the infamous Irish temper so we learned at an early age not to cross him.  But he also cherished his family.  When we grandkids came over he stopped whatever he was doing to do things with us.  In the end we usually all got in trouble, including Grandpa.  He was very protective of us.  And he would always break out into some sort of song out of nowhere when we visited.
When all the pieces fell into place for Black Irish it was amazing to see just how many of my Grandpa's traits were evident in not only the character Sloan but also Gordon as well.

So, my question to you today is this - who has been the influence in your life?  I would love to hear your thoughts!

Here is the blurb for Black Irish...
Abbey couldn’t believe he was gay. She nearly ran away from her dreams of being a children’s book writer when she was introduced to her illustrator Sloan O’Riley, a dark, sensual Irishman with incredible blue eyes. He certainly couldn’t be good for Abbey’s relationship with her boyfriend back in Iowa. How could she stay in New York and work with the sinfully sexy Sloan even if he was gay? And when Sloan is threatened to be deported, how far would Abbey go to keep him in the US?

Sloan was forced to tell a little white lie. He had no choice. He couldn’t let the sweet, beautiful, Abbey Wright flee from his life – not without a chance to explore the sudden desire he felt for her. But what would Abbey do if she ever discovered the truth about Sloan’s sexuality – or learned the deeper, darker secret he’s been hiding? 

Here are the buy sites:
Sweet Cravings  |  Amazon  |  ARe

Here is an excerpt:
Abbey leaned her elbows against the edge of the penthouse balcony, basking in the
warmth of the summer morning sunshine. The buzz of traffic thirty-six floors below soothed her.
Two weeks had passed since the chaos of Michael’s visit, and it seemed everything was
right again. Abbey was stunned—Michael had done exactly what he’d said he would do and
reserved their reception hall with exactly the amount needed from her bank account. He took
no other money as she had expected he might. She exhaled. Maybe her apprehension of him
had been wrong.
Abbey felt warm ceramic brush against her arm. She turned to find Sloan at her side,
offering her a cup of coffee. He was casual today, wearing just a pair of low-slung Gucci jeans.
The sun glistened off his bronze, sculpted torso. Abbey stifled a sigh as she took the mug from
him. He leaned against the terrace beside her, nursing the hot beverage in his large hands.
“What’s on your mind?” he asked.
She smiled contently. “It’s so beautiful out here. I just love everything going on. I love this
“It’s too bad you’re going to leave it all behind in a year or two.”
Her smile faded. “I’m going to enjoy it while I can.” She stared out, taking in the tall steel
and stone structures around her. “I could only want one thing more than this.”
“That is?”
“To see the ocean. I always wanted to see the ocean. Any ocean. I’m not picky. The
largest body of water I’ve seen is the Mississippi River. To see clear, crystal blue water go on
forever…that would be amazing.”
“When Michael was here, you didn’t go to Ellis Island? Take a ferry ride?”
Abbey couldn’t keep the tone of disappointment out of her voice. “It wasn’t his idea of
“Was there anything that you wanted to do that he thought would be fun?”
“Not really. His idea of fun was sports and bars and greasy food. My idea of fun is a good
book or a great play or a cup of coffee in a quiet, eclectic cafĂ©.”
“And he didn’t compromise.”
“Nope. Compromise really isn’t in Michael’s vocabulary.” Should I be talking badly like
this about the man who I’m going to marry? Sloan probably thinks I’m being terrible.  She
paused then an inquisitive grin spread across her face. “What about you? I’ve told you my
wish. What’s your greatest wish?”
“I don’t have one,” he answered.
Abbey laughed. “You have to have one.”
Sloan swept his hand towards the penthouse. “Does it look like I need anything?”
“What about a family? Don’t you want to start a family? Have kids? You have to want
kids. You and Robert would be great...Ok, you would make a great dad. I’m not so sure about
He chuckled then took a sip of coffee. “Someday maybe. Right now, my lifestyle doesn’t
afford it. And I like my lifestyle quite a bit.”
“So there’s nothing?”
Sloan paused, staring into his mug. After a moment, he looked back up at Abbey, staring
into her hazel eyes. His Irish brogue was deep. “Maybe there is one thing.”
“It’s personal.”
“You can tell me. I won’t tell.”
He smiled gently. “I’m afraid I can’t tell you.”
Abbey nudged him playfully. “You’re impossible.” Instinctively, she snuggled against
him, drinking her coffee, and once again enjoying the city life around her.
She heard him sigh as he murmured, “Oh lass, you have no idea.”

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