One thing authors need to do to craft a quality story is know their characters. One technique is through interview. I thought I’d introduce you to the hero from Entrusted, grocer and town councilman Ben Regan.
Ben, tell the readers a little bit about yourself.
I co own and manage the only grocery store within thirty miles, JB’s. It’s a store my late grandfather, John Bivins, built and ran with my grandmother, Sara. I also am a member of the council. I live on top of Panther Mountain in a log cabin home I built with my grandfather before he got sick.
You don’t seem to be a fan of the senior center. Why is that?
I think it’s easier for Speculator Falls if it is closed. It’s a venue to put sick and dying people on display. It’s too hard.
That seems more like an emotional opinion than a business decision.
The building is old and in need of updating. It should be closed.
Your own grandmother went behind your back and posted the senior center director job, which brought Jenna Anderson to town. How do you feel about her moving here to bring new life to the center?
I’m not happy with Grandmother but there isn’t much I can do. I’m sure Jenna has great ideas but no one could save that place. Did I mention the senior center should close?
Didn’t your former girlfriend, Trish Maxwell, run the center before she left for New York City?
She did. Your point?
Let’s switch gears. Tell us about the people of Speculator Falls.
Sure. There’s my grandmother. She’s a spitfire, and the martriarch of the village. Carla is the sheriff but she loves to play with people’s hair. Noah is her son. He helps me out in the store. Will Marshall is the delivery truck driver and I think he has a crush on Carla. Then there’s Pastor Craig and Brooke…
What about Kyle Swarthmore?
What about him? He’s not a real Speculator Falls resident. He only comes weekends. He doesn’t belong.
Apart from your thoughts about the senior center, tell us about Jenna.
Well, she’s fun. Energetic. It’s probably from all the mocha she makes. Her attitude is contagious. I can see why the seniors love her.
Could there be a romance here?
With Jenna? As hard as I try not to think about her, it’s hard to shake her. We make a good team in a lot of ways. But, we’re too different. And, I’ve been shattered before with loss and change. I can’t go through that again.
You’re a tough customer Ben Regan.
It’s the best way. Speaking of customer, JB’s is having a special on ground beef this week. Check it out!
Okay, well on that note, I’ll let you go.
Sounds good. Take care.
This week I’m featuring interviews with the characters from my debut romance, Entrusted. If you need a stocking stuffer for the reader in your life, I hope meeting these fun characters will encourage you to purchase this Adirondack surrender read.
Entrusted starts out with you getting in a bit of trouble. Is that what you’re about, Jenna?
You spent most of your life in Youngstown, Ohio. What made you leave the area for the mountains?
I spent most of my childhood with an elderly neighbor who was a dear friend. Florence Owens made me promise before she passed away that I would live life to the fullest. After her death I looked around and realized my job didn’t leave room for advancement. I needed change. I found an ad in a rural magazine about a job opening and I called. When the call ended, I had a new job in Speculator Falls, NY.
One of the first people you meet is Carla Rowling. Tell us about her.
I was scared of her at first because she was meeting me on official business as the sheriff, but I quickly realized she was going to be a great friend. She’s warm, funny, sensitive and a great mom to Noah.
You seem to worry about not belonging, yet Pastor Reynolds comes to you for advice. How did that make you feel?
Honored. He’s a respected man in the community and I don’t think what I did by moving to Speculator Falls was that inspirational. And given how Ben reminds me at every chance that I’m not from the area, I’m sure there were better people to talk to than me. But I’m happy he chose me.
Speaking of Ben Regan, tell me about him.
Well, the first meeting didn’t go well. Nor did the second or probably the third. But once I realized it wasn’t so much personal against me but protecting himself from further hurt, he was easier to take. And those muscles from stocking shelves, that’s a perk to visiting JB’s. Ben also has the richest brown eyes. Like chocolate.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
Interacting with the senior citizens. They are wonderful people and I’ve learned a lot from them. At my old job in Ohio I didn’t have a lot of direct and consistent contact with them. I’m building deep relationships with everyone at the senior center and I love it.
What do you love about Speculator Falls?
That it’s like family here. The smells. I can’t begin to describe how wonderful it smells outside. The pine and air is so pure and fresh. Sara Bivins took me to the hunting cabin and showed me the journal everyone signs when they visit. That’s a precious memory for me.
What’s your biggest challenge?
I have a few. The senior center needs updating and that costs money. Ben is on the council and he’s definitely not rooting for the center to make it. Quite the opposite, actually. Howard Wheaton is a senior who is a bit grumpy with me, but I think he’s a teddy bear. Kyle Swarthmore is a mogul from New Jersey who has a summer home in the area. He’s nice to me, but I think he has an agenda. I’m on a campaign to have the food service to realize that a dessert is not a fruit cup. It’s chocolate. And, I’m homesick. I miss my parents and sister.
Jenna, thanks for sharing today. I think readers got a great glimpse of you and Speculator Falls.
Great! I hope readers take a chance on us and purchase Entrusted today.