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Characters from the ground up ...

A57d33e4900501f787a1be7fd4fd0528c2966a56Most stories are in the eye of the beholder. One reader's trash is another's treasure. The strength found in a character will keep one reader flipping the pages in anticipation, yet bore the hell out of another. Some readers live for "love at first sight" plot devices. Others detest them. We bring a bit of ourselves and who we are at the moment into every book we read ... and every book we write.

Personally, I enjoy reading about characters who start at the bottom and need to scratch and claw their way to victory, self acceptance, revelation ... whatever they need in life. I'm not interested in following the perfect powerhouse hero or heroine. I'd rather watch them become that way or suddenly struggle with an expected flaw. And I love writing about characters like that, too. For those who have read the first two books in my Young Adult Scifi Fantasy series, that's no surprise. Central character Chloe/Star is introduced at her worst self in Treehugger. Book two, Risktaker, takes a more put-together heroine and throws her into the often-debilitating experience of first love, while giving her the chance to prove her new-found strength. Book Three? Well, you'll just have to see what happens there, but I'll give you a clue: Star will need to become stronger than she has ever been at any point in her life. And still ... it might not be enough to save herself or anyone else.  Duo books

Recently, I had the chance to write about another character who starts at the bottom. This time the story is Middle Grade and humor-driven. This six-book series called, The Secret Path of Ned the Ninja, begins with Book One, Reluctant Hero. The  series is martial arts-themed and about a boy who needs to confront himself as much as he does his personal bully. Co-authored with fifth-level black belt Melissa Mertz, Reluctant Hero has enjoyed huge pre-order buzz and offers middle-grade readers the chance to walk alongside Ned as he navigates a very strange path toward finding his unique strengths.

Melissa and I have so much fun with Ned and the way he views life. We are excited about his debut and hope you'll check him out. Reluctant Hero is available in print and ebook formats at Amazon.com and BN.com.

Ned RH 3D             Ned back cover