Throwing Rocks with Guest Angi Morgan

It’s my pleasure to welcome our guest, Angi Morgan, today. Angi and I first met in 2004—back when having our books published was still a dream. Since then, she’s become a fierce friend and a valued critique partner. Angi writes “Intrigues where honor and danger collide with love.” She combines actual Texas settings with characters who are in realistic and dangerous situations. Angi is a finalist in the Bookseller’s Best Award, Romantic Times Best First Series, Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence and the Daphne du Maurier.

Morgan Angi-HeadshotTHROWING ROCKS

Why do we want more bad things to happen to our characters?

Thanks for having me at magical Musings today, Amy. I love this blog and stop by often. I don’t know what I was thinking when I came up with this blog title… Well, okay I do. But to explain, I’ll tell you up front that I’m using an example from my May release PROTECTING THEIR CHILD and sorry…this is from the middle of the book. << SO, SPOILER ALERT >>

But before we get to the spoiler… Why would you want to throw rocks at your characters? My first book, HILL COUNTRY HOLDUP, was set in the Texas Hill Country during a flood. As soon as the hero and heroine thought they could catch their breath, something else went wrong. I attended a workshop about being too kind to our characters. Wow, that was definitely me. So I changed it up and wanted a book that was non-stop action. The only way to keep things moving was to throw rocks, and more rocks, and more rocks. (Obstacles of course, things to trip the characters up along their journey.) With each rock, the problems got worse and even I started to wonder if these two would get out of their happily ever after.

When I wrote the following scene with Kate and Cord, one of my writing buddies said, “Just how many rocks are you going to throw at these two?” That’s our running joke. It comes from my first review from Romantic Times Magazine: “Morgan gets her characters up in a tree and throws even larger rocks at them until the branch breaks.”

Morgan-Rock Face-Davis MountainsPicture a very cold dark night. One road blocked by drug runners wanting to kill you for revenge. This rock face on your left and more of the same on your right. You’re wearing tennis shoes, jeans, an old work coat and gloves.

Imagine climbing this rock face to escape. Easy enough, right? Now imagine climbing it in the rain with a blizzard heading in your direction. That’s right, it’s only about 33 degrees with a plunging temperature. Okay, you can handle that, after all, you’re running for your life. Oh! Did I forget to mention you’re five months pregnant?

9780373696901.inddThrow a rock at your characters and they might surprise you. Especially in the middle of the book. What better way to get that sagging middle moving at a faster pace than to trip up your character with something unexpected? Will your character throw the rock back?  Hit it with a bat and knock out the bad guy? Skip it across a lake? Try the unexpected…pick up a rock, take aim…

So, readers, do you think authors are too hard on their characters? Or do you love watching heroes and heroines overcome adversity when it’s heaped on them?

Learn more about Angi and her adrenaline-charged stories at Plus, you can enter Angi’s April contest (through April 30) via Rafflecopter and win a copy of PROTECTING THEIR CHILD plus two frames. Click here for entry information.

About Amy Atwell

Amy Atwell is a storyteller at heart. After fifteen years in professional theater, she turned from the stage to the page to write contemporary capers and historical tales that combine romance and adventure. Her books are available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. When not writing, she runs the online author communities WritingGIAM and Author E.M.S.
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19 Responses to Throwing Rocks with Guest Angi Morgan

  1. Edie Ramer says:

    Angie, thanks for being our guest today. I often say that I’m mean to my characters – but I’ve got to say, you’re meaner. lol Wow, this sounds like an exciting story!

  2. Willa says:

    No, no, no – don’t want a sagging middle (so to speak!) . . . give me some action I say! 😛

  3. DT Krippene says:

    What’s that song? “Mamas, don’t let writers be kind to thier cowboys.” Someone once told me that you have to hurt a character before anyone can love them, or maybe I just made that up. The venerable editor Sol Stein said, “if it were up to me, the protag would never get the girl”. Yep, a few rocks in the soup adds needed fiber.

    • Angi Morgan says:

      DT, I always love reading what you have to say! My dogs eat rocks for fiber all the time. LOL But in my books, the “cowboys” always gets the girl. I was explaining what I write to an older gent recently and he compared it to an old western movie and said just that…so the cowboy gets the girl? And it was the first time I’d realized that I was writing modern-day Saturday serials.

  4. Misty Evans says:

    Nice to have you at MM, Angi. Congrats on the upcoming release. You’re definitely mean to your characters, but that’s what brings out the best in them, and makes for a great read!

    • Angi Morgan says:

      Thanks for having me, Misty. That’s right… mean = love
      Well, there’s something wrong with the way that looks. 🙄 Hope everyone understands that I’m only saying that about writing my characters’ stories. 😆

  5. Dale Mayer says:

    Hi Angi,

    Welcome to Magical Musings! And major congrats on your new release! I’m mean to my characters, but having been pregnant MANY times, I can’t be THAT mean. lol.

    Good for you!
    Dale Mayer`s last blog was …Sian’s Solution – now live!

    • Angi Morgan says:

      HIYA, Dale!!
      Now I feel mean… 🙁
      I’m going to have to have a mani/pedi to feel good about myself again. LOL
      I would like to point out that my heroine is barely five months and barely showing in the book–unlike the cover. And it’s NOT something she’d readily do if murderers weren’t chasing after them. 😀


  6. Angi Morgan says:

    FYI: xxx invalid xxx
    isn’t a security word…I’m able to reply if I reload the page until I get a different word.
    SO I HOPE if you’re leaving a comment that you try again. 😉

    Speaking of that mani/pedi…

  7. Carla says:

    I love how characters “dodge rocks” or “dig out from under” them as long as it is realistic, purposeful and not gimicky. They (rocks) allow readers to participate in guessing the writers creativity.

  8. Kristine Radgman says:

    Angi Morgan is a new author for me but with books set in Texas I will have to check them out. Congrats on the upcoming release. When authors are a little mean to characters it makes them more loveable at the end of the story with a happy ending.

    • Angi Morgan says:

      Hi Kristine. All my books are set in Texas. There’s so much of it. 😆
      Tim and I love visiting the locations and finding the right story for the characters. Sometimes writing with a loose plot helps.

  9. Brenda Rumsey says:

    Angi, I love the way you put your characters through trials and tribulations. It’s a great way to bring out their true feelings and see what is really important to them in life…and they always get their happy endings…smile. Your books are full of action and keep me up reading into the wee hours.
    Congrats on being in the running for so many awards. You are definitely a winner to many of us readers and your books a ‘must read’.

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