Thursday, May 10, 2012

Z is for Zach

Zach Rawlings is one of my favorite heroes.

Okay. True. I say that about all of my heroes at some point in time. What can I say? I'm fickle, but also hopelessly devoted to each and every one of them.

Zach first appeared in my debut book This Time for Always as a secondary character. I always knew he needed a story of his own, but I honestly intended to write another character's story before his and save Zach for the last book of the trilogy. But it didn't happen that way. Zach had other ideas.

It started when I found the ideal setting for a book. A friend invited us to her uncle's cabin in the Missouri Ozarks. As soon as I saw the place, I knew I had to use it as the setting for a book. On the way home in the car, I even visualized several scenes in my head. Now mind you, I didn't have any characters or any ideas for a story at that point, but hey, you've got to start somewhere...why not with the setting? As I pondered this for several months...okay, okay...years, I also would ponder Zach's story from time to time. Like I said, I knew he needed a story, I just wasn't sure what it was. But I would think about it on occassion. Although, honestly, I was going to start with my bull rider and then figure out what to do with Zach.

Then one day it hit me. Zach's story would be set at the cabin. Once I'd made the connection, the story came to life. And got written before the bull rider's. Which I'm still working on revising. But I digress...that's the topic for another post.

It was fun to have Zach and Jessica explore real places that I visit each year. I even crafted scenes around various locations.

And Zach got his story. Before Jake. But that's okay...Jake didn't mind.

At a writers' conference I attended a couple weeks ago I picked up some Romance Trading Cards. Kind of like baseball cards, but featuring romance characters. Just another fun promotional tool. So I decided to play around and see what Zach's would look like.

Now, it's only a rough, thrown together draft, but here's what I came up with:

Obviously I need to do some tweaking with margins and things, but I was pretty pleased with my first attempt. (I know it's a little tricky to read in this post.) The front would feature the cover of the book.

The ones I picked up were professionally done of course, and I thought they were a cute idea and a twist on the standard bookmark. So maybe something to consider in the future. It might be fun to make sets of them for books or series and include the heroes and heroines, and even secondary characters even if they don't have or won't get their own stories. Little packages would make nice bling for conference goodie bags.

For now, Zach has his story and a mocked up trading card. What more could a hero ask for?!

Until next time,

Happy Reading!



  1. What a great idea, Debra. Print on card stock?

  2. I love the trading card idea! It's funny how some characters just demand their own stories and won't take no for an answer--non-writers don't understand that.

  3. Ana, card stock would be a great way to make them at home.

    Jennifer, yes those characters certainly make their demands known, don't they?!

  4. You seem to have far more opportunities in the USA for things like this. Conferences here are few and far between and, from what I have heard from some people, tend to be very 'cliquey', which rather puts me off going to any of them!

  5. What a great post, and I like the trading cards, though I don't know if anyone has ever tried that here in the UK!

  6. Maybe we should start a trend, Rosemary!

  7. Hi Paula,

    My RWA Chapter hosts a fabulous conference every other year in the Spring...maybe y'all should take a trip across the pond in 2014!!

    Rosemary, thanks for visiting and you and Paula should definitely start a trend over there!