Friday, March 25, 2016

Writers vs Their Characters with Guest Angela Breidenbach #Giveaway

Sometimes people ask if writers are like their characters. If so, they want to know, which one is "you"? I think that elusive voice we get told to use as writers is really our personality, the word choices and cadence we naturally have as we speak and write. But it's also our unique experiences.

In Bitterroot Bride, I not only wrote a historical romance set in Montana as we struggle to find our place in the bigger United States, but I also wrote a young woman trying to find her place in the world. Yes, she's me. Emmalee Warren doesn't know how to read or relate to people. She's getting taken advantage of, swindled, and ostracized by society. Yes, that was me.

Miss Emmie doesn't like the forced box that other people stuck her into and won't let her out of. Yes, that was me. But Emmalee is a reformed prostitute purchased by a gold miner and then widowed. First, they wanted her body. Now, they want her money. Yes and no and yes and no...that's my feelings and my understandings of situations in my life translated into a character.

As a young woman, daughter of a mentally ill mom and alcoholic stepdad, I realized I didn't know how to relate to other people. I'd say and do the wrong things, embarrass myself, and internalize all that as if I were worthless. I didn't know how to "read" social situations well. But I was a big reader. I began reading every book I could on relationships, finding mentors, and attending events where I could learn about relationships. For Miss Emmie, her burn was to learn how to read so her future wouldn't be constantly getting swindled and forced into that unwanted box. I paralleled her deep desire to make her own choices and find friends with mine. Yes, that character was me.

Are writers really the characters they write? Yes...and no... The beauty of fiction is that we can take real life and create healing, help, and hope by using the feelings and pain we've experienced to create characters that overcome and grow. We can share that depth of our own journey in a character arc. We can do something special with our place in the world. In becoming Miss Emmie, I can tell you how I became me.

Bitterroot Bride Back Cover Copy: 
No one knows the real Emmalee Warren, just what they want from the infamous prostitute. Men are coming out of the woodwork to stake a claim on the miner's widow. They wanted her body before. Now they want her money. Hiring a lawyer, Richard Lewis, to save her from financial ruin might let her start over where no one knows Miss Ellie. Becoming an unknown is the only way to freedom…or is it? Can she leave her past and build a new future?

Angela Breidenbach is a bestselling author and the host of Grace Under Pressure Radio. Angela serves nationally as the Christian Author Network's (CAN) president. With a volume of appearances online, television, stage, and radio Angela loves to share her knowledge to help others. (And yes, she's Writer in the Muse & Writer comedy duo on Facebook.)

Some of Angela's books:
Bitterroot Bride, just released on Kindle, paperback, and will be on Audible in the next few weeks. A Healing Heart (Now also on Audible), Abingdon/United Methodist Publishing Lassoed by Marriage Romance Collection, Barbour Publishing, also on Youtube
Twitter/Pinterest: @AngBreidenbach

Today, Angela is offering a free paperback copy of Bitterroot Bride to one of this posts commenters. (US residents only) The winner will be announced in Monday's Weekly Windup post so be sure to check back.

Also, Angela is compiling a list of audiobook reviewers for Bitterroot Bride. It's being recorded right now. The audiobook is set to release in April, and she's looking for up to 20 reviewers (on Audible). If you're interested, you can email her from her website contact page to ask to be added to the list. (It'll take up to a month from now to get the free review codes.)


  1. Such a delight to be here today. Thank you :)

    1. We're delighted to have you, Angela. I really like your audiobook cover. :) Have a happy Easter!

  2. Replies
    1. Doesn't it though. :) Thanks for stopping by, Kim. Have a happy Easter!

  3. Thanks for a great interview!

    1. So glad you could drop by, Connie. Have a happy Easter! :D

  4. Thank you for the giveaway and great interview. I like the catchy title.

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

  5. Thank you all :) Bitterroots are so pretty. They bloom in the late spring/early summer. It was so much fun to set a romance during the choosing of our Montana state flower. Thank you all so much for spending time with me here too! ~Angie