I don’t decide what to name my characters. In the Candy Cane Girls series the names just burst into my head, except for Noelle in the series’ debut. I knew she ‘needed’ a Christmas name since it was a Christmas story. Christmas day became Noelle Day. But, her Candy Cane sisters’ names just popped into my head. I should have paid more attention to my head. Almost all their names end with ‘ie’ or ‘y.’ Melanie, Cindy, Candy, Natalie, Connie. Noelle and Doreen are the exceptions. Maybe it was a testament to the era when parents named girls cutesy names. I remember my son’s first girlfriend in first grade was Traci.
Plotting and planning are easy. Only another author would understand this, but the characters tell me the story. I start with a basic idea, especially if it’s a continuation of the series. In a series, almost every previous character must appear, at least briefly. But, as I’m writing about Connie or Natalie, I am side-swiped. Connie gets pregnant, Natalie is remorseful. However, since I use real people in many of my stories, usually males, I get to direct them, guide them, but not always tell them how to act or what to do.
Join me for the fun, and guess what the next Candy Cane story will reveal about “the girls.”
Bonnie Engstrom and her husband live on a lake in Scottsdale, Arizona, with Lola and Sam, their two rescue dogs. Bonnie has designed, edited and produced hundreds of newsletters and thousands of promotional materials. She has been a featured speaker at education conferences. A former newspaper columnist, she has a passion for God, children and education, in that order. When not reading or writing Christian fiction or babysitting her grandchildren, she moderates two online prayer chains. Please visit her website at www.bonnieengstrom.com.
About Natalie’s Deception: Ten years ago six high school freshmen formed a swim team that became legendary. In addition to their skill and devotion to daily practicing, they prayed together and vowed to be sisters forever. Because of their striped swimsuits, they call themselves the Candy Canes.
Will Natalie ever find love? Two handsome men vie for Natalie’s attention, traveling from Newport Beach to Scottsdale, Arizona to woo her. But one caused her a back injury, and one strands her on the top of a Ferris Wheel knowing how terrified she is of heights. She wants love badly. She has to be thrilled that two Candy Canes are expecting babies–she will be an aunt again. But, when will she be a wife and mother? Check it out!