The Other Side of the Page

The Other Side of the Page
Terry Odell


Finding the perfect hero and heroine for a romance novel can turn a writer’s hair gray—that’s why I advertise for them. Interviewing characters can be exhausting, and getting them to stick to the plot? Well, it doesn’t always work that way. And then you find out they’re talking about you behind your back…

Meet Randy and Sarah, the hero and heroine of FINDING SARAH and HIDDEN FIRE, in a funny and illuminating look at what goes on behind the scenes of the romance writing process.


The Other Side of the Page, by Terry Odell

As a writer, one of the most frequent questions I’m asked is, “Where do you get your ideas?” And running a very close second is, “How do you come up with your characters?” My answer to the first is usually, “Everywhere.” For the second, the reply is obvious. I advertise. How else would I find them?

Of course, handling the job interviews as the applicants come in—well, that’s another story. This is what happened when I interviewed an applicant for the heroine’s role in FINDING SARAH.

* * * * *

“Thanks,” I say, my face aching from the polite smiles I’ve been forcing all day. “I’ll be in touch.” I escort the interviewee to the door, take a deep breath and go back to my desk. I pick up the last yellow file folder and scan the first page of the resume within. Sarah Tucker. Thirty-one. A little old for what I have in mind. I wonder how long ago her picture was taken. I lean across my desk and push the intercom button. “All right, Jess,” I say to my assistant. “Send in the next applicant.”

The door opens and a perfect girl-next-door stands there. Wearing a navy-blue suit with a blouse buttoned above her collarbone. A refreshing change from all the silicone enhancements I’ve been staring at all day. She even has freckles across her nose and cheeks. No problem casting her in her twenties.

“Come in,” I say, my smile a little less forced. “Have a seat.”

She steps into the room. Pumps. She’s wearing pumps. A little worn in the heels, but polished. It’s as if she’s read my synopsis—which is impossible because I haven’t written it yet.

She sits in the seat across from my desk, clutching her purse—which matches her shoes, for God’s sake—on her lap. “Thanks. I’m Sarah Tucker. I’m here for the job interview. For the romance novel heroine.”

THE OTHER SIDE OF THE PAGE is a Free Read from Cerridwen Press. You can find it and my other titles here:

Terry Odell

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