Hardest thing about character development?
For me, one of the tricks of character development is to choose a name. Names are important and when developing a character, having the name tells me a great deal. I like my names to evoke a feeling about who the character is. When I wrote A Wild Ride, I knew who Dante was as soon as the name came to me. The same is true of Carter and Donald, (Ice)Ickle.
But I think the most difficult thing is determining what their flaw is and how to use that flaw to make the story more interesting and further character development and change. That goes to the heart of the story and can take time to develop and make sure is clearly defined in my head. However once I have done that and have the roadmap I want to follow, the character becomes clear and fleshed out for me. Then at that point, I have a real story with the meat I love.
Title: Fire and Ice
Author: Andrew Grey
Series: Carlisle Cops (Book 2)
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: May 25, 2015
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase
Length: 200 pgs
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Carter Schunk is a dedicated police officer with a difficult past and a big heart. When he’s called to a domestic disturbance, he finds a fatally injured woman, and a child, Alex, who is in desperate need of care. Child Services is called, and the last man on earth Carter wants to see walks through the door. Carter had a fling with Donald a year ago and found him as cold as ice since it ended.
Donald (Ice) Ickle has had a hard life he shares with no one, and he’s closed his heart to all. It’s partly to keep himself from getting hurt and partly the way he deals with a job he’s good at, because he does what needs to be done without getting emotionally involved. When he meets Carter again, he maintains his usual distance, but Carter gets under his skin, and against his better judgment, Donald lets Carter guilt him into taking Alex when there isn’t other foster care available. Carter even offers to help care for the boy.
Donald has a past he doesn’t want to discuss with anyone, least of all Carter, who has his own past he’d just as soon keep to himself. But it’s Alex’s secrets that could either pull them together or rip them apart—secrets the boy isn’t able to tell them and yet could be the key to happiness for all of them.
“It’s okay,” Carter soothed. He parked the car and hurried around, opened the door, and unhooked Alex from the seat belt. Then he pulled him out of the car and into his arms. He was shaking like a leaf. “There’s nothing to be afraid of.”
Alex looked up at the building and shook in Carter’s arms. A car pulled in behind them, and Donald got out and strode over to where they were standing. “He’s mean,” Alex whispered as Donald stepped closer to them.
“No, he’s not. He’s just—” Carter smiled. “—grumpy.” He tickled Alex slightly, and Alex giggled and wrapped his arms around Carter’s neck.
“I’m professional, not grumpy,” Donald said and walked toward the front door of the hospital.
Carter followed along behind. “He is grumpy,” he said to Alex and walked inside.
Donald was already at the desk, and after a few minutes, he returned and motioned them to the chairs. “We need to wait, but it shouldn’t be long. I used your name as well.”
Carter looked at the woman behind the desk, and she smiled brightly at him. He sighed and sat down. Alex stayed on his lap, and Donald sat next to him. They didn’t talk, but every few minutes Donald shifted nervously. Carter kept his attention on Alex, but every few minutes he couldn’t help taking a peek at Donald in his suit and tie, all buttoned up.
Carter knew the exquisite body that lay hidden under those clothes. He and Donald had… well, they’d had a fling, a one-night stand that had ended up stretching out over an entire weekend a year earlier. It had been hot, sweaty, and Carter had thought well worth repeating as many times as possible, but obviously Icicle hadn’t. As soon as the weekend was over, Carter realized just why everyone referred to him as Ice, because Carter didn’t just get the cold shoulder; he’d had his nuts frozen off completely.
“You can go on through,” a nurse said when she came out to get them. Carter stood and followed her, still carrying Alex.
“I can take him. There’s no need for you to spend your entire evening here with him,” Donald said and carefully reached for Alex. He didn’t try to bite him again, but he most definitely was not happy, and after a few moments, he simply began to cry. Not whimpers, but out and out wailing, with tears of desperation.
“It’s all right. I’ll stay with him. Maybe he’ll calm down.” Alex practically jumped away from Donald and back into Carter’s arms. That seemed to settle things, and they walked together to an examining room.
Carter laid Alex on the bed and hoped he’d stay there. Thankfully it seemed comfortable enough, and Alex stayed still. Carter found the switch and dimmed the lights. Alex yawned, and Carter held his hand. Eventually the little guy fell asleep. “I have no idea how long he’s been awake.”
Andrew grew up in western Michigan with a father who loved to tell stories and a mother who loved to read them. Since then he has lived throughout the country and traveled throughout the world. He has a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and works in information systems for a large corporation.
Andrew’s hobbies include collecting antiques, gardening, and leaving his dirty dishes anywhere but in the sink (particularly when writing) He considers himself blessed with an accepting family, fantastic friends, and the world’s most supportive and loving partner. Andrew currently lives in beautiful, historic Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
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