Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Chocolate Cafe with Tina Radcliffe

Among the many wonderful things about Seekerville is the lady who seems to bring it all together, Tina Radcliffe. Not only is she good at lassoing a bunch of ladies into an amazing, award-winning blog, but she also writes real-to-life, beautiful, award-winning fiction.

Hi, this is Tina Radcliffe (looking around the place).
So this is the Chocolate Café? Thank you the Alley Cats for inviting me. As usual I decided to hijack your blog. I asked the chef in the café to prepare some special chocolate cupcakes with mocha frosting.

When I create a character I always refer to Michael Hague. He says that in order to create reader empathy or identification you must make a character sympathetic. To do that apply two or more of the following:

1. Make the character the victim of some undeserved misfortune.
2. Put the character in jeopardy (in danger of loss).  Readers identify with people with worry about.
3. Make the character likeable-liked by others in the book.
4. Make your character funny.
5. Make your character powerful.

In Mending the Doctor’s Heart the hero is Dr. Ben Rogers. As played by actor Scott Foley.
Ben comes to the small town of Paradise, Colorado as a broken man. He feels responsible for the death of his sister and he’s developed a phobia of hospitals. To add to his problems, he’s come for a clinic director position (paper pusher) and discovers that the job he thought was his— is not. He must compete with Dr. Sara Elliott for the position.
Ben has a self-deprecating, dry humor. He starts out as a stuffy city doctor and eventually loosens up. I really like his ability to laugh at himself.  Here’s a few of his one-liners from the book:
Ben looked away, then slid his phone from his pocket, grimacing when he saw the time. "I hate to Heimlich and run, but I've got to be somewhere."
"I heard about your heroics at the café. Well done."
"Hardly heroics, sir. Dislodged a chocolate chunk cookie. The Friday special, I understand."
"Don't move. I'll call a doctor."
"That's not funny, Ben." She slowly opened her eyes, savoring the sight of him.

I hope readers like Ben as much as I do!

Character Quote for Today:

“It begins with a character, usually, and once he stands up on his feet and begins to move, all I can do is trot along behind him with a paper and pencil trying to keep up long enough to put down what he says and does.”
― William Faulkner

LOVE IT!!! Thanks for being here, Tina and feel free to take over ANY time ;-)


Pepper said...

I love Michael Hauge's stuff. I think the first I ever learned about him was from you, Tina - and then I won his CD and video series from Seekerville. It's been AMAZING!

Those four basic components of making memorable and sympathetic characters are great! And I've used them.

In fact, I've tried to get at least 3 in each of my characters. I love how you qualify the statement 'character in jeopardy'
being a possible loss instead of just 'life loss', because I think that fits into romantic fiction very well, don't you?

Pepper said...

Oh - and his humor is FANTASTIC (Scott Foley isn't a bad choice either ;-)

Anonymous said...

Happy Saturday!

Are you kiddinG? Scott Foley is a very excellent choice.

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

AArrrggghhh! Those chocolate cupcakes are totally ruining my week old diet! Seriously...I've been hungry for a week, awaiting the time when my over-stretched stomach shrinks to a normal size.

Mmmm, but your hero sounds pretty tasty too, Tina! I love a man with humor and will always have some humor in my heroes.

Thanks for a great Saturday post!

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Ha!! Oh, I love him already! And you need to be careful what sorts of chocolate temptations you post on here! I suddenly have a pregnancy craving got Mocha Cupcakes! Not likely to run across one of those today so thanks for that! ;) great tips here! Can't wait to check out Ben on the page.

Casey said...

Ben sounds like the kind of hero to fall in love with! Just from the little bit you shared here! I LOVE a hero who can laugh at himself.

And Tina deserves a medal, what she does with Seekerville is pretty awesome. Super-Tina!! :)

Pepper said...

and Tina,
We're always trying to find the perfect match for Casey, you know. :-)
he has to get our approval of course, but a hero with humor for her is a MUST!!

I'm determined to write a story with a heroine named 'Casey' who finds her Mr. Writ...Right :-)

Krista Phillips said...

Ohhhhhh ill take a cupcake but someone can have my mocha frosting, lol!

Love a good hero! Swoon!!! :-)

Julia M. Reffner said...

Hijack us anytime, Tina! I am still amazed that you managed to stay up for 27 hours for the NY eve party at Seekerville. I don't think I've done that since college.

Michael Hauge's DVD taught me so much. Come to think of it, Michael Hauge DVD and chocolate cupcakes would make for a great Saturday :)

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Oooo YES! Maybe Tina has some recommendations for Casey from her vast following on Seekerville. We are always on the look out...:)

Mary Vee Writer said...

Loved the treats: especially the one liners from Dr. Ben and the William Faulkner quote.

Michael Hauge's advice, of course, is great.

Now, would you like some mocha? I'm serving.

Anonymous said...

We're matching up, Casey??? OOOH, this sounds like fun!

Anonymous said...

You know what my secret passion is this day? Hot chocolate (low fat 20 calories) and Keurig coffee.

The Keurig makes it nice and hot and it takes just like a Starbucks mocha java. Well in my mind it does.

Keli Gwyn said...

Great lists of character pointers, Tina. I love the doctor's dry humor. Reminds me of my Gwynly's. :-)

Natalie Monk said...

This is great stuff, Tina!!!

Love the doctor-with-hospital-phobia twist. Too cute.

Anonymous said...

Hey, thanks Natalie and Keli!!

Audra Harders said...

Hi gals of the Writer's Alley! Ooo, sorry for not stopping by more often last year. You guys are always the best hostesses and make everyone feel welcome. Visiting more is on my New Year's Revolution list. I will stop in and gain wisdom...and humor : )

Tina, love the chocolate cupcakes! I decided not to put chocolate on my list of forbidden foods this year. Who am I kidding? Never lasts more than a couple of days.

Great way to look at new characters, Tina. Michael Hauge has a unique way of bringing 3-dimensional characters out of the 2-dimensional printed page. And your work is evident of the skill.

Loved the one-liner about about I'll call a doctor...what a hoot.

Julia M. Reffner said...

Hmmm...the sugar-free chocolate syrups just don't give the flavor I like. I gave up on that one and have been using other flavored sugar-free syrups. Torani has some good ones.I'll have to try using the coca mix, that sounds good.

Pepper said...

sugar free???
Ruthy definitely wouldn't approve :-)

Krista Phillips said...

Hold the phone.... Did someone say hot chocolate????

Anonymous said...

Hot chocolate and a romance book! Good day to spend the day!

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Audra....YOU HAVE A FORBIDDEN FOOD LIST???? Oh dear...I just cannot imagine. Can you tell me what is on that list?

Janet Dean said...

Tina, thanks for the great tips from Hague for making readers care about our characters. I often forget to make characters funny, especially with all the conflict going on. Love your hero's sense of humor!!
Mending the Doctor's Heart was a wonderful story!

The chocolate cupcakes with mocha frosting are yummy! Kudos to the chef!

Audra Harders said...

LOL, the term Forbidden Foods is used to make me think twice before I ask for second helpings.

I'm all over hot chocolate and a good romance today!

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Whew...I feel much better now, Audra! I thought I just might cry for you...Forbidden Food, indeed!

Boy, am I relieved!

Karen @ a house full of sunshine said...

Did someone mention chocolate? (*wanders off sniffing the air*)

Oh... hi, Tina! I got a bit distracted there for a moment. So great to have you with us again!

Your hero has the perfect sense of humour. There's nothing more endearing than the self-deprecating variety.

When I choke on my virtual Mocha-frosted cupcake, I hope he'll be there to virtually rescue me. ;)

Mary Vee Writer said...

I agree about the hot chocolate and good romance book and will add a fire in the fireplace and comfy chair.

Julia M. Reffner said...

Ruthie's right, I'm no fan of sugar-free either. But am trying to lose a little weight this year and don't like taking my coffee black.

Julia, sipping Morrocan Mint tea, piled under blankets, and reading The Frontiersman's Daughter by Laura Frantz. Hope to read yours soon, Tina :)

Angie Dicken said...

Ooh, can't wait to "meet" your hero, Tina! Thanks for visiting the Alley today!

Anonymous said...

Always a pleasure to visit the Alley. Who can resist a cafe with chocolate. Wise Women!

Pepper said...

Women + Writers + Chocolate...seemed to go together like mudpies and childhood :-)

Sherida Stewart said...

Hi, Alley Cats and Tina!

Thanks for the ideas on creating likeable characters. Mending the Doctor's Heart was filled characters I liked. Love that story!

Please pass the mocha/chocolate cupcakes. Thanks!

Ashley Clark said...

Tina, thanks so much for being our guest today! We are thrilled to have you!

Pepper said...

Thanks so much for being with us!! And thank you Seekers for joining in the fun.
Audra, Janet! It was so good to see you guys.

Chill N said...

Late checking in but just had to say thanks Tina for that great Faulkner quote! It's not fattening like those cupcakes :-)

Nancy C

Anonymous said...

Ha! Thanks, Nancy C!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Sherida and Ashley!