Hi and welcome to the FINAL WEEK of the Summer Love Blog Tour!
My debut romantic suspense novel, THE FIRE WALKERS comes out this Tuesday!
I can’t believe it. Throughout June I’ve had the great pleasure of introducing you to my fire hero Aidan, and his outgoing girl, Kelly.
The third and final Walker in my story is a special character to me. A rescued racehorse, his name is Keegan.
While insight for the plot of THE FIRE WALKERS stemmed from many sources, Keegan is who really got the adventure started.
Five years ago I began volunteering at a horse rescue in western Maryland, and being around the horses taught me so much. Each of them were so unique, and the stories of where they’d been gave me inspiration.
Keegan’s character is an amalgam of all the traits I adore in the horses, and I was committed to writing his story right. Like his fire counterparts Aidan and Kelly, Keegan wasn’t easy to figure out at first.
As far as the Astrology theme is concerned, Keegan is an Aries like Aidan. And they get in each other's way because they're so alike. Two equal forces going for the same target, which in this story is Kelly’s attention.
As an English major, I was taught to begin the story with the impact of action. Page one of THE FIRE WALKERS begins with Kelly waking up in a jail cell. This is where all the paths cross – Aidan’s, Kelly’s, and the Dove Group’s. The past collides with the present (ß fire theme), and the conflict reawakens after three years of being dormant. Kelly’s destiny is chosen here. She will get charged with the community service, where she will meet Keegan. It’s the dominoes of fate falling into place.
Keegan’s part in this succession comes in Chapter 4 when Kelly steps into his stall for the first time. I knew that was going to be a powerful scene because of what Keegan had been through (starvation and abandonment). And it played out perfectly, like a surge of flame. There was no sweet, “Hi there.” It was BOOM, here I am, and that is Keegan.
Keegan stands out from the other horses in many ways. He’s ornery and headstrong and lovable for it. His moments with Moe and the humans depicts his fiery nature.
There are two chapters in particular where Keegan steals my heart.
The first is in Chapter 8; Kelly and Aidan have their first fight, which is the most intense moment between them. I drafted that chapter three times from different point of views to ensure that I wrote it right. As an author I want the conflict to be believable and not simply for the sake of having drama sprinkled in. I want the struggle to show that these two characters care for one another. The battle is not about tearing one another down, it’s about intentions being at cross purposes and causing a disadvantage to both, which gets heated when the characters are of the fire element. Aidan wants what he wants, but at the cost of something important to Kelly.
I’m pretty proud of the version you’ll read in the book. By the end of the scene you see Kelly walking away and Aidan pained by the fact that he’d held her back. Keegan is there, between them, acting as a buffer and the comic relief, illustrating the parallel between the two alpha males.
The second scene comes in Chapter 9, when Kelly and Aidan reconcile over Keegan’s history. The Keegan you meet in Chapter 4 is withered, his spirit set on ‘survive.’ In Chapter 9, Kelly lays out the documents from Keegan's file, the paper fragments of the horse’s past. So she’s not only revealing Keegan’s back story, but all three Walkers are able to bond over what they have in common.
I never get tired of reading that scene, and I sincerely hope that it translates to readers the same way.
When I sat down to write this post I thought, Keegan. What can I say about him?
He comes to me in pictures, not words. His determined chin kicking up although the rest of him looks so frail. The propeller spin of his tail. His muzzle covered in gray mash after he slurps his food. His adorable snort whenever Aidan gives him a hard time.
What can I say? Keegan's my hoofed hero. J
And you get to meet all of them in three days.
Keegan and Kelly and Aidan. Sophie, Hank, Pippa, Drea, and Jason.
Moe, Callisto, and Baker’s Dozen. Eric and Ben.
IN. THREE. DAYS. O.o
The time is upon us. There's no turning back now.
I want to take this moment to THANK YOU for following my blog and sharing this journey with me. THE FIRE WALKERS is a long time dream that releases July 1st, 2014!
Please check back for all the details and links!
This Wednesday, July 2nd: I’ll be visiting Jean Murray's blog to talk more about Keegan. There will be tidbits including his mom’s fire name, and other fun nuances to this Walker's story.
For updates on other guest posts and TFW info please follow me via social media:
Twitter – https://twitter.com/ShelleyNGreene
Website – www.ShelleyNGreene.com
See you then!