The Evolution of a Character – The Birth of Charlie Parker

The Evolution of a Character

I rewarded myself the other day. When I finished Thunderbird and shipped it off to Ryan to read through – we coauthored it – it was his turn to check our consummation of ideas – oh that sounded dirty, I like it. Anyway, I rewarded my efforts by taking a small trip. I left East Texas and drove about five hours east to Waco. The mission I was on was the hunt for a motorhome. Sable Hunter needs a research vehicle and Beau Coup needs a traveling office to visit authors and conferences – deductible, you see. Anyway, I found one. I haven’t purchased it yet, I’m waiting to see how much more taxes I have to pay before I sign on the dotted line. But this is it – A Thor Challenger. Pretty spiffy – I am excited.

When I take trips like this, I tend to want to write them off – if I can. As I was traveling west, I passed the area where I set Breath of Heaven – the home of the King Family – El Camino Real Ranch. Actually I traveled out on the King’s Highway for part of the journey. So, my mind began to wander on how I could incorporate this trip and this area into a future book. I considered the historical western I’m putting together, but it will be set between Milam, Tx and Nacogdoches, TX – a romance about a young Texan and a Creole slave. But since this was quite a few miles west, I couldn’t see how I could effectively work it in – and then it hit me.

Justice King and Charlie Parker.

I haven’t named the book yet, but it will be the sequel to A Breath of Heaven. When I was writing that story and building the background, I wrote about Abby’s brothers – and the oldest was Justice. I liked the name. I can already see him – the tall, broad, silent type – who rarely smiles and takes life too seriously. Handsome as sin. Doesn’t expect to fall in love. And as I was writing it, I casually slipped in the name of his future love. Although at the time, I knew nothing about her – nothing. Charlie Parker. The way I did it was have one of his brothers ask Justice about her and had him overreact in a negative way – “the day I take up with Charlie Parker is the day you can have my sanity checked” or some such exclamation. His reaction was the type – “methinks thous dost protesteth too much.”

So, I didn’t know who Charlie was, but I decided she needed to have a Waco connection, so I could write off the trip – make sense?

As I drove, I got to thinking about what type of person Charlie was and who she was. And as my tires ate of the miles, she began to be born and grow and evolve – and BAM! It hit me. In Waco, one of the main tourist attractions is the TEXAS RANGER MUSEUM. And I had never been! I was fascinated by the Rangers, in fact my Ty in My Aliyah was a Ranger, but that arm of Texas law is endlessly fascinating and I wondered – I wondered – were there female rangers? I didn’t know, but I determined to make that my first stop and ascertain if I could make my heroine one of the legendary Texas Rangers.

Of course that was the first step. I had to think about what type of person she was – what she looked like, how she talked – what her background was, her personality – etc. Now, I will confess EVERY heroine I write about is me. Me. – not Sable – the real me. In order for me to immerse myself in the books, I step into them. My experiences, insecurities, hurts, dreams – hopes – humor, sex – – it’s all me, or parts of me. So, I had to dig into my past and find Charlie.

Charlie is a tomboy. Makes sense. Her mom died early in life, and her father had always wanted a boy – hence her name. And by the way – Charlie is her name, not Charlotte or Charlene – just Charlie. So, her dad raises her and she grows up on the ranch, working alongside her dad. Now, here is where I step in. My stepfather raised me. And he was like that. I never was a prissy little girl – back in Louisiana, I roamed the swamps barefoot, brandishing a peach tree switch sword as I chased alligators and let the mud squish between my toes – running rampant along the bayou and swinging from vines into the murky waters. So, when I moved to Texas – it was a scene change but not a far step to horseback and ranch life. I immersed myself with the cattle and horses. Being young, I didn’t know a lot about the facts of life. So when my stepdad would tell me to stay in the house, that he had to go ‘dig up’ a calf. I thought he was serious. Actually he was going to help a mama cow give birth, but in my small mind, I thought he was out in the pasture with a shovel hunting buried bovine treasure. And after he had proceeded to dig up that calf, he would always come get me and I would get calf sugar – my favorite part. Kissing the babies and naming them and proceeding to drive him crazy because I wouldn’t let him sell them when they were older. But what really got my stepfather’s goat was the day he caught me out in the pasture with his shovel, digging small holes all about – trying to dig up my own calf. So, I was able to relate to Charlie.

Charlie is feminine, but she hides it. No one sees her frilly bedroom or knows she wears pretty underwear. She has never been the prettiest girl. Her figure is slight and her breasts are small – but her heart is big, almost as big as her determination to be everything her stepfather wanted –  A Texas Ranger. So, she exhibits this tough exterior – s five foot six, one hundred pound ball of fire who takes no crap and always gets her man – except one. The man she loves. Justice King. You see, she’s not woman enough for Justice. He deserves a beautiful woman – and even though she loves him to distraction, anytime they’re together – and they are thrown together a lot – they fight. He is the proverbial thorn in her side, or maybe it’s the other way around.

Anytime Justice hears Charlie’s name – he bristles. Damn woman. She risks her life. She lives dangerously – when all he secretly wants to do is take care of her. But he doesn’t know how to handle Charlie. And Charlie would like nothing more than being handled by Justice  – – – and so the plot thickens. Or the plot is born or evolved. As I drove that five hours west, I began to see and hear and feel Charlie.

When I got to Waco, I went to the museum. I parked in the shade so Abby and Mojo wouldn’t get too hot and went in to see what I could do with Charlie Parker. Here is a picture of the museum and a statue out front.


When I got there, it had typical museum atmosphere. The woman at the front desk had a strange look on her face and asked me if I had heard a little child’s voice and I looked at her funny and told her there was one outside on the porch. She looked relieved and said she had been hearing ghosts all day – and then she gave me a pointed stare (obviously she didn’t know who she was talking to ) and told me the museum was haunted. Well, duh. What any self respecting museum with the belongings of long dead cowboys would not be haunted?

I proceeded to walk through – and I was fascinated. Guns, flasks, saddles – hats. Photos. You can imagine what was there. The place was set up in collections – the precious belongings of people and relatives who had loved these men down through the ages. I learned of their lives. How some of them were surveyors or bootleggers. I learned what towns they had saved – what people they had killed. How some had died in battle. Others had won medals of valor. The curator was right, the place was haunted. I could feel the spirits of the men who had conquered the west and fought for Justice and peace for Texas.

When I came to the rear, I found a wall of current photographs that depicted those who are serving in the Rangers now. And as I looked at their faces – some handsome by the way – I found what I was looking for. Three of them – just three – were woman. I stared at their faces and imagined mine there, because remember – Charlie is me. And I smiled.

I’m going to have a good time writing about Charlie Parker. She’s going to turn Justice King’s world every which way but loose.

I left the museum and me and the dogs went to get a hotel room. We travel alone for the most part – its safer that way. Sable is a dangerous traveling companion. Sable does better alone. She’s just a trouble maker. But there was some construction going on in Waco and my hotel was brim full of hunky men. As I was checking in, I was checking quite a few out.

The next day we went to look at RV’s and I found one. When I buy it, I’ll take some photographs for you as I travel the highways and byways discovering other plots and other stories that I can weave myself into.

I live in my books.

And it’s not a bad place to be.

Thank you. If you’ll comment on your favorite vacation, I’ll give away a copy of Thunderbird when it comes out in a couple of weeks. BAM!

Love, Sable.

About sablehunter

Sable Hunter writes erotic romance. She writes what she likes to read and enjoys putting her fantasies on paper. Her stories are emotional reads where the heroine is faced with challenges, like one of her favorite songs – she’s holding out for a hero – and boy, can she deliver a hero. Her aim is to write a story that will make you laugh, cry and sweat. If she can wring those emotions out of a reader, then she has done her job. She grew up in south Louisiana along the mysterious bayous where the Spanish moss hangs thickly over the dark waters. The culture of Louisiana has shaped her outlook on life and made its way into her novels where the supernatural is entirely normal. Presently, Sable lives in Texas and spends most of her time in wild and wonderful Austin. She is passionate about animals and has been known to charm creatures from a one ton bull to a family of racoons. For fun, Sable has been known to haunt cemeteries and battlefields armed with night-vision cameras and digital recorders hunting proof that love survives beyond the grave.She writes for Secret Cravings Publishing as well as publishes much of her own work. Join her in her world of magic, alpha heroes, sexy cowboys and hot, steamy, to-die-for sex. Step into the shoes of her heroines and escape to places where dreams can come true and orgasms only come in multiples.
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30 Responses to The Evolution of a Character – The Birth of Charlie Parker

  1. One year for spring break I took a road trip to New Orleans during Spring Break. Stayed in a haunted hotel, cruised Bourbon St. and got a tattoo. Seems kind of cliche’ but I had a blast and loved when your Hell Yeah series took a Cajun turn. Took me back to the time I spent in New Orleans. Looks like another good story on your hands with Justice and Charlie! Can’t wait!

  2. Tiss says:

    I don’t think I”ve taken my favorite vacation yet. LOL. I want to travel to Louisiana an visit an online friend. That will be my favorite vacation. Your RV looks awesome, at least the pictures I looked at. Hope you get it and make a trip up this way.

  3. Kamiko says:

    We went camping for a week with my family in Dickson,TN last summer. My 3 kids had a blast and LOVED sleeping in a tent. On the way home our 11 year old said we were the most awesome parents ever and that she learned that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to have fun. Mission accomplished!!!!

  4. Clare O'Beara says:

    One of our favourites has to be the trip to Arizona and Nevada one July. Because nobody else wants to be there in July we got a five-star golf resort at great deal prices and did a lot of exploring and meeting people. If it wasn’t for the plane fare from Ireland and car hire we’d do it every year.

  5. lmcisneros says:

    My favorite vacation as a child was a cross country trip my family took in 1973. My family drove from eastern PA to CO, then to NM & AZ with 5 children (ranging from 3 to 10) and with my mother about 6 months pregnant, trailing a pop up camper!
    We went to Boulder, CO, then to a dude ranch, rode the Durango to Silverton RR, and camped at Mesa Verde & the Grand Canyon. It was a wonderful way to see a part of the country so different from my home on the east coast.
    Today it amazes me that my parents did this! Other than a flat tire, I don’t remember many problems.

  6. Kathy Lewis says:

    Sable, that is an awesome looking RV. If you need someone to drive or clean it, I volunteer. I love how your created juices started flowing while driving along. Can’t wait to read about Charlie. I was a tomboy growing up and got the scars to prove it. Growing up we couldn’t afford vacations. Don’t be sad for me, cause now when I go on vacation, I’m that little girl experiencing places for the first time. One of the best vacations was with a girlfriend. She had a conference in New Orleans. I went down for the weekend and we did all sorts of stuff naughty and nice. Loved the zoo.

  7. mary orr says:

    I havent gad a favorite vacation yet. I would like to visit Alaska though.

  8. Jo Powers says:

    Last summer my family and I spent a week at a resort on a small lake in southern Michigan. I spent the week fishing, reading, teaching my son to kayak, swimming, and just relaxing. That was the same week we we found out that we were moving from Kentucky to Texas and starting a new chapter in our lives.

  9. My favorite vacation was the one where my husband surprised me for my birthday by taking me on an Alaskan cruise. I loved it, on my birthday it was sleeting and cold. There was all kinds of blue ice floating in the water and those of us crazy enough to do it, got to go swimming( a polar bear swim) in the pool on the boat. My husband thought I was crazy but it was fun. Plus I got to see and touch purple star fish. Just so you will know my birthday is June 3rd. We had a blast and it was the best birthday/ vacation I ever had.

  10. Terri says:

    Checked out the RV……very nice. One or two slid outs? You do know that there is no oven. Yeah, I check for ovens. I like to make bread when traveling. We have what we think of as the perfect vacation set up…..Class A RV pulling a Harley. What more could you want?

  11. maria cantu says:

    don’t have a favorite yet. thanks

  12. Shirley Long says:

    Favorite vacation has to be to San Antonio, Love the atmosphere on the Riverwalk. Our hotel was on the river with a balcony looking out over the Riverwalk. Great places to shop and eat. Best chicken fried steak I ever ate. Would really like to go back sometime. And………….I totally love the RV. I could probably live in it permanently. Hope you bring it up my way to Marshall/Caddo Lake and let me know when you;’re coming. I’d love to see it and YOU!!!

  13. Danielle Elliott says:

    My sister and I drove across the country a couple of years ago (through Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, South Dakota, and Nebraska) We spent a week driving, camping, and sight seeing. It was the best week because we were together and seeing things we had never seen before. 🙂

  14. Tracie says:

    My favorite vacation was a trip to Denver, CO fifteen years ago. I fell in love! With a cowboy and the area. I loved the open spaces and the peace it brought me. I came back home, to San Diego and lost myself in life. Now that my life’s focus has changed, I am feeling a strong urge to visit again or maybe even relocate.

  15. Cindy Hamilton says:

    My favorite vacation would have to be when I went to Hawaii with some of my girlfriends when I was about 20. Just so beautiful!! Charlie & Justice’s story sounds great!!

  16. wyndwhisper says:

    Hi Sable,
    that sounded so fun, wish i could have gone to the museum with you. if you ever want to check out a great cowboy museum you should check out the Buffalo Bill Cody Museum in Cody, WY. It is awesome! i don’t say that just because that’s where i’m from it really is wonderful. (their having a powow this year! June 16,2014 and they are also raffeling off a 1970 mustang mach1! $20per ticket/ 6 for $100).
    As for my favorite vacation it would be when my whole family got together and went camping at Horshoe lake in Idaho just before my little brother left for boot camp. that’s been about 19 years ago but it is still my favorite becuase it is one of the few times that all of my brothers and sister where able to get together at the same time. it was a blast. Here is a link to a few pictures if anyone is interested. 🙂 ( ends with photo

    tammy ramey

  17. wrongwaymichelle says:

    Love a female Texas Ranger heroine! That’s going to be a great read. My favorite vacation was about 15 years ago when I drove, by myself, to Ohio to visit a dear friend. She had moved back after her husband died to live closer to her children. Although she was already in her 70’s and I was in my 40’s, we were great friends. We had a great time together and even drove to the Pennsylvania Amish Country to visit my parents for the weekend. She had never been there and it was a blast! That’s the last visit we had before she passed and I’m so glad I went. Traveling without my husband or any children was a wonderful experience… much as I love them all. Lol!

  18. Erin Dixon says:

    Several years ago we took a circuit tour of Colorado with my mother. She’d never been there, having lived in Texas all her life. We saw all the beauty Colorado had to offer along with the history and fun. All of us walked our legs off but we had the best time even with the summer heat.

  19. lisagk says:

    My husband and I have traveled to Waco a couple of times and those were fun. Once with our boys and once after they both left the nest. We did have a fun trip out to Amarillo one spring break when the youngest was still at home. But probably our favorite vacations are those we take to visit our son who is in Florida in the Navy. Or when he was in Virginia or maybe even when he was still in Georgia. Thanks for the post and love the RV.

  20. Jana Leah says:

    My favorite vacation was to Ireland. Thanks for the giveaway.

  21. My favorite vacation was one year when I was a little kid. Me and my whole family went to Biloxi MS to the beach. I thought that getting to go there was the greatest thing ever. I am hoping to take my daughter next year for the first time and I hope she has just as much fun as I did. Thank you so much for this giveaway Sable! I have every one of your Hell Yeah! series books and love all of them. You are truly amazing!!!!!!

  22. Shirley Long says:

    Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!!

  23. Diane says:

    Loved my trip to the states a couple of years ago. But it was so humid in Miami.

  24. Gwenna Adkins says:

    Some of my favorite times were camping out in the wild.

  25. Jennifer says:

    I think my favorite vacation was a few years ago when my family took a trip to France (Paris and the Brittan area)…I’d like to go back with some more time.

  26. Christine LaCombe says:

    All of our vacations have been family vacations either when I was growing up or after I got married. When we started having kids and they were growing up, we centered them around what they would like to do. the one that stands out the most though was when our daughter was 16. We went to Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, Tennessee but she couldn’t go with us. As we also live in Louisiana, we were members of the Cajun French Music Association and they were having pageant for their very first queen and lo and behold she won. the pageant date was changed and since our vacation was a non refundable type, she told us to go ahead and go and she stayed with my parents. This one vacation just stands out not only because of the beauty of Tennessee but because of my daughter’s win. thanks for the giveaway, I am really looing forward to reading more of this series.
    lacombejc at suddenlink dot net

  27. Eileen McCall says:

    Beautiful Motor home… Very liveable! I could travel with that Class C!

    One of my favorite vacations happened 6 years ago when we went to St Thomas, USVI for our daughters Destination Wedding. We rented a large home on St Thomas and we had myself and my husband, daughter and her fiance/husband, his parents and sister, his cousins, and our son. We stayed a week with the wedding two days in. Wedding was across the bay at St Johns. We took a sailboat day trip one day. We went diving on another. Because we had the whole villa to ourselves with grill and fully stocked kitchen, we cooked or BBQ’d meals for the group. The night before the wedding, we had everyone who came down for the wedding join us for a huge BBQ with lots of food and plenty to drink. Everyone was laid back and just really enjoyed family! Oh, by the way, my daughter and son-in-law got married on Leap Year Day, so they only have an anniversary every 4 years!

  28. Sandy Milenski says:

    One of my favorite vacation/job interviews was going to the King Ranch in Kingsville, TX. We looked at a lot of horses and beautiful land. We stopped at other horse breeding places, went to Del Rio and crossed the border to shop in Mexico, and went to Carlsbad Caverns in NM. It was a family vacation with my parents, brother and sister. I didn’t take the job because I would be so far from home and was pretty young, but wondered at all the adventures I would have had if I had taken it. I have lots of great memories!

  29. Darla King says:

    I have had a few memorable vacations in my life. But my most recent was a trip with my Aunt to Colorado in February (not wise when you are a Central Florida girl). We were going to go to Wyoming to see if we could spot some cowboys and to say we have been to Wyoming but of course it came a snow storm and we had to stay put. (whole vacation) 😦 … But other than that we still had a good time, loved the snow… Beautiful…

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