Plus a conversation with author Sable Hunter!
Marie Lavender: Today we’re bringing something different to Writing in the Modern Age in the form of a character interview. These character interviews, now and in the future, should prove to be very enlightening for all of us.
Marie Lavender: Hello, Titan. Please have a seat.
Character Titan Sloan: Hello, Marie. Thank you. It’s a pleasure to be here.
Marie: We’re going to start out with some simple questions, okay?
Titan: All right.
Marie: So, what is your occupation? Are you any good at it? Do you like it?
Titan: I pull double-duty. I own a small ranch west of Austin and I’m a volunteer firefighter. Am I any good at it?
Very few people get rich raising cattle and horses, but I love the land and working with the livestock. It’s a good life. As for the firefighting, I do the very best that I can. When you have the lives of your friends and neighbors in your hands, you have to step up and do what needs to be done. Do I like it? I wouldn’t trade my life for anyone else’s. If I hadn’t been at the right place at the right time, I wouldn’t have been able to save the love of my life…Makenna.
Marie: Wow, that’s impressive! A rancher and a firefighter, hmm?
So, tell us…what is your family like?
Titan: My family lives in Austin. They’re comfortable. I have a sister who is following in my dad’s footsteps, taking over some of his businesses. He’s an investor and owns everything from restaurants to dry cleaning stores. I love my parents and my sister, but I don’t choose to live their lifestyle. I much prefer working with my hands and being outdoors. I do appreciate that they approve of my wife. Makenna was nervous about meeting them, but she had no reason to be. I’d say they love her as much as I do, but that wouldn’t be true. I worship the ground she walks on.
Marie: Glad to hear it! I love romance…;)
So, tell us. What did your childhood home look like?
Titan: I was raised in the hills of West Austin near the Colorado River. My home was a three story mansion surrounded by manicured gardens. My folks live within spitting distance of celebrities like Matthew McConaughey, Dennis Quaid and the owner of Dell Computers. Of course, I stayed on my uncle’s ranch as much as my parents would let me. I just never fit in with the country club lifestyle. I’d rather be out riding a horse or fishing than playing tennis.
Marie: I can respect that.
Do you have any hobbies? What do you enjoy doing?
Titan: I have several hobbies. I make knives, and I’m proud to say that I made my Makenna one and she carries it with her. She even used it to save her life, and I’m glad she did. I can’t imagine my world without her.
Wine is also a passion of mine; I guess I inherited that trait from my parents. I’m lucky enough to live in the Texas Hill Country where there are dozens of vineyards. One of my friends owns one and I love to visit and watch the grapes being harvested. Other than those two things, my ranch and volunteer work with the fire department keeps me busy. My main priority is my new bride, however. I adore Makenna and spend every moment I can with her.
Marie: What is your greatest dream, Titan?
Titan: I want to make my wife happy and have children with her someday. My dream is to have a large family, one I can dote on. I lay in the bed with my wife and imagine having a little girl that just looks like her.
Marie: So sweet! I have no doubt that you’ll have the family you want. 🙂
Let’s try another question.
What kind of person do you wish you could be? What is stopping you?
“Hey, this is Makenna, Titan’s wife, and I’d like to answer this question if I may.”
(Titan blushes as he makes room for Makenna beside him.)
“Before we got together – and I don’t know if you know the story, but Titan saved me from an abusive relationship – he was awarded a plaque for heroic service. The plaque says, I AM MY BROTHER’S KEEPER and it was given to him for risking his life time and time again to save other. My point it, I don’t think he could be a better person.” Makenna kisses him. “I am lucky enough to be married to a wonderful man.”
(Titan kisses her.)
Titan: Loving Makenna makes me to want to cherish everyday on this earth.
Marie: Good to hear! So, let’s try something else. Who was your first love?
Titan: I’m lucky enough to be married to my first love. I fell for her the moment I saw her, it was the proverbial love at first sight situation. (He frowns.) Unfortunately, later I discovered she was married to my fire chief. I put aside my feelings and tried to be a good friend to them as a couple. I never let on – not until I found out the truth of their relationship – that was when I moved heaven and earth to rescue her and make her mine.
Marie: All right.
So, tell us. What’s the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?
Titan: The most terrible thing that ever happened to me was when I thought Makenna had been killed in a fire. I nearly went crazy trying to get to her until I discovered she’d escaped. I dealt with her maniac of a husband and married her as soon as she was free.
Marie: Wow, I bet. That’s scary!
Let’s try something else, shall we?
What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved that dream, why not?
Titan: My dream wasn’t to be an Executive or a businessman. My dream was to be a cowboy or a fireman, and I’m lucky enough to have achieved both. In many ways, it’s better. The ranching is hard work, but it’s rewarding. As far as the firefighting goes, I always knew I’d enjoy saving people, but it’s when you can’t – that hurts far more than I ever expected.
Marie: So, who is your role model, Titan?
Titan: My role model is Fire Chief Logan Grey. I am lucky enough to be fire chief of Hays County now, but he is still the one I look to. His unit is located in a neighboring town, and that man epitomizes the ideal of a fireman dedicating his life to others. The only thing he loves more is Jenna. His crew have a habit of shouting ‘CHAOS’ when he walks into a room, which mean the Chief Has Arrived On Scene. I aspire to be as good of a leader as he is; maybe I will someday.
I’m sure you will. Let’s try another question.
Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?
Well, I certainly had to pretend to like Makenna’s first husband. Working under him was difficult. And when I found out what a psycho he was, I enjoyed taking him down.
What is your deepest desire?
Titan: My deepest desire is to spend my life loving my wife, raising a family and making my community a great and safe place to live.
Marie: How honorable!
So, what is your greatest fear, Titan?
Titan: My greatest fear is letting my family down. I want my wife to feel cherished every day of her life. Keeping her safe and happy is my goal.
Marie: Well, I’m glad you feel that way! 🙂
Well, it looks like we’re running out of time, Titan. Thank you for visiting us today.
It was so interesting getting to know you. (Waves at her guest as he heads off the stage.) Now, let’s shift over and get the author’s perspective. We have Sable Hunter on the stage today! Hi, Sable!
Author Sable Hunter: Hi, Marie! It’s so nice to be here!
Marie: (Smiles.) Welcome to Writing in the Modern Age!
So, we just got to talk a male character from your story…Titan. Quite an interesting character. Can you tell us a little about him?
Sable: Titan is a fantasy, a perfect man. He’s loosely based on someone real in my life, my cousin’s late husband. He gave his life to save others. While he didn’t die in a fire, he contracted pancreatic cancer at the age of 33 from the fumes he’d breathed in while fighting fires. He was awarded the same plaque that Titan received. Of course, Titan is a combination of everything I admire in a man – strong, protective, and adores his woman.
Marie: Sorry to hear about your cousin’s husband. But, it’s certainly admirable that you decided to honor him in manner.
Let’s try a different question.
What are your character’s greatest strengths?
Sable: Titan’s greatest strength is his ability to put others first. He is honorable, trustworthy – – and also not to be missed – sexy as hell!
Marie: A winning combination! 😉
So, what are his greatest weaknesses?
Sable: I’ll let Makenna answer this one…
Makenna: “Although Titan is very nearly perfect, he refuses to pick up his socks.”
What are some of his favorite foods?
Sable: Titan is all man. He loves steak and potatoes, Texas BBQ and cheese. He loves to pair these things with his favorite wines.
So, what’s a positive quality that your character is unaware that he has?
Sable: Titan doesn’t realize that he’s as good looking as he is. The man is just yummy. He is also completely unaware of how chivalrous he is. I think it’s his size. He’s so big, that he sees women as fragile creatures to be protected – and I like that.
Marie: Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?
Sable: Readers have fallen in love with Titan. He’s a cowboy, a fireman, handsome and nice – what’s not to like?
Well, now that we have a real taste of Titan Sloan, we have a few questions for you as well as the author.
What first gave you the idea for Texas Wildfire?
Sable: I am a member of the Cowboy 12-pack and the requirement for the book was that they be a firefighter as well as a cowboy. I wanted to honor the memory of my cousin, Jerry, and this was a perfect way to do so. I also wanted to draw attention to women in abusive situations, those who have to live in fear for their lives like Makenna.
Marie: All right.
So, what is your writing style like, Sable? Are you a pantster or a plotter?
Sable: I write in the recliner with a dog by my side. I write on a laptop with the TV on. I am a little of both. I like to know where the book is going, but I have no problem letting the story evolve as I get to know the characters.
Marie: That makes sense
So…I’m throwing this one in for our aspiring writers. Did you come across any specific challenges in writing Texas Wildfire or getting it published? What would you do differently the next time?
Sable: When my deadlines involve other people, I am more pressured to get it finished – – but, I seem to work better under pressure. What would I do differently the next time? Ha! Nothing. I have six books already committed for next year. Those that I am doing with others and those I am doing alone are about 12 books due in 12 months – so that’s how I roll.
Well, it was such a pleasure having you here on Writing in the Modern Age, Sable. We hope you can come back sometime! 🙂
Sable: Thank you for having me here.
Marie: Of course!
Readers, here is the blurb for Texas Wildfire.
‘I Am My Brother’s Keeper’ are the words engraved on the plaque awarded to volunteer firefighter/rancher Titan Sloan. Daily he risks his life to save and protect friends and neighbors. When he finds out the person he loves the most is the one he’s failed to protect, Titan is fit to be tied. Titan Sloan is a hero, but he’s no angel. For years he’s secretly been in love with his Captain’s wife. When he finds out their marriage is a sham and Makenna is being abused, all hell breaks loose. A Texas Wildfire is the backdrop for a story so hot and a love so intense, no one will come through it unscathed.
**Content Warning: This book contains adult language and sexual situations. It is intended for adults 18+ ONLY**
Here is an excerpt from the book.
“You can’t get any more beautiful than you are, Makenna,” Titan called from the other side of the door.
She smiled. That man always seemed to say the right thing. Taking a deep breath, she grabbed the biggest towel she could find, wrapped it around herself and went to meet Titan.
When he saw her coming, he hid a smile. If she thought that terry-cloth towel was going to deter him, she was barking up the wrong tree.
“I was beginning to think you’d gotten lost,” he muttered, eyeing her appreciatively.
“That would be hard in a two room house, Cowboy.” She held on to the ends of the towels like they were a life preserver and she was being tossed in a stormy sea. “I was just having second thoughts about this swimsuit.”
“I’ve been having second thoughts about it too…and thirds…and fourths.” He pushed his hat back on his head and crossed his big arms over that chest she thought should be a national monument.
“I know you’ve seen me in it before, but I’d had several margaritas at the time. I was basking in a false sense of fashion security.” Even as she grumbled, she was moving closer to him. “Just don’t look at me too close. This belongs to Allie and it’s about two sizes too small.”
“Well, if it’s bothering you, when we get to the spring, you can take it off.”
Titan’s matter-of-fact solution made Makenna laugh. “I can’t win with you, can I?”
Putting an arm around her waist, he guided her toward the door. “Au contraire, my dear. You’ll win with me every damn time.”
For some reason, she was beginning to believe him.
A ten minute walk took them from the front porch of the cabin to the very edge of one of the foothills. “These limestone hills are riddled with caves and springs,” Titan remarked as they came upon the first outcroppings of rocks.
“Yea, I’ve seen some of them,” Makenna answered. “There’s a small one near the house where a stream of water flows from a crack in the rocks about nine months out of twelve. I call it the ‘squirrel shower’. I’ve always envisioned walking up one day and seeing a squirrel standing on his back legs, washing under his arms with a little loofah.”
Titan threw back his head and laughed. “I love being with you.” He held her hand as they traversed some rough ground. “Careful. Not too much farther.”
Makenna didn’t know what she’d been expecting, but this wasn’t it. This was no pond in the pasture. Titan led her into the mouth of a small cave. Her eyes widened as she saw the opening was much smaller than the cavern they entered. “It’s breathtaking,” she whispered.
“This is my own private paradise.” He beamed. “Only a handful of people know about this place. My uncle kept the location of this spring pretty much to himself and I’ve followed suit.”
Her eyes mapped the magical place. Enough light shone through the opening so she could see a deep pool of crystal clear water. Bubbles decorated the top as water flowed into the cave from an underground aquifer. “I love it,” she breathed reverently. “It makes me think of those tropical grottos I’ve seen in movies.”
“This pool feeds the Blanco River through an underground stream. Cave divers have tried to follow the path, but it’s too narrow.”
Makenna was listening, but mostly she was watching. As he’d promised, Titan hadn’t brought clothes to change into. Instead, he began to strip. “Is the water warm?” she asked, trying not to stare. She found a large flat rock to sit on. No way was she getting in the water first.
“It’s not a hot spring by any means, but the water is comfortable.” His signature white cowboy shirt went first, revealing a chest which rose powerfully from lean hips. She let her gaze slide over massive shoulders, then down over the bulge of his biceps. If she didn’t know how gentle he could be, Titan’s size would’ve made her nervous. Damien had always used his strength against her, but Titan would use his to defend her.
Universal Amazon Link: myBook.to/TexasWildfire