Hey Everybody. Thanks for inviting me for the weekend. One of the most asked questions I receive is where I get my stories and my characters. My immediate family knows that nothing done or said is safe when they’re around me. If it’s interesting, it’ll end up in a book someday. When I was writing HILL COUNTRY HOLD-UP, I had a smart-ass twenty-year-old in the story. During the last re-write, he grew-up...becoming Erren Rhodes, burned-out DEA undercover agent. And nearly taking over the end of the book. Instead, he got his own story.
The following is AN ALTERNATE POV of a scene from HILL COUNTRY HOLDUP. When writing Erren’s story, I realized that this scene was a pivotal turning point for my hero of .38 Caliber Cover-Up. I hope you enjoy it.
“Got a minute?”
The FBI Agent turned on a slippery dime and stood inches from him. Disconcerting, but he wasn’t going to step back and it didn’t seem like Steve would either.
They just stood there. Steve’s cowboy hat created a gutter for the water to run down his jacketless back. Rhodes rain gear didn’t protect his face with the wind blowing in every direction.
“Dude, what were you thinking?” Steve asked. Thunder crackled in the far distance, barely audible above the rain pouring down on the rusty castoffs of the junkyard. “You brought a classic ’67 Ford to a gun fight.”
He almost laughed aloud. Something he hadn’t heard himself do in at least twenty months. He knew exactly how long it had been since he’d seen his friends or family. They skidded through the water under the tattered awning he called home time-to-time.
“Not my choice, man. We all take what they give us for undercover. Want a beer?” He handed him a can and pushed the rain hood off his head. “I borrowed them from the owner’s stash.”
“Last assignment they had me in a beige Volvo.” They both popped the tops.
“You told the lovely Jane I’m DEA. Probably blew my cover.” Did he care? Not a bit.
“Sorry I sucked you into this, Rhodes, but I didn’t have a choice.”
“Not a real problem. I’m ready to get out anyway.” He shrugged. “She’s cool, you know, for a genius.”
“They framed her for murder. Stole her son. And she’s trying to do the work required of an experienced intelligence team.”
“And yet she keeps on going.” Impressive. “I want to finish this assignment. You’ll keep my part out of this with your boss?”
“You got it.”
“One call and you can retrieve the information you need. Why waste time trying to breach the firewall?” he asked, curious why the Agent would allow his girl to change everything he’d been taught.
“It’s complicated.” Steve wiped the rain--and sudden sweat--from his face.
Man, you got it bad and don’t even know it yet. The thought caused another inward chuckle he hid with a sip of his beer. “Say the word and I’ll pull out with you.”
“I can’t let you do that, man.” Water fell from Steve’s hat as he shook his head. “One of us losing their job is enough.”
His friend stared through the trailer window at the lovely Jane working--her concentration solely on the computer screen.
“She’s hiding something.” Rhodes stated out of the blue, but knew it was the truth.
“Yeah.” Steve turned his can up and gulped. “What do you want for the truck?”
“You know how it works, Woods.” He tipped his can in a mock salute. “There may be a day when you’ll answer the phone and can’t ask any questions.”
~ ~ Little did Erren know that day would be right around the corner and would involve his own girl trouble by the name of Darby O’Malley and a hot air balloon. ~ ~
Where did Erren Rhodes come from? Can’t exactly answer what makes the stories so real for me sometimes. But I know that for years I struggled with what he should look like. Whether he wouldn’t reveal himself, or I just wasn’t ready to describe him...I have no clue. But I knew as soon as I went to a movie on Christmas Day 2009. Erren looked exactly like Jake Gyllenhaal during his role in THE PRINCE OF PERSIA.
After I had the picture of him, writing his story became much easier. Hope you like Erren & Darby as much as I loved penning their adventure.
~ ~ Angi
ANGI’S QUESTION FOR COMMENTERS: Take a peek at the book trailer for .38 CALIBER COVERUP (available on Facebook, YouTube, or my website 1.2 minutes) and tell me what you think. Did it make you want to buy the book? Do you watch book trailers?
Angi will be drawing for a copy of HILL COUNTRY HOLD-UP on Monday from those leaving comments. And don’t miss the continuing snippets of Erren’s transition throughout the month of February either on guest blogs or her FaceBook page: Angi Morgan. You can also find our guest at AngiMorgan.com or Twitter: AngiMorganAuthr
HILL COUNTRY HOLDUP
RWA Golden Heart Winner & Romantic Times 2010 Best First Series Book Nominee
Harlequin Intrigue Sept 2010; ISBN: 0373694997