Saturday, January 29, 2011

WILD CARD WEEKEND: Where Does a Hero Come From

Intrigue author Angi Morgan joins WILD CARD WEEKEND to share the history of her latest hero...

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 or Twitter: AngiMorganAuthr


February Intrigue; ISBN: 0373695292


RWA Golden Heart Winner & Romantic Times 2010 Best First Series Book Nominee

Harlequin Intrigue Sept 2010; ISBN: 0373694997


  1. Book trailers don't make me want to buy books. I generally don't watch them knowing this. An excerpt on the other hand whets my appetite for more.

  2. I have to admit I don't normally buy books by looking a book trailers- maybe it's my "English reserve" or something. Personally I like pick up a book, read the back blurb, and if the cover appeals as well, then it's in the shopping basket. Caroline x

  3. I only watch book trailers if I see the link on an author's site. I don't go search for them (not sure how anyway).

    I did go check out yours - I started to read the excerpt yesterday at work but since I recently won a copy I had to stop because the chapter sucked me in! Anyway back to the trailer - I liked how the gun was last shown and then POW. Didn't expect that part! Honestly, reading the excerpt would have been the bigger push to buy.

    However, back to the question, I do like trailers for the author's interpretation of their story and what they do for me is lead me to the excerpt and that's the determining factor.

    So - book trailers get me curious, but the excerpt is what decides.

    And I think I just repeated myself. LOL.

  4. Hi Marybelle,

    Wondering if you checked out the excerpt on my website for .38 Caliber....and if your appetite was whetted?


  5. Hi Caroline,

    I'm you get upset when the back blurb doesn't exactly match the story? Or what if it gives too much away?

    For instance: for Hill Country Holdup, my family didn't think the back cover should let readers know Steve was a father...I disagreed, but I'm curious.


  6. Hi again, Marcie,

    I have to admit that my husband is a Video Engineer...he works with programs and likes to edit. We discuss the trailer, decide what has to be included. *I* choose the music, which is something I decided would be consistent for all my books. (Did I have a point? Oh yeah...) Tim actually got *me* with the gunfire. I was in my office (other end of the house) and thought it had come from outside. >>grin<< I was very relieved to know it hadn't.

    Needless to say, I was quite pleased leaving Tim to work out the details of the trailer. AND I love having a husband willing to spend his spare time helping with my dream.


  7. Hi Angi,

    I only check out trailers when there is a link to them someplace. Your alternative point of view was a much bigger draw for me. I really enjoyed Hill Country Holdup.

    I have a husband who likes to fool around with Photoshop and make cards for special events. The trailer was very well done ~ one of the best I've seen in my very limited viewing experience.

  8. PS ~ I didn't mind that Steve was outed as a father on the blurb. It made for a bit of intrique as to when Jane would tell him about it.

  9. I don't usually watch book trailers, too much flashing and volume for me. I prefer to read the blurb and/or excerpt.

  10. Hi Kaelee,

    My husband says, "Thanks & cool!"
    He's busy doing other things for me today, helping us get caught up between trveling, helping with science fair & pinewood derby (grandkids), making my life easier so I can concentrate on the writing this week.

    BTW: We think of a trailer as an advertisement...short and to the point.

    Thanks for letting us know. AND I'm really glad you liked the alternate POV. There will be more of WHY Erren is who he is...on the FB page and other blogs soon.


  11. Hi Chey !
    Good to "see" you. So Excerpts over book trilers. Hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend and if it's cold...snuggle up with a great book.


  12. FYI -- If you're a writer, you can catch me all week on the RWA PRO-class loop. I'll be teaching: Everything I learned from sale to shelf. Raising lots of questions about how much writers need to prepare for a first sale.


  13. I like the trailers, but I usually go by the back cover or excerpt. One of my pet peeves is when the cover picture doesn't match the story. You know, redhead with short hair and book cover shows long dark hair on the girl. I guess that makes me weird, but I want the picture to match the story. Your covers were right on, and the back cover made up my mind.

  14. Hi C.Ella !!
    I'm going to pass along your compliments of my back cover to my editor. She disclosed how nervous writing them makes her... >>grin<<
    And I know she's fought really hard for my covers (most excellent covers).

    Unfortunately, Intrigue authors have no control over our covers and they're always last minute, so no changing them (or the story) to match.

  15. Interesting thing about my title... but the story will have to wait until release day --Tuesday, February 8th (details of where will be on the website and on Facebook).


  16. Hi Angi - you couldn't have picked a better man to visualise a hero - Jake is one gorgeous man, especially in that movie.

    I don't watch trailers or youtube but then I'm not the the young generation who I am sure do. I'm more interested in the back cover blurb and reviews.

  17. HI BRON !!
    *I* don't spend much time on YouTube either. But I will watch a trailer if it's on a website. And every once in a while, I'll watch something posted to Facebook.

    Not too concerned about reviews...I'm always afraid their going to spoil part of the story for me (even with movies).

    HEY--best of luck with your release next month !


  18. The book trailer is amazing, but the excerpt of .38 CALIBER COVER-UP is also intriguing!

  19. Thank you NAS DEAN !!

    I appreciate you stopping by and hope you're "intrigued" enough to get a copy of .38 Caliber !


    C. Ella
    You're the winner of a copy of .38 Caliber Cover-Up.

    Give me a shout at


  21. Thanks to everyone for stopping by and for the invitation !

    Take advantage of the cold and curl up with a good book !


  22. I think book trailers are great! But just reading the back of your book made me want to read it!! :-)