Monday, July 18, 2016

Male on Monday - Creating a Gambler

Pink Heart Society columnist Kristina Knight talks about making up her gambling, cowboying heroes in the Billionaire Cowboys trilogy. 

There is nothing quite like the beginning stages of a book - when I'm setting up the characters and their journey, when I'm scouring Pinterest for some inspiration, and before I've started the actual drafting of the book. There is something very magical about that time because the characters and the plot can be anyone and anything at that point.

While I was in the developmental stages for my Billionaire Cowboys series, that magic was tripled because I had three heroes (and heroines) to work with, I had individual journeys for six characters, and plots for three books. It was a lot scary, but it was also a lot inspiring.

The inspiration started with classic Las Vegas - because that is where the books are set, albeit in the modern day. I wasn't alive for the hey day days of the Rat Pack, but the stories of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin and Peter Lawford, and the craziness that they brought to Las Vegas have always fascinated me. I wanted my fictional brothers to have a bit of that flair, and so I created cowboys who are as comfortable in suits as they are in jeans and boots.

From the Rat Pack, I hit up a few favorite films - like 21 and The Gambler. While only one of my
brothers can truly be called a gambler, all three of them have gambling tendencies, and all three of them like a bit of a wager. . .they also like stacking the deck in their favor. There is a line that I love from that movie - Mark Wahlberg's character (Jim, the gambler) says, "It's either victory, or don't bother. The only thing worth doing is the impossible. Everything else is gray. You're born... as a man... with the nerves of a soldier, the apprehension of an angel, to lift a phrase, but there is no use for it." All three of my brothers feel that way, but Jase, the eldest and the hero of book 3, feels it and believes it the most.

There there are the college kids in 21. They're all using gambling to get where they want to go - college, their degree, and to make things a little easier once they're out of school. And, you know, just to gamble because there are very few things like the high of beating the house. My favorite quote from that movie doesn't come from one of the stars, but from a random gambler at one of the tables. Ben (played by Jim Sturgess) asks how another player at the table has been doing. The random gambler says, "Oh, that doesn't matter, man. The way I see it, yesterday's history, tomorrow's a mystery. It's all what you do in the moment, baby." My billionaire cowboys definitely agree with that sentiment.

These are just three examples of the hero inspiration for Gage, Connor and Jase in my Billionaire Cowboys series, and they happen to be three (well, five since I included Frank and Dean and Peter in that first  picture) examples of fine male flesh, don't you think? What about you? Do you have a favorite gambling hero - share in the comments!

Kristina Knight's latest release, What the Heiress Wants, released May 23 from Crimson

Denver publishing heiress Miranda Clayton craves more from life than society parties and shopping sprees, but her tycoon father refuses to take her seriously. Her solution? Beat him at his own game by going to work for his top competitor, Connor Reeves, in Las Vegas.

Connor isn't fooled by Miranda's new plan for a second. He knows exactly who she is; what he doesn't know is why she's pulling him into her games. After their first meeting, Connor knows what he wants - Miranda in his bed! But the more he's around his new vice president, the more he wants something deeper than a short-term fling. The question is does the lady want Connor - or his business?

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You can find out more the book and Kristina on her website, and feel free to stalk follow her on FacebookTwitter or Instagram.

1 comment:

  1. My favorite gamblers are Kenny Rogers and Bret Maverick. I was around (although young) when the rat pack were in their heyday, but they didn't fascinate me then. Now they do.