When I’m in the early stages of writing a novel, I collect pictures of people that fit the image I have of my characters.

For Kate O’Donnell in Thicker Than Water, it was difficult to find that role model. I knew that Kate was a talented singer/songwriter living in Nashville and trying to break into the music business. She was young, tall and lanky, athletic (but sometimes a little awkward), red-haired, fair-skinned and very attractive. She was independent, sometimes fiery, intelligent and driven.

I looked at my favorite female performers –Shania Twain, Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson, Nora Jones–and though they had many of Kate’s characteristics, none were exactly right.

Then, Taylor Swift burst onto the scene and there was a real ah-hah moment. Here was the model for Kate. The talent, the personality and the appearance were all spot on. Okay, Taylor’s hair is curly and  blonde instead of  red and straight. I can live with that.

Taylor’s first single is titled “Tim McGraw” and is basically a letter to an ex-boyfriend. As she remininisces about their time together, she talks about their favorite songs (obviously sung by Tim McGraw). One line of the lyrics is “when you think Tim McGraw, I hope you think of me”.

Taking the liberty to modify those lyrics I’d like to say “When you think Taylor Swift, I hope you think of Kate.”

So, anyone who likes Taylor Swift and would like to read about another young woman trying to make her mark in the music industry, you might want to read about Kate O’Donnell’s adventures in “Thicker Than Water”.  There’s also a mystery involved and a secret admirer who stalks both Kate and her computer game avatar.

Oh, and Taylor, if you’re listening, I’d love to send you a copy and hear what you think of it.


About Sharon K Owen

I am a fiction writer, a university professor, a copy editor and an online writing teacher. My first Romantic Suspense: Thicker Than Water (Brands Crossing Series) was published in 2011 and the second book in the series, Whatever Goes Around, will be published in 2016. My short stories and poetry have been published in Descant, Concho River Review, Iron Horse, American Literary Review, Trinity Writer's Workshop newsletter and collections of Christmas stories. I am blessed with a loving, supportive family, a multitude of friends and the good fortune to share a cozy sanctuary in North Texas with my two cats (Matt and Cinders).

Posted on September 6, 2011, in Book Recommendations, Writing, Writing Exercises, Writing Lessons and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Good luck with your new novel..ELiza Keating

  2. Thank you Sharon..I will certainly return the favour..your new friend Eliza x

  3. What a creative idea! I like it. This way you ccan look at and really describe the character well because you have a visual model. Hehe, really good one I never thought of that.

  4. Hi there, very good web page you have got here.

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