Hello and welcome to my blog for another round of Meet the Characters! Today I am featuring a guest blogger who has graciously agreed to let me do a character interview, which is my favorite kind of interview. Join me in welcoming author, Melissa Keir, and her characters from Forever Love (Book one of the Wilder Sisters series). It’s a fantastic contemporary romance with wonderful characters so without further ado here is the interview with Thom, and Syndie.
Characters of Syndie Wilder and Thom Johnson (TJ)…also tagging along is Syndie’s Dad, Mr. Wilder
Syndie: Hello Jennifer. Thanks for having us on your blog. TJ and I are excited to share our story with your readers. However, I couldn’t leave Dad at home alone. Since he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s our life hasn’t been the same.
How did you first meet your writer?
Syndie: Since Melissa and I both grew up in Amherst, I decided to pay her a visit in her dreams one night. I thought she’d enjoy getting to see her old hometown again.
What are your favorite scenes in your book: the action, the dialog or the romance?
TJ: My favorite scene was the time we double dated with your dad and my mom at the VFW hall. I got to hold you close in my arms again.
Syndie: At least we weren’t trying to slow dance to Stairway to Heaven like in High School. That was embarrassing. The song gets quick and suddenly the slow dancing is done!
Mr. Wilder: That was a fun night. Elizabeth is still a good looking woman and boy, can she dance!
Did you have a hard time convincing your author to write any particular scenes for you?
Syndie: I didn’t like that Melissa put in the scene with Dad and the fire. I don’t want people to see him like that.
Mr. Wilder: What fire?
Syndie: Never mind Dad. It was nothing.
What do you like to do when you are not being actively read somewhere?
Mr. Wilder: I’m fishing. Those Lake Erie perch are my favorite to eat. I make a mean fish fry. Oh, you weren’t really asking me, right?
Syndie: That’s okay Dad. I work on my jewelry designs. I’ve got quite a following.
TJ: Not that I don’t like to fish…or hang out with Syn…but I do have a job to do. I’m one of Amherst’s firemen. We keep the town safe. The town was founded in the early 1800’s and some of the original homes remain. I’m proud to say that we’ve not lost one yet!
If you could rewrite anything in your book, what would it be?
Syndie: That’s a tough question. I’d love for TJ to have not hurt me in High School by going out with that girl but ultimately it’s what brought us back together. I don’t know if he would have been the same man today if he hadn’t faced the loss of me, just as I know I wouldn’t be the same person if my mom hadn’t passed away. I wouldn’t be as close to Dad.
Mr. Wilder: Susan was my forever love. I’ve told my girls to always find theirs.
Would you be interested in a sequel, if your writer was so inclined?
Syndie: There are already two more books that I show up in. One is Beach Desires and tells my sister, Stacey’s story. She hid so much of herself from the world. I’m so proud she found happiness. The third book is about my sister Sherry Wilder Davison who almost lost everything that mattered to her, but faith pulled her through. Melissa is working on my other sister’s books. Their stories also feature strong women who have challenges to overcome. But I know they can do it.
What do you think is your strongest attribute?
TJ: That I never gave up on Syndie. I always knew we were meant to be and kept on her till she understood it too.
Syndie: My stubbornness. It’s gotten me through some tough times. Being stubborn isn’t a bad thing…*she looks at her dad and TJ*
Mr. Wilder: Well, I can’t say since you got that from me. *smiles at her*.
What are you proudest of?
Mr. Wilder: I’m proudest of all my daughters. Syndie gave up her life in Chicago to come to Amherst to care for me. She didn’t let me ruin her chance at happiness. My other daughters each have faced some tough choices and have come through it for the better. They are strong women and I’m proud of them. But I guess that question wasn’t for me.
Syndie wipes a tear from her face.
What do you like most about where you live?
TJ: Amherst is a small town. Everyone knows each other and watches out for their neighbors. Some people might think of it as intrusive but I find it down-home neighborly, sort of like on the old sitcoms like The Andy Griffith Show.
What is your vivid memory of your mother and father?
Syndie: That’s an easy one for me…I remember Christmas Eve vividly. Mom and Dad would put some holiday music on and dance together. Of course, they’d end up under the mistletoe. I hope we make memories like that for our children TJ.
TJ: *takes her hand and kisses it* You bet we will.
Would you ever use a voodoo doll to hurt anyone?
Syndie: I don’t know about a voodoo doll but I once froze this girl’s bra because she was hitting on TJ when we were dating in High School. I’m not proud of it, but *shrugs her shoulders* it’s what I did. I guess I was a little jealous and insecure then.
What is your most favorite memory?
TJ: Our picnic at the beach. *smiles at Syndie who blushes*
Syndie: Mine is how you proposed. *sighs* He was so romantic.
If you knew a zombie apocalypse was coming in one week, what would you do?
Syndie: Poor Dad…all those daughters. At least he taught us to shoot and fish. I think we’d stock up and prepare to fight.
Mr. Wilder: Yep. I used to clean my guns each time a boy came to the house for a date. Worked like a charm, huh, TJ?
TJ: Sure did. I never had Syndie home late.
Have you ever thought about getting a tattoo, what would it be and where?
TJ: Ohhh.. who says we don’t have one already. *wink* Only Syn will get to see it.
What do you admire about your parents?
Syndie: That Dad has continued to go on after losing Mom. I know that would be hard for me. *reaches for her dad and hugs him*
Mr. Wilder: I had to go on for my daughters. They became my life.
Syndie reaches out and hugs her dad.
TJ: Thanks again Jennifer for having us on your blog. I hope everyone gets a chance to see our love affair in Forever Love. 🙂
Fifteen years ago, Syndie Wilder left her small hometown- Amherst, Ohio- to escape the pain of losing her best friend and boyfriend. Deciding that Chicago offered more for an up and coming jewelry designer, she enjoyed the big city life until she chooses to return and care for her father. Taking care of her father and relocating her internet business, Syndie has no time or desire for romance but fate has a way of playing with best-laid plans.
Thom Johnson broke Syndie’s heart all those years ago and regrets it every day. As a firefighter, Thom sets out to protect Amherst and redeem himself for his bad choices. However, he never has forgotten Syndie and the hurt he caused her.
When a chance meeting happens, can the two former friends allow themselves the chance to become friends again, or will the sparks turn a childhood friendship into a forever love?
Deciding to get out of the house, we headed out for dinner at a popular local restaurant. The Armors Diner was located in an old home that had been converted into a homey place to eat. They had a full menu, containing anything that might tickle your fancy, but they had the best Coney dogs and fries. The Armors was a favorite hangout for the high school crowd, so the walls were covered with photos from all the sports stories covered by the local newspaper. The place was packed, but we found a spot at a small table near the large front window.
The Armors held a lot of fond memories from my time in high school. I used to come to the restaurant as much as I could to hang out and visit with my friends. We would always order the large fries and talk about the boys we liked. The restaurant also had its share of sad memories too—mostly surrounding T.J. and our time together. As if just thinking about him caused him to appear, I looked up to find him walking through the door, alone, and heading directly over to our table.
“Hi Syn, Mr. Wilder. Do you mind if I join you? This place is packed, and I hate to eat alone.”
“Hello Thom. Nice to see you. What have you been up to lately? I haven’t seen you since you dated Syn, here. I must have scared you off good,” Dad replied with a grin.
“Mr. Wilder, you didn’t scare me off. Syn decided to run away to the big city and leave this small town behind.” T.J. winked at me, so I stuck my tongue out at him.
I felt like an idiot while they spoke about me, and a little shocked that Dad didn’t remember T.J. being at the recent fire. “Hello—I am sitting right here. You shouldn’t talk about me like I’m invisible.” They continued to ignore me, in favor of the conversation. I took the moment to look at T.J. He certainly had grown up. I studied his profile, trying to find a small part of that little boy who was my best friend growing up. His strong jawline and full lips were new to me. His baby fat was gone, but his strong nose was the same. The aquiline had a bump that always looked like he had broken it, which earned him the nickname Rocky. I loved his smile. It was a full grin that lit up his whole face and made his eyes twinkle. I wish I could go back and have a chat with my teenage self. I would share with her just how sexy T.J. was today. Of course, I would probably also have a few words to say to teenage T.J. too. After all, I wasn’t the only one in that relationship.
My ears perked up when I heard Dad invite T.J. over for dinner tomorrow night. It will be nice to give Dad something to do, but another evening with T.J…can my heart handle it?
The Armors provided a nice dinner among friends. Dad seemed to enjoy talking with T.J. about guns, hunting, and his job at the fire station. Sitting there in the background watching them interact was a treat. Dad was animated, reminding me more of the guy I grew up with than the pale version of himself he had become since my return. He hasn’t been so upbeat in a long time. I don’t think I’ve felt so upbeat in a while, as well. T.J. had many fun stories of life in the station that made us laugh. I was getting reacquainted with the guy I left behind, as he was filling in the missing years.
T.J. had been my best friend growing up. We were childhood playmates. Then, in high school, we turned into a couple. He became my boyfriend. We used to spend a lot of time hanging out at the train depot and talking about our future, but that didn’t last. T.J. was looking for a girl who was sexually active, which wasn’t me. He broke up with me and went on to date other girls who were more physical with him. It was hard watching him move on, but I was going to leave our small town for bigger pastures when I graduated, so I didn’t need to be tied down. Now that I was back, though, would we try to make it work?
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As a writer, Melissa likes to keep current on topics of interest in the world of writing. She’s a member of the Romance Writers of America and EPIC. Melissa is always interested in improving her writing through classes and seminars. She also believes in helping other authors and features authors and their books on her blog.
Melissa doesn’t believe in down time. She’s always keeping busy. Melissa is a wife and mother, an elementary school teacher, a book reviewer, an editor for a publishing company as well as an author. Her home blends two families and is a lot like the Brady Bunch, without Alice- a large grocery bill, tons of dirty dishes and a mound of laundry. She loves to write stories that feature “happy endings” and is often found plotting her next story.
This is what readers are saying about Melissa’s books:
Amazon 5 star review for Second Time’s the Charm- “Such a sweet and heart warming story. As I read it, and the details unfolded, I was engrossed to see if that I thought was going to happen, would really happen.” – Lacey Wolfe, Romance Author.
Barnes and Nobel 5 star review for Protecting His Wolfe- “Great read. I couldn’t put it down. I really liked the characters, especially Betsie and the Pigg brothers. A love story with suspense and surprise.” – Anonymous
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http://www.facebook.com/AuthorMelissaKeir (fan page)
As a special treat Melissa is giving away a $5.00 Amazon gift card to one lucky commenter so be sure to leave your EMAIL so we can contact you if you win!!
Thank you for joining us today! I hope you enjoyed this round of Meet the Characters and will join us again next week!