Giving Characters Quirky Characteristics

When I’m writing a story, I give my characters, particularly the heroine, a unique and sometimes quirky characteristic to make certain that the character isn’t a cookie cutter type. Here are some examples:

Mikaela Finn (Perfectly Honest) plans her day around her horoscope; Margo MacMillan (Perfectly Reasonable) judges people by the type and colour of car they drive; Chloe Keay (Perfectly Planned) mashes up song lyrics; Sarah Jain (Between the Pipes) hates hockey and lives in a hockey-crazy town; Danni Angelo (Behind the Bench) is a stickler for infection control and bugs the hockey players about sharing water bottles (and her favourite colour is black); Kelly Danali (Beyond the Face-Off) is a total extrovert and loves to be the centre of attention; and Jordyn Kendra (Before the Whistle) faints at the sight of blood but takes it in stride when her aunt shows up as a ghost to poke and prod her about her love life. Sometimes I set out with the characteristic in mind, but just as often it surprises me and develops as I write the story. My aim is to make the story more relatable and fun!

If you’re in the mood for a fun hockey romance, then Behind the Bench, a standalone story as part of the In the Game Hockey Romance Series will hit the spot!


Behind the Bench by Linda O’Connor

Dr. Danni Angelo is the team physician for the Clarington Quakes hockey team. She’s worked hard to earn the players’ respect, but the new coach, Trey Mason, is stirring things up, and Danni’s worried her job may be in jeopardy.

Trey finds Danni…distracting. Beauty, brains, and sexy moves on the ice have him uncomfortably attracted. He’s the new guy on the block. He has a reputation to build and a standard to set. The last thing he needs is a complication.

When the team spirals out of control and Danni and Trey get caught up in a drug scandal, things heat up on and off the ice. It’s a whole new game plan…Behind the Bench.



Enjoy an excerpt ~

Danni watched the tail end of the in-house broadcast of the news conference and flicked off the screen. How could you not be impressed with that? Trey Mason was confident and eloquent, and spoke in a relaxed and engaging way. The beach-bum blond hair, sculpted cheekbones, and easy smile would win over the non-hockey fans, and his passion and knowledge of the game would impress the followers. He had it all, and landing in a town like Clarington must be a dream come true. For him.

And a nightmare for her.

She had worked part-time as the team physician for the Clarington Earthquakes, Quakes for short, for the past three years. It had taken time to gain the players’ confidence. Being a female physician for a men’s hockey team hadn’t been easy, but she’d built a solid professional relationship.

She loved everything about the job – the energy of the games, working with high-level athletes, and a new clinic in a state-of-the-art arena. Two years ago, the Ontario community of a hundred thousand had banded together and invested countless hours of sweat equity into building a new arena. It was spacious and bright. From the wall of glass at the entrance to the wide well-lit hallways, lined with gleaming stainless steel and interspersed with elegant navy tiles, it drew people in. Moving ramps carried fans up to three levels of seating, and rumbling seats mimicked an earthquake when the Tectonic Plate mascots riled the crowd.

She didn’t know how a building could affect her so much. The sight of fans streaming in or players waiting restlessly in the wings before a game sent shivers down her spine. She had a feeling of utter contentment, at times like this, when it was quiet. There was always an underlying sense of anticipation, an expectant excitement, and she loved it all. She certainly didn’t want it to change because of a new head coach.

Trey Mason couldn’t fire her. Theoretically. That would be up to the owners of the team. He could, however, make her life miserable. And if there was friction between them, it would affect the players, and ultimately, what affected the players influenced the owners. There were two other physicians who shared the job with her and a few more who would be eager to take it on.

He, on the other hand, could be set for a long run if he delivered half of what he’d promised today. She certainly hadn’t seen any charm when he’d walked into the pressroom, and yet it came out in spades when he spoke. She could only hope that her initial impression had been wrong, because between the two of them, it wasn’t likely that he’d be leaving any time soon.

Bottom line – she needed to suck it up and get along with the new guy. She sighed. She hated sucking up. She’d thought she was done with that after building a solid reputation with the team. Apparently not. She shook her head and gritted her teeth. Time to smile and play nice.


Grab your copy here (and it’s only 99c!)