Guest Authors

Author Spotlight: Jana Richards Talks Characters and Clothes

I love it when my worlds connect and this is one of those days. Jana Richards, whom I met through being fellow Word Wranglers is my guest today and I’m so pleased to introduce you to her.

Jana has tried her hand at many writing projects over the years, from magazine articles and short stories to full-length contemporary romance, paranormal suspense and romantic comedy. She loves to create characters with a sense of humor, but also a serious side.  She believes there’s nothing more interesting then peeling back the layers of a character to see what makes them tick.

When not writing up a storm or dealing with dust bunnies, Jana can be found pursuing hobbies such as golf (which she plays very badly) or reading (which she does much better). She lives in Western Canada with her husband Warren.

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Take it away, Jana…

Clothes Make the Character

Have you ever seen a stranger, on the street or in a mall, and made an immediate judgement about their character, personality or lifestyle based solely on what they were wearing? I think we’ve probably all done it. The guy in the three-piece business suit must be successful and have a great job. The woman wearing tattered jeans, a beat-up leather jacket and too much makeup probably didn’t finish high school.

Clothes say so much about who we are and how we feel about ourselves. That’s as true of fictional characters as it is about real people. In these scenes from CHILD OF MINE, the heroine, Lauren, and her sister Charlotte are shopping for outfits to wear to Lauren’s wedding. The way Lauren feels about the dress she’s looking for tells us something about her concerns for her upcoming marriage:

Lauren went back to the racks to search for her own dress. It wasn’t easy to predict exactly how big she’d be by the time the wedding took place two weeks from now. She had to make sure any dress she chose had room for expansion. Not exactly a requirement of most wedding dresses.

She’d been pregnant at her last wedding, too. It had been the whole reason she and Billy had married. After she’d lost the baby soon after the hastily arranged nuptials, Billy had directed his frustration at her, blaming her for trapping him in a marriage he didn’t want. Yet he’d never once asked her for a divorce, giving her hope he wanted to make the marriage work. It had taken her five years to figure out why he’d stayed married to her.

She was starting her marriage to Cole pregnant. Would he grow to resent her the way Billy had?

She’s not the only one who’s apprehensive about what she’s wearing to this wedding. Lauren’s sister Charlotte is going to be Lauren’s maid of honor. For reasons Lauren doesn’t understand, Charlotte doesn’t think of herself as attractive:

“You’re gorgeous. No question about it, this is the dress. Wrap it up.”

“You don’t think it’s too revealing?”

“Revealing? No, of course not. Char, you’re covered from your neck to your wrists.”

“Yeah, but it’s tight.” She pulled at the fabric, trying to make it cover her knees. “And short.”

“It’s not tight, Char. It fits your body perfectly. You probably can’t tell because everything you wear is baggy and two sizes too big. And it’s not short either. With legs like yours, you should wear dresses like this all the time.”


“Yes! Really!” Lauren didn’t know what else to say to convince her.

“I thought I looked okay in the dressing room mirror, but I wasn’t sure,” she said with a frown.

“Well, I’m sure. You’re beautiful, Char. All you need is a pair of sexy heels and you’re set.”

Charlotte strained to look at her back in the three-way mirror. “I guess if you think I look all right…maybe with some nice shoes. As long as they don’t make me too tall.”

Lauren stifled the urge to strangle her sister but was relieved she’d take the dress.

CHILD OF MINE is #onsale for .99 cents at Amazon from May 6 – 20, 2022. Get your e-copy today!

And also from Jana:

STRONG ENOUGH, book 4 in the Masonville Series:

Why does Charlotte feel so uncomfortable in a form-fitting dress even though her sister tells her she looks great? Find out in book four of the series, which is available for pre-order now. The book releases June 22, 2022!

Charlotte Saunders has a full life—a rewarding career as a nurse, meaningful volunteer work at a dog shelter, and family, friends and pets she adores. But no matter how hard she tries, she can’t forget the horrible event that’s haunted her for ten years.

A survivor of childhood sexual abuse, Damon Greyson

now helps others who have suffered trauma. His experience and intuition alert him to trouble in Charlotte’s past, and he wants to help her, if only she’d let him.

As they work together to help veterans suffering from PTSD and neglected dogs needing loving homes, their feelings for each other deepen. But when the trauma from Charlotte’s past roars back to life, both are forced to confront their painful histories—or die trying.

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