Creating Characters Readers Fall in Love With by Tina Radcliffe & Giveaway

When I start a story, I always begin with thoughts of you, the reader. What can I do to make these characters so irresistible the reader can’t help but fall in love with them?

First, I find examples of my hero and heroine so I can describe them accurately to the reader and make them come alive.

In Forget Me Not, the third story in the Legacy of Love Collection. My heroine Maddy Donovan is depicted by Kristin Kreuk (Smallville), while my hero Gabe Dawson is a ringer for Armie Hammer (The Lone Ranger).

I like to create a Pinterest board to get my imagination soaring. Here’s the board for Forget Me Not.

And here’s an insider secret. I use a screenwriting technique by screenwriter, Michael Hague to develop characters. He says that in order to create reader empathy or identification you must make a character sympathetic. To do that apply two or more of the following:
  1. Make the character the victim of some undeserved misfortune.
  2. Put the character in jeopardy (in danger of loss).  Readers identify with people they worry about.
  3. Make the character likeable-liked by others in the book.
  4. Make your character funny.
  5. Make your character powerful.

Maddy really is the main protagonist in Forget Me Not. So let’s look at how I approached developing her character using excerpts from the novella.

Technique #1. Maddy is very unlucky in love.
Romantic dreams? No, she’d been down that road. Now Maddy Donovan only dealt in cold, hard reality.

Technique #2. Maddy is about to lose her shop.
Maddy glanced at the foreboding date on the wall calendar. Each day brought her closer to disaster.

Technique #3. Maddy is plain funny. 

Maddy glanced around the room. “How about that booth by the window?” 
“Sure, though maybe a table would be better. Your friend certainly has long legs.” The redhead offered Gabe a flirtatious smile. “Tall, aren’t you?” 
“Yes, ma’am. I take after my great-uncle.” 
“The booth, please,” Maddy repeated. 
“A friend of yours?” Gabe asked when they were seated. 
“We went to high school together.” Maddy shook her head. “I would have introduced you, but that wouldn’t have benefited anyone.” 
Gabe laughed. “If you say so.” 
“Wolf Creek has grown since high school, yet it still seems everyone continues to have their finger in my business around here.”

Hopefully, readers will find Maddy as much fun as I do, though I am aware that sometimes it’s all about personal preference. 

I know that I enjoy heroines that are able to laugh at themselves, and who have a sense of humor, which is why I radiate to authors who write these types of sassy women.

Now it’s your turn. What about you, dear reader? What endears you to a character, especially a heroine? 

Leave a comment today for a chance to win an ecopy of Legacy of the Heart and a Polka Dot Mug by Govinda Crafts, (Red). Remember to note it on the Rafflecopter entry form. Scroll down for more entry options! This giveaway is subject to Just Commonly's giveaway policies noted HERE.US Winner only.

Title: Legacy of the Heart
Authors: Danica Favorite, Stacy Henrie, Tina Radcliffe, Terri Reed & Sherri Shackelford
Publisher: Beyond the Page
Release Date: June 22, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Links*: Goodreads l Amazon Book Bub  Barnes & Noble 

An antique locket with the power to inspire everlasting love unites the five stories in this stunning collection of historical and contemporary inspirational romance novellas!

In Heritage of Love, Danica Favorite takes us to the Chicago world’s fair, where a chance encounter will spark an opportunity for true love, if only the young couple can first overcome polite society’s rigid rules . . .

Stacy Henrie tells the story of a sheriff desperate to escape the matchmaking efforts of the women in his small town, only to discover that his attempts to sidestep them may lead to eternal love and happiness in By Any Other Name . . .

Tina Radcliffe’s Forget Me Not paints the picture of a charming antique store, where love will blossom when two strangers learn the secret about a long-ago hurt and a love that never died . . .

In The Lost Locket, Terri Reed introduces readers to two people who have given up on love and will fight their undeniable attraction until it may be too late . . .

And in Winning the Fireman’s Heart, Sherri Shackelford shows us two long-time friends forever searching for the perfect mate, until a gesture of kindness reveals the love that’s always been waiting for them . . .



Tina March 2018 2Originally from Western New York, Tina Radcliffe left home for a tour
of duty with the Army Security Agency stationed in Augsburg, Germany, and ended up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and later moved to Colorado. A freelance writer for over twenty years, Tina is an RWA Honor Roll member, a two-time RWA Golden Heart finalist, two-time ACFW Carol Award finalist, and a 2014 ACFW Carol Award winner. She is also a 2018 ACFW Mentor of the Year finalist. She currently resides in Arizona, where she writes fun, heartwarming romance. Find her at

website,  facebook,  twitter,  pinterest,  instagramBook Bub

Stay up to date on all her releases by signing up for her newsletter HERE. (

This giveaway is subject to Just Commonly's giveaway policies noted HERE.US Winner only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
*NOTE:This post contains affiliate links.



  1. I like people in stories that I can relate too either In person or through someone I know.

  2. Hi Ellen! Thanks for stopping by! I agree with you!

  3. Hello my dear friend! <3 I love all your characters :)
    If you haven’t read Tina’s books yet, you are missing out on her unique writing style and humor!

    1. Yes, Natalya! So right! I love Tina and her humor. Her characters all have a bit of that in them. =) Thanks for stopping by!

    2. Natalya!!! Thank you so much for stopping by. All the characters of Big Heart Ranch are waving hello too.

  4. Hmm. . . I think I am endeared to a character that I connect with. They have something about them that I can relate to. Not everything, but something.

    Can't wait to read.

    1. It's much more easier to understand if we can connect, right?

      Hope you'll be reading it real soon! Thanks Becky!

  5. Agree, Becky. Like Jo in Little Women! And Elizabeth Bennett in Pride and Prejudice!

  6. I enjoy a character with a sense of humor - and humor is one of the many things I enjoy in Tina’s books. Haven’t met a heroine or hero yet I haven’t liked. Eager to read this too! And thanks for the peek at the Pinterest board
    Nancy C

    1. NANCY, my buddy and pal. So good to see you and thanks for the kind words.

    2. LOL! Nancy, then Tina's is definitely up there for you! LOL. Thanks!!

    3. I love a character with sense of humor, as well!

  7. I also am drawn to a character that I can relate to, that is so engaging that I find myself drawn right into the story with them.

    I am so excited to read the Legacy of the Heart collection! I love how an antique locket connects all the stories….it sounds so intriguing! 🙂 Thanks for the chance to win an ecopy!!

    1. Hi there! Alison perchance? Thanks for the kind words.

    2. O, me too! The locket is definitely intriguing!!

  8. A compassionate, loving heart endears me to a character. Vivian Furbay jtandviv(at)q(dot)com

    1. Hi Vivian! Thanks for stopping by! I agree with you.

    2. So true Vivian!! That plus some mischief doesn't heart. *wink wink

  9. I enjoy characters that I can relate to in some way--feel empathy for, good sense of humor, down-to-earth, endearing. I love witty banter in a book. And I absolutely adore that red polka-dotted mug--even though I don't drink coffee, tea, rarely hot chocolate! I can definitely fill it with M&Ms or other chocolate treats. :-D

    1. HAHAHAAHH. O. I love how you think.. mugs and treats!!

  10. Winnie, sense of humor is HUGE for me. And M and M's are too! Thanks for stopping.

  11. I'm drawn to heroines that I relate to - in their struggles and similar relationships.

    Thanks for the giveaway. Love the polka dot mug! :)

  12. When the characters are genuine and I can feel like I know them and can relate to them. Then they stick with me after I have finished the book.

    faithdcreech at gmail dot com

    1. Hi Faith. I totally agree with you. When I forget they are fictional.

  13. I'm drawn to funny and compassionate characters. The 'likeable' part is important to me - but I use the 'victim' card a lot too in my own writing.
    And am INCREDIBLY thankful to Tina for introducing me to Michael Hague about 8 years ago, I think :-)

  14. I like characters who have a witty sense of humor and I like when an author who has characters interact throughout the book in humorous ways when the characters don’t expect to run into each other.
    jennydtipton at gmail dot com


Thank you for commenting. If you don't have any of the accounts listed in the pull down menu, just comment using "Anonymous" and put your name/nickname in the comment. Happy reading!