Ronovan Hester on how to create a character…and a brand new book!

Ronovan Hester is a familiar face around here… many know him through his Lit World Interviews site, as well as for the weekly writing prompts he hosts on his own blog, Ronovan Writes, including the Haiku Challenge. He is an indefatigable supporter of Indie writers and reviewers.

Lately Ronovan has embarked upon a new adventure and, with P.S. Bartlett, author of the Razor’s Adventures Pirate Tales, has just launched a new book: Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling… and to celebrate the launch, there is a chance to win a Kindle Fire too…

Amber Wake

First, I wish to give a big thank you to Sue Vincent for time on her site for my first ever book blog tour. Second, how to come up with something to write about for author Sue Vincent’s blog in regards to my own book? That’s like asking Sylvester Stallone to teach an art class for the constituents of Rembrandt. I can slap some words on paper that can look decent, but are nowhere near as glorious as a true master’s work.

Here we go anyway. Get the Donuts, Doritos, or Jammie Dodgers out. Pour the milk, coffee, or tea and let’s see how this turns out. (Yes, I know the ‘ugh’ is missing in donuts. That led to a very long fiction series I exchanged with another writer.)

How to Create a Character

The main character of my novel is Captain Gabriel Wallace of the Royal Navy in the year 1705.

First, a little background to Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling, the Historical Adventure novel I co-wrote with PS Bartlett. This is the prequel to all the other books in PS Bartlett’s series of The Razor’s Adventures Pirate Tales. The Tales encompass the adventures of her main character Ivory Shepard, a young lady from Charles Towne in the Colonies who we see through her current trilogy learning to be and becoming a pirate captain. There were lady pirates during the Golden Age of Pirates. Ivory’s first appearance is in The Blue Diamond: The Razor’s Edge, when she is a captain of her own small fleet of sorts. The book is currently the chronological last book in the series, but not the last one planned by a long shot.

After reading The Blue Diamond, becoming friends with Bartlett and many discussions about everything in the world, and brain storming so many things, I found myself creating these characters and histories that feed into those books. Of course, Bartlett took the original draft and added her scenes and touches to fit where she needed things to lead. Thus, what you see is not exactly that original manuscript. It’s about 95% original storyline, I would say.

From Discussions to Creating

How did I create a man who would become a pivotal character in the development of future world of The Razor’s Adventures?

There is a key word in that question above … pivotal. This man had to be someone of certain character and knowledge in order to fulfill his future purposes. The first name of a pirate, the hair color, and the eye color were the things I had to work with. From there, Bartlett allowed me to create a very important book in her Ivory Shepard world while she began working on her Ivory Shepard prequel trilogy of how she became a pirate.

Fleshed Out

The main character needs fleshed out quite thoroughly in order to dictate other variables of your story:
• The actions the character will take during situations.
• The decisions the character would make.
• The other characters to support or be the antagonist to.

To flesh out a character you must to do your research. I’ll go through my process for Captain Gabriel Wallace in bullets.

• Have basic story idea in mind.
• Research actual pirates from the period of the story, or near enough.
• Chose the country of heredity for the purpose of name selection.
• Research popular, and not so popular, names from the period for authenticity.
• Decide what intellectual and moral attributes he possesses.
• Use the above to determine temperament.
• Add a healthy dose of my own inner workings to the character.
• Create a friend for the character that has different visible attributes in behavior and possibly internally.
• Let the story begin and hold on for the ride.

The story idea in hand, and create a friend tasks are two very important parts of the process. With a story idea in hand, you then know what kind of main character you need to accomplish the job. Having created a friend, even if one the main character only exchanges letters with becomes that opposite voice to show the other opinions about situations and gives someone for the main character to add humor with or even conflict with in a safe situation at times. Remember, you don’t need many friends in a book to do one friends job. You can create a lot of confusion with too many characters.

In the original draft, I put many of my standards of being into Gabriel Wallace. Of course, that changed with the next draft because the storylines of future books dictated it to some degree. That brings up the subject of how real to make a character. Then there is what some people think real is.

Questions to ask yourself:

1. What did they grow up around?
2. What experiences have they had along the way that may have shaped their character?
3. What do they do now and why?

I believe answering these three questions can help with a great many questions that come up along the way.

What did they grow up around?

• Social Setting
• Education
• Belief Systems
• Cultural Influences
• Political Influences
• and more
• Parents (Character of)

What Experiences along the way?

• Deaths
• Loves had and lost
• Jobs had and lost
• Other tragedies
• Family situations
What do they do now and why?
• What profession or life situation are they in now? This will form what influences a character now.
• Just as important is the why they are doing whatever it is. Are they there by choice, forced, circumstance, or some other reason you can think of?
• What are the goals of the character? This includes professional and personal goals.

You can, and probably should, get down to the details of dress and physical image. One character that appears in the book also appears in a future book and enjoys his Cavalier hat. I felt Wallace was of a character given to utilitarian ways and gave him a Tricorn hat instead. It’s a minor detail but at sea, which makes more sense, a hat that is for covering your head, or a hat with a big feather in it that with a good spray of the ocean is ruined?

Anyone that reads Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling, and knows me, will see me in deep personal aspects of Gabriel Wallace. As I’ve said, some things have changed so not everything is as I had it. We do believe our combined efforts will make for an enjoyable tale.

For the synopsis of the book and a brief excerpt, click HERE. You will find Chapter 1 on the author site as well.

Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling is available on Amazon. Below are a few for your clicking convenience.

Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling on
Amber Wake; Gabriel Falling on Amazon.UK
Amber Wake; Gabriel Falling on Amazon.CA
Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling on Amazon.IN

You may connect with Ronovan through:

Amazon Author Page: Ronovan Hester
Amazon UK Author Page: Ronovan Hester
Personal Blog:
Author Site:
Book Review Site:
Twitter: @RonovanWrites
Goodreads: Ronovan Hester
Facebook: Ronovan Writes
Google+: Ronovan Writes
LinkedIn: Ronovan Hester Ronovan
Pinterest: RonovanWrites

ronovan-hesterAbout the author:
Ronovan Hester is a writer living near Athens, Ga, home of his alma mater, The University of Georgia, where he received a B.S.Ed. in History Education. Ronovan puts his love of history and his over 20 years of writing experience to use in his debut Historical Adventure set in 1705 England, American Colonies, and Caribbean co-authored with P.S. Bartlett.
Ronovan’s devotion to history and writing sometimes competes with his love of tacos and fresh fruit. At times, all his favorite things work hand in hand in mouth during long binge writing sessions that have been known to last nonstop for over 24 hours. Rather than see a sleep disorder as a hindrance, he uses the time for creative purposes, or watching old TV shows on online.
Ronovan enjoys putting elements of history, if only as nods to the past, in all of his book projects. He currently instills that love of history and learning in his son daily as he helps him through his college prep courses, meaning hours of homework every night, even while not yet a teenager—his son, not Ronovan. Now if he could find a very good mute for that trumpet his son just began learning.

About thebook:  Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling

The autumn of 1705 brings Royal Navy Captain Gabriel Wallace to face off against an enemy within the ranks of the Admiralty itself that threatens his career, his reputation, his family, and something even more far-reaching in its plot.

Court-martialed and with Admiral Chambers, the mastermind fearfully known as the Chambers of Hell, out for his destruction, Wallace finds he has allies willing to face the might of the mightiest power on earth, with some allies in the most unlikely of places. The crew of his former command, the Majesty’s Venture, mutinies from the Royal Navy. With capture by his enemies close behind, Wallace agrees to become captain once again.

With a ship at his command, Captain Gabriel Wallace sets out to fulfill his mission, the completeness of which only he knows.

Now a pirate by situation, Wallace sets out for the Colonies and the Caribbean. Will his crew remain loyal as they leave the rule of the Royal Navy behind? Will his lifelong friend, Miles Jacobs, follow Wallace blindly without knowing the whole story? Finally, will the young Lieutenant Maddox Carbonale stay under the command of Wallace or have plans to lead instead?

With these questions in his thoughts, Gabriel Wallace wages war on Chambers and goes after the largest haul in the history of the Spanish Main. Whom does Wallace meet along the way? To whom are his loyalties to: vengeance or something more powerful?

If you love tales of adventure, of the sea, of the struggles of men, and nods to history, this is your book. Read Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling and you’ll have a new appreciation for all of The Razor’s Adventures Pirate Tales.

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:
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28 Responses to Ronovan Hester on how to create a character…and a brand new book!

  1. Ronovan says:

    Wow. It almost doesn’t seem real. 🙂 Thank you again, so much. Love you!


  2. roweeee says:

    Thanks very much for this, Ronovan. Some great insights here. I am working on a memoir and it’s been quite interesting looking at character when you are the character. The more I look at this, the more the line between fiction and non-fiction blurs because just as fictional characters contain elements of the author, memoir seems to include elements of fiction.
    I’ve been quite interested in the Proust Questionnaire which is used to develop character and have been going through it on myself. I’ve found it very productive. Here’s a link to an overview

    xx Rowena

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ronovan says:

      Thank you. All Fiction has some basis in truth when it comes down to the elements of the characters themselves. So it makes sense you might see fiction in your truth. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • roweeee says:

        It does, doesn’t it! I have struggled with it a bit because I feel it should be “the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth” but then you get back to those age-old philosophical questions: What is truth? What is history?
        Thought you’d appreciate this little anecdote. My son is almost 12 and has just started high school. My son had to write a page about himself. Now, if ever there was a piece of fiction, this had to be it. He quite likes this teacher and she loves books so he wrote that he’s a bookworm. I almost choked because I struggle to get him to read at home and he mostly plays Minecraft. He didn’t even mention Minecraft in there. It was such a fabrication that I think he’s going to have to pay me silencing money. He wrote what he knew the teacher wanted to hear. When I quized him on reading, he did say that when he starts a book, he finds it very hard to out down but he knew he’d written the biggest porky pies in history…and was grinning about it!!! xx Rowena

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    Find out more about Ronovan Hester’s collaboration with P.S. Bartlett for the new book Amber Wake over on Sue Vincent’s blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Ronovan Hester on how to create a character…and a brand new book! | Annette Rochelle Aben

  5. Annette Rochelle Aben says:

    Yo, ho,ho, ho and a bottle of rumchata!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Kim says:

    Nice. Saving this for my edit and coloring I do when I write the second draft!
    (Also a historical novel)

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Lots of food for thought here. Thank you for sharing and congratulations on the book. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Ronovan says:

    Reblogged this on ronovanwrites and commented:
    Here is my blog tour stop with author Sue Vicent. Here I explain how I came about creating characters for Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling, my debut novel.

    You don’t know what it does for you when people like Sue invite you to share on her site.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Ronovan Hester on how to create a character…and a brand new book! for @SCVincent site. – Author Ronovan Hester

  10. Pingback: The Tour! Which one have you missed? – Author Ronovan Hester

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