Character Talk Tuesday-Nicole Brady

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

My Name is Nicole. I was born and raised right here in Peakview in that big white house across the street from the café.

So you’ve always lived here.

No, I left for college in Fort Collins and then moved to San Francisco. The big city was fun and exciting, and I met a guy who I thought was fun and exciting also. Until he wasn’t. When it all fell apart, I came back to the only place I felt safe.

Why had you stayed away so long?

My mom died from cancer. There were so many memories of her here. I hated coming back to a home without her. Oh, I loved my dad, but it just wasn’t the same.

Had this town changed when you came home?

The town itself not much, but the people. Dad was engaged to Vickie (who I’ve learned to love, by the way) And then there was Rick.

Rick?

My wonderful husband, Rick Brady. I’d known him since kindergarten. He was the skinny, nerdy kid we nicknamed., Scarecrow. I never gave him the time of day. But boy did he fill out nicely! And I discovered what a wonderful person he was. He’s a vet, and we live and work on his ranch. Life couldn’t be better.

Anything you’d care to share that we don’t know about you?

I’m an amateur artist. I love to sit outside our home overlooking the Brady Ranch and paint. Stop by sometime and I’ll show you what I’ve done.

Good people and Happy Endings

LoveI write romances because I love happy endings. That’s one of the criteria to be a romance novel there has to be a happily ever after. Why do I like this so much? Well, I’ve always been an optimistic person, but at my day job I’m a divorce attorney. Yep. Not many happy endings in my line of work, rather I see on a daily basis love that once existed turn to bitterness and even hate. It’s sad and wrong. So I escape and write romances where happy endings do exist. Where people are loving and not hateful.

Sometimes in the real world we can lose sight of that. Especially with some of the things that have happened in our country and the world in recent days. We could start believing that there is more bad than good, more sadness than happiness. I watched in horror as the Orlando shootings rocked our country. But then, a week later I had the privilege to be an adult leader for a mission trip to San Francisco with an amazing group of 21 high school aged kids. These kids gave up 10 days of their summer vacation to travel long hours to work with the homeless population in a big city. I was overcome with pride each and every day as I watched their compassion, caring, and hard work. They were truly making our country a better place by their actions.

Then this week, once again, horror unfolded in our country. This time with the seemingly unnecessary shootings of two black men by police and then the unthinkable massacre of police officers in Dallas. What is our world coming to? I asked. So much tragedy and killing. Where were the good people? Then I got my answer once again. My daughter is an ER doctor at Parkland hospital in Dallas. These amazing doctors were tasked with helping save slain police officers, many of whom were their personal friends and colleagues. Some who  didn’t make it. But then in the midst of tragedy, good people once again showed up. On Friday their ER was inundated by the good people of the Dallas area, total strangers bringing food-packages of candy, cookies, tacos, donuts, pizza, all to express their support and gratitude. They even received 200 sandwiches from the Orlando hospital who had dealt with their own shooting a few weeks earlier.

There’s good in this world if we look for it. Good people will prevail over evil ones. And I’ll always believe in happy endings.

 

 

RIP Derek Shepard

derek shepardWhat makes a memorable character? As writers we all strive to create memorable characters. Those that our readers can identify with, fall in love with, not want to live without, cry and laugh with. The trick is making these fictional personas come to life. I think a lot about what makes this work. Nothing illustrates this point quite like the surprise and unfortunate demise of Dr. Derek Shepard, aka Dr. McDreamy this past week on the TV show Grey’s Anatomy.

Now Grey’s has been on the air for eleven seasons, and I have been a faithful viewer since show number one. There have been major characters come and go before, but the backbone of the show has always been the relationship between Meredith Grey and Derek. Women all over fell in love with the dreamy doctor, so much so that in the second or third season the nickname Dr. McDreamy emerged. The role propelled little known actor Patrick Dempsey into super stardom.The very first scene of the very first show has them meeting in a bar. Classic. For eleven years we followed their ups and downs, highs and lows, love and hate, marriage, birth of children and finding their way together. Just when we thought all was well, BOOM (literally he was hit by a truck) Derek was gone.

What surprised me more than what happened was my reaction. Now I admit I am a softie when is comes to shows and movies. If its a good show I cry somewhere before the end. But this show literally left me sobbing, and sad–for hours! I had to turn the TV off when it was over. The sadness was too overwhelming to watch anything else. How could this have happened? I write romance and we always have happy endings. I so wanted the show to end someday with them living happily ever after.

Even more surprising was when I clicked on the Grey’s Anatomy Facebook page the following morning to find that over 3 million, that’s right 3 MILLION people had done same since the show aired less than 10 hours prior. And the almost 40 thousand comments ranged from sadness and despair to anger and rage. People were SO upset, threatening to never watch the show again. A few days later I saw a petition with tens of thousands of signatures being circulated begging the show to somehow miraculously bring him back.

As a writer all I could say was WOW, WOW, WOW. Shonda Rhimes, despite her current status slightly below the devil himself, had created a character so real that millions were grieving his death. That’s what we strive for. We should all be so lucky!