Older and Wiser? Why I Love Writing Seasoned Characters by Kathleen Duhamel – Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Kathleen Duhamel will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Older and Wiser? Why I Love Writing Seasoned Characters

With age comes wisdom and insight, right? That may be true for some people, but when it concerns the older characters in my Deep Blue Trilogy, emotional growth often comes at a steep price.

My heroine, Claire Martin, is in her late fifties when she meets Rob, a musician she’s admired for decades. She soon learns that hero worship can be dangerous when her idol brings his emotional baggage into their new life together: a history of substance abuse and a complicated relationship with his (dead) ex-wife, not to mention a love child who shows up in Deeper (Book 2). Claire is forced to confront her own insecurities and decide whether she wants to continue her marriage under far different circumstances than she imagined. In short, real life issues.

Another character burdened by his past is guitarist and songwriter Artie Hoffman, half of the legendary rock and soul duo, Deep Blue. Although he’s a brilliant musician, Artie is relentlessly sarcastic and unfiltered, and his personal life can best be described as an emotional train wreck. Two failed marriages and a parade of young girlfriends have left him disillusioned and bitter about relationships.

Only when he nears age 60 does he begin to realize that he may be facing the remainder of his life alone, without someone to love, unless he’s willing to make some lifestyle changes. He meets Denise, an accomplished, attractive woman near his own age who’s not interested in a romantic entanglement. Will he give up on love like he has so many times in the past, or are his feelings for Denise strong enough to overcome his natural cynicism and win her over? Denise has some legitimate concerns about Artie, although her training as a social worker allows her to see past his rock star façade to the impoverished foster child he once was.

Even after these two get together, they have numerous obstacles to overcome: his jealousy of her boss and relentless work schedule, meddling exes, and a medical diagnosis that terrifies him.

Few, if any of us, escape middle age and beyond without dealing with illness, ex-spouses, kids and grandkids, aging parents, and career pressures. To my way of thinking, all of these challenges are also opportunities for deeper and more realistic character development.

After years of struggle and harsh criticism, happily married rock star wife Claire Martin has finally achieved the career success of her dreams. As the featured artist in an international traveling exhibit, she looks forward to her best year ever, while her husband, singer Robert Silver of the legendary band Deep Blue, contemplates a return to touring.

Things are also looking up for Claire’s best friend, Denise Hrivnak, who’s planning her wedding to Robert’s musical partner, Art Hoffman. However, what should have been most joyful day of Denise’s life turns to tragedy when an unexpected event forces both woman to contemplate the terrifying possibility of life without the men they love.

Besieged by the paparazzi and sick with worry, Claire waits for answers in a Las Vegas hotel room, thinking over her improbable relationship with Rob and praying that love alone is strong enough to bring her beloved husband back from the brink.

Enjoy an Excerpt

Before Claire can say a word, I glance across the room to see the older man rise from his chair and begin ambling toward us. When he gets near our table he announces in an apologetic tone, “I don’t mean to disturb your meal, but there’s something I’d like to tell you, Robert, and I’ll never have this chance again.”

Let me guess. He has a friend/relative/colleague who wants to be a singer/songwriter/musician and would I mind listening to his demo? I produce a cursory nod and he continues.

“My wife was a big fan of yours.” His shoulder sag. “She died a few days ago.”

Claire gives him a sympathetic gaze.

“When she went into hospice care, she asked for her little CD player and all her Deep Blue CDs. I wanted you to know your music gave her some happiness and comfort during her final days. Your voice was the last one she heard before she slipped away.”

An enormous lump rises in my throat, rendering me incapable of speech. Claire blinks back tears.

“Do you mind if I give you a hug?” she asks.

Without waiting for an answer, my wife rises and wraps her arms around the grief-stricken stranger for a few seconds. She takes both his hands in hers and says, “Your wife was fortunate to have had someone like you in her life.”

“We were married for 37 years.” His quivering mouth attempts a smile. “I always thought I was the lucky one.”

About the Author: Kathleen Duhamel is a contemporary women’s fiction writer and the author of the Deep Blue Trilogy (Deep Blue, Deeper, and Deep End) as well as the novella At Home With Andre. She wrote and illustrated her first short story at the age of eight, and has been a writer for most of her life. Her love of the written word continued throughout her varied career as a newspaper journalist and editor, public relations executive, freelance travel writer, and owner/operator of two small businesses. A native of Texas, she has spent most of her adult life in Colorado. She lives in the Denver area with her husband, a geriatric standard poodle, and a spoiled cat. She is a lifelong devotee of rock and soul music, contemporary art, and popular culture.

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Buy Deep Blue, Deeper, Deep End, and At Home with Andre, a Deep Blue Novella at Amazon.

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  1. James Robert says

    Congrats on the tour and thank you for the excerpt and giveaway.

  2. Thanks for hosting!

  3. Sounds like a good read.

  4. Thanks for sharing the excerpt!

  5. I liked the excerpt.

  6. Thanks for hosting me!

  7. I love cooking! What is your favorite hobby?

  8. Nikolina Vukelic says

    This book is “my cup of tea”, looking forward to reading it!

  9. I enjoyed reading your guest post. It’s rare that we see characters in the fall and winter seasons of their lives and they do make for good reading.

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