Interview with Rick Johnson (Hero in Her Heart’s Desire)

Today I thought it’d be fun to bring in the man Sally and Ethel Mae have been scheming about in order to get him to fall in love with Sally.  Naturally, he doesn’t realize these two delightful women are planning such a thing, so I can’t mention it in the interview.  😉

Hi, Rick!  Thanks for coming by to talk to me.

The pleasure is all mine.  I’m actually glad you asked me for an interview.

You are? 

Sure.  I figure you know Ethel Mae better than anyone since you’re the author who created her.  I’d like to get some insight into what she wants in a man.

Oh, well, perhaps you ought to ask Sally Larson about that one.

I’ve talked to Sally.


To be frank, I don’t know if her idea will work.

What idea?

What do you mean “what idea”?  You’re the one who wrote it into the book.

Considering the book is still being written and people haven’t read it yet or might have missed the story excerpts, I figure you can come out and say it.

Very well.  Sally thinks if I pretend to be interested in her, then Ethel Mae will take more of an interest in me.

Do you doubt that Ethel Mae is interested in you?

I know she’s fond of me, but I’m not sure if she likes me the way I like her, you know?

You want to be reassured that she’d like to marry you.

Pretty much.

The problem with women is that they don’t often come out and say what they want.  Sure, there are a few who will, like Emily Craftsman, but typically, unless you come out and ask, they aren’t going to tell you anything.  And even then, some won’t.

That doesn’t make any sense to me.  Why don’t they just come out and say what’s on their mind?

Because that would make life too easy for men.

*sigh* So what you’re saying is that women enjoy making men wonder if they want to be courted or not?

Some women.  Besides, you have to understand that part of the mystery is that women don’t want to look like fools.  What if they laid it all out on the line and told the men what they wanted and he doesn’t return their feelings?  Rejection is hard to take.

You think it’s easy for a man when he’s rejected?

No one likes to be rejected.  But let’s face it.  Not everyone is going to be compatible.  If the spark is there, it’s there.  If not, it just isn’t.  You can’t force these things.

You can since you’re the author.

*laughs*  Oh Rick, if you understood how many of my characters give me problems and refuse to do things my way, you’d understand that I can’t just make Ethel Mae tell you what she thinks about you. 

That doesn’t make any sense to me.  You created Ethel Mae.  You’re typing out the story on your laptop.  How can you not be in control?

Writer’s block.  If I oppose the characters, they won’t show up to work, so to speak.  But you know, you’re doing great so far.  I’m happy with how the book is going so far.

I’d feel a lot better about the book if I knew who the “Her” is in “Her Heart’s Desire”.  Are you referring to Ethel Mae? 

I can’t tell you that. 

Why not?

Because as an author, it’s a bad idea to give too much away to the character who’s supposed to be oblivious to certain plot elements.

So what you’re saying is, I’m the smuck who doesn’t know anything.

No, I didn’t say that.  I’m just saying that it’s crucial to the plot if you don’t find out about certain things until later in the story.

Hmm…  How much later?

I’m not sure.  I’m thinking you connect the dots around 25,000 to 30,000 words.  We’re at 9200 right now and the plot has just been established.

What plot is that, exactly?

Getting you married off, of course!  You’re the hero, so you’re going to be the one who wins the girl.

Right.  Except you aren’t assuring me the girl is Ethel Mae.

You’ll have to keep showing up in the book to find out, but even if I can’t explain everything to you at this stage of the game, I promise you’ll end up happy.  It is, after all, a romance novel.

I’m not sure I like the sound of this.  Why do I get the feeling that this story isn’t going to turn out the way I hope?

Because life often doesn’t turn out the way you think it will.  Very few of us can predict how things will play out.  We just have to take it one day at a time and see where things go.  That’s part of the adventure that is life.  If we knew everything that happened before it did, there’d be no surprises.

Ah, but some surprises aren’t good ones.

True.  I’ll give you that.  But you’re in a romance novel, so you’ll be fine.

I hope that means I end up with Ethel Mae.

*shrugs*  I’m not saying either way. 

Did we get anything accomplished in this interview because it seems like we went in circles.

We got to show people how little you really know about this book.

Yipee.  *rolls eyes*  I’m a main character and I don’t know much about my own story.  What a shining endorsement.

Oh, relax.  You’ll be okay.  And to give you some hope, once you do figure out what’s going on, you’ll get to turn the tables on a certain character.  You’ll gain the upper hand soon enough.

I guess I’ll have to take your word for it.

It’ll be great.  Trust me.  I came up with the idea last night and couldn’t sleep for two hours because I was so excited about it.  Well, I better run off.  I have children to get to bed.  Bye for now.  😀

About Ruth Ann Nordin

Ruth Ann Nordin mainly writes historical western romances and Regencies. From time to time, she branches out to contemporaries romances and other genres (such as science fiction thrillers). For more information, please go to or check out
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2 Responses to Interview with Rick Johnson (Hero in Her Heart’s Desire)

  1. another good one! 😀

    nice of you to offer him some hope there at the end 😉

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