Inspiration Behind the Book: Runaway Bride (Mark Tanner’s Past)

runaway bride november coverWhile writing the scene I post yesterday, I discovered Mark’s past.  One of the best things about writing a book is finding out about the characters.  When I start a story, I have an idea of what the first chapter is going to be.  I really don’t know much about the character until I start writing them, and there is no better way to learn about a character than to write in that character’s point of view.  While I was writing Suddenly a Bride, all I knew about Mark was that he was more outgoing and wiser to the ways of the world than Chris.      Chris was very naive, and honestly, he’s one of my favorite heroes because of it.

But Mark couldn’t be like Chris because as friends they had to balance each other out.  I’ve noticed in my life (and you might have noticed it, too) that I tend to be friends with people who are opposite of me.  I’m quiet and shy, and I tend to be attracted to people who are more outgoing and social.  There’s something about their personality that draws me out.  And I also tend to be highly motivated to get out and do something, and I notice those closest to me tend to be more mellow.  This is a nice balance for me, and in addition to having friends this way, my husband is also the same way.  I believe certain personalities work best together.

So if I have a certain character who is one way, there is usually a different type of character who’ll come into the story who is the one to balance that character.  With Chris, he was all trusting and believed that everything would work out when he left his planet.  He went to Earth with a life mate picked out for him.  Mark, however, couldn’t leave that kind of decision to someone else.  He had to be the one to pick her out and pursue her.  Most importantly, he had to know that she chose to be with him.  That was why he continued to take his sex inhibitor.   Sex for men on Pandoran came with a lifelong commitment, and Mark wanted his decision to be based on emotion and logic, not sexual desire.  He wanted to make sure he married the right woman.

Mark’s job on Pandoran was to create simulations that would allow men to live out their fantasies.  If you’ve seen Star Trek: The Next Generation, then you know what the holodeck is.  It’s a program that allows you to enter any world you want to with characters that seem like real people.  Mark’s job was to program the worlds and characters the men wanted.  The job came with a lot perks and high pay, and he was one of the best programmers they’d ever had.  Because of him, they were able to incorporate females into the simulations.  Mark’s motivation for creating females came from a desire to have a wife.  Since there were no women on their world, he thought it would be enough to have one in the program.

And he created many different women where men could program the personality of the one they wanted.  His simulations were so good that it was hard to tell fiction from reality.  He ended up falling in love with the woman he had selected in his simulation, but one day he realized that the love was empty because she wasn’t real.  This moment was a painful for one for him, but it was also when he made his decision to go to Earth so he could love a real woman who could love him back.  He doesn’t want just any woman.  He wants a woman who will be his other half–one who will complete him and balance him.  There is only one woman who will do that: Lexie.  So while we all know they’ll end up together, the fun of the story will be in how they find they’re happy ending.  😀

About Ruth Ann Nordin

Ruth Ann Nordin mainly writes historical western romances and Regencies. From time to time, she branches out to other genres, but her first love is historical romance. She lives in Omaha, Nebraska with her husband and a couple of children. To find out more about her books, go to
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2 Responses to Inspiration Behind the Book: Runaway Bride (Mark Tanner’s Past)

  1. I’m like you, in that I learn about the character as I write him or her. The character is developed as I get to know them. They don’t always behave as I expect them to. LOL

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