Sherri Lupton Hollister

Bringing Characters to Life

I have had people ask me about my characters. Most who know me are surprised by the rough language my character, Rae Lynne Grimes in Chrome Pink used. I’ll be honest, Rae Lynne wasn’t always easy to write. She had a dark side filled with a lot of pain that was often difficult to tap into. But I wanted to be honest with my readers, Rae Lynne, a rape survivor, would not be all sunshine and roses. It was important to me and anyone who’d been through something like this, to have a character who was believable. I hope I did that. I also hope, that as people read this story, they realize there is hope. Rae was able to put the pieces back together again with the help of the people she loved. She would never ‘get over’ the rape. It would always be a part of her. But she didn’t have to let it define her. With therapy, support and time, she would learn to trust again. Most importantly, she’d learn to trust herself.

While Rae Lynne is a bit of a ball buster, I like her because she is tough. She went through some terrible things, but she dug her way out of the pit and found her peace. I felt it was important for Rae to already be on her journey to recovery before introducing a man into her life. While I love a hero, the truth is, we have to learn to save ourselves. Logan entered her life at a time of change. He didn’t change her. He believed in her, and to me, that is what a hero is. Logan saw the beautiful woman she tried to hide with piercings and tattoos.

Rae was at her core a good person. She did not always do what was right or smart. Too many times alcohol and drugs made her decisions for her, but clean and sober, she has shown us the beauty, strength and courage of a survivor.

Dana Windley, like Rae just wants to be loved for who she is. She is a strong, vivacious woman. The kind of woman any man would be proud to call his yet all she seems to be finding is losers and bed buddies. She knows she deserves better but the fish in her pool seem to be stagnated.

Dana was fun to write and easier because she’s a bit of a people pleaser. She genuinely likes people but she strives hard to make people like her as well. Like Dana, I’ve had to learn that not everyone you meet will like you and sometimes, it won’t matter what you do.

Dana and Jake seem like opposites, at first, but as we delve deeper we find that, like Rae and Logan, they have unique things in their pasts that make them the perfect match for each other. I believe the perfect couples are those who give each other strength. They build each other up, encourage and cheer one another on to be the best they can be.

Dana likes to be busy. Her thwarted acting career must be channeled into a menagerie of interesting activities. She has a lot of creative energy and uses it for the betterment of her community. Like the women who inspired this character, she is a force of nature and without her the would suffer.

While Dana is confident and competent in many parts of her life, her love life doesn’t measure up until she runs into the one man who truly values her. Isn’t that what we all want; to be valued for who we are?

When my husband and I started dating, I didn’t know he drank. He didn’t for a long time, maybe a beer or so after work. He knew I wouldn’t tolerate a man who drank a lot. I didn’t ask him to change. He changed because he wanted to be with me. He said I was worth it. It is the one thing that surprises his family and friends, I never asked him to stop drinking because I didn’t know he did. In the twenty-seven years we’ve been together I’ve never seen him drunk and only known him to over indulge twice, both times were with our sons after they were grown.

My advice to a man or woman who is looking for someone to love? Find someone who makes you want to be the best you can be but believes you already are.

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