Here is a behind the curtain look at how a character is born, shaped, and grows behind the scenes before he/she is ever published in a book. This behind the scenes look is about Jo Leighfield, main character in my upcoming novel.

How it all started…..

Jo wasn’t always going to be a paraplegic. She started out being able to walk, just like every other character in every other book I’ve ever read. But, there was the problem with one of the other characters later in the novel. I had a character that I didn’t want to kill off in the escape, but I didn’t see any other way. Everyone could not make it out alive during the escape, I had decided, but just who would I sacrifice? With this quandary, my brilliant wife offered up a solution. She suggested that I have the character that I didn’t want to sacrifice during the escape, Meredith, push Jo, who is now in a wheelchair, out to safety.





At first, I had difficulty processing this because Jo walked into the compound and I had envisioned her running out, so why would she need to be pushed? I finally grasped what she was saying, and realized, yet again, her true brilliance. So, I decided to change Jo to have paraplegia. Not knowing a single paraplegic or much about paraplegia, except for all the stuffy, boring, medical aspects, I still jumped, or rolled, head on into this character change.

Tribewriters Conference and meeting Sergio

First, Sergio is such an inspiration to anyone. He has done remarkable things with his life and he credits his injury that put him in his wheelchair. His life is so much more fulfilling and amazing now because of the changes he made to his view, his life, and his spirituality. I was honored to have met Sergio. One of the things he said, clicked with me. Sergio said that after the injury people told him that he couldn’t do things. He decided he was going to do those things and more. His paraplegia gave him a drive he never had before and likely would have never developed. That clicked for me with Jo, that’s where her drive came from too. It all came together in my head for Jo in that one conversation.

Sergio has turned what could have been a tragedy into a blessing for him and his family as well as others around him. He is reaching out to others to help them with their struggles as well, not just with adjusting to life in a wheelchair, but also adoption and family and struggles in general. Please check out his website You’ll be glad you did.

On another note, when I introduced Sergio to my wife, I never saw ‘the look’ from him. I still look for ‘the look’ when meeting new people, especially christian people. You may not know the look, but it is sometimes a look of disgust or shock or even anger. It is generally brief and it happens when they realize you are not straight and therefore must be gay. His smile never faded and he was as gracious to Sarah as he had been to me. This confirmed to me his excellent character.

Please visit Sergio’s and his family’s webpage, .com and check them out. They are an inspiration to us all.

Stay tuned for future updates on my upcoming novel and more behind the scenes look at its creation. Thanks for stopping by today and…

May your muse be with you!