I had my characters all worked out.
Ivor had suggested I make the main male character a helicopter pilot running a deer recovery operwation in the High Country.
My main female character would be a United States Army Colonel.
But about five thousand words in to my first draft a neighbout pointed out that I had the setting wrong. There are no feral deer in the mountains of our east coast. I would have to set it in Fiordland.
I did a bit of fiddling and then as I had them telling each other their back story they really switched things around.
HE says he was a sergeant in the Ready Reaction Force, N.Z. Army. o.k. I said, but your name, Kyle Blaze is American.
You got it wrong, he told me. My mother is from California, she met my Dad when he was backpacking through the States on his gap year. Three years later he went back and they got married. He actally grew up in Temuka.
So choose yourself a Kiwi sounding name. I told him.
Then the Colonel butted in like the bossy female she is. You can call me Blaze and the sergeant can be Glover, we'll just switch. And while you're about it can't you make me a bit younger or Kyle a bit older? Ten years is a hell of an age gap.
I'm writing a thriller, not a romance I told them.
Then I want to hunt deer in his helicopter she said.
No way. He said.
I've got my pilot's license and I can use a rifle. After all, I am a U.S. Army Colonel.
They were still arguing when the rain started.