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One single dad plus twin toddlers
A formula for her new family?
Since his wife left, fireman Shay Campbell has focused on work and his twin toddlers. But the lovely Natalie McDowell is making him rethink that decision. She’s great with his boys, and they adore her. But he can’t go through losing someone again. Will a dream job offer win Natalie’s heart, or does it belong to Shay and the twins?
Character Spotlight: 7 Questions with Shay Campbell, The Firefighter’s Twins
Heidi McCahan here, chiming in to offer an introduction to this interview with Shay Campbell, the hero of my new release, The Firefighter’s Twins. As a voracious reader, I am thrilled when an author pulls back the proverbial curtain and offers a glimpse of their creative process. I’m listening to podcasts a lot these days, and it is exciting for me to hear how other creatives capture an idea and then develop it into a form of art he/she can share with the world.
With that in mind, I’d like to offer a peek at how one of my favorite fictional characters, Shay Campbell, came to be.
The Firefighter’s Twins became a published novel because I entered one of Harlequin Love Inspired’s contests called Blurb 2 Book. Although I didn’t win, my editor adored the identical twin boys and invited me to re-submit the manuscript after completing my revisions. While I remember the day I decided to enter the contest, and still have screenshots saved of my name listed among the other contest finalists, it is challenging for me to recall a time when these characters were not fully formed. After spending so many weeks and months together, pinpointing the exact moment when a facet of their fictional personality developed seems impossible now.
However, now that the novel is finished and in readers’ hands, I have to make room for new fictional friends with their own stories to tell. Evicting Shay and Natalie from my imagination is not as easy as one might think. They will always mean a lot to me, because inventing them ultimately resulted in a traditional publishing contract, something I’ve dreamed of and worked toward for a long time.
Since I made him up, I know all the answers to these questions. However, when I started drafting the manuscript, there was very little I knew about Shay. It took some time to figure out that while he is handsome and devoted to his boys, he’s alsoa bit over-protective. Like many humans, he’s wounded by events in his past, so you can’t help but empathize with him. And I don’t know about you, but for me, empathy leads to rooting for the character to get everything he wants and needs.
Imagine this interview taking place off-stage. Prior to the opening scene in novel…
1. Share an experience that changed your life?
Becoming a father. Nothing quite prepares you for parenthood, no matter how much you think you’re ready, especially with twins.
2. Any regrets?
Plenty. The first that comes to mind is that my boys do not have a relationship with their mother. While I’m powerless to change that dynamic, I wish it wasn’t their reality.
3. Best gift you’ve ever received?
Apart from the boys, I’d have to say living close to my parents. Not everyone is fortunate to have family nearby, and my mother’s willingness to help care for the boys when I’m on duty at the fire station is truly a gift. I don’t know what I’d do without her.
4. Why did you choose to become a firefighter?
I like helping people. There’s a certain satisfaction in knowing I did my job to keep people safe.
5. Who are the most influential people in your life?
My grandparents. They spent a lot of time with me and stepped up when my parents needed them. I wouldn’t be who I am today without my grandparents’ influence.
6. Name something you can’t live without?
Labels on food packages. I have to know all the ingredients in almost everything because one of my kids has a severe allergy.
7. Three adjectives that describe you:
Loyal, trustworthy, strong-willed
About the Author
Heidi McCahan is the author of Covering Home, Unraveled, and Love Flies In. She is also an active RWA member and currently serves as secretary of the North Carolina chapter of ACFW. Heidi won the 2014 Idahopecontest, and was a 2015 finalist in Harlequin’s Blurb 2 Book contest. A Pacific Northwest girl at heart, she was transplanted in the South several years ago, and currently lives in North Carolina with her husband and three boys. Heidi is a huge fan of coffee, dark chocolate, and happily ever after, and can often be found enjoying a good cup of coffee and a great book. The Firefighter’s Twins, her first novel with Harlequin Love Inspired, is available now.
Heidi McCahan has put together a FABULOUS giveaway for readers! Click the image above to enter for your chance to win the tour-wide giveaway! One winner (US only) will receive:
Magnolia Market tote bag
Hearth & Hand Magnolia Notepad + tell your story pencil
4 magnetic bookmarks
$25 Amazon Gift Card
Gratitude journal + lists notebook
weekly planning pad
Things I Never Told You by Beth K. Vogt
Falling for You by Becky Wade
The Firefighter’s Twins by Heidi McCahan
Giveaway will run from midnight June 1, 2018 through 11:59pm June 11, 2018. It is subject to the policies found here.
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