I’m a great believer in creating strong female characters. Not the kick-ass action hero kind but women who stand up for themselves and what they believe in. They may not all start out as emotional warriors but by the end of the story they have developed new strengths as a result of their experiences.
The Crossroads has three protagonists so I had the challenge of making them different from each other in terms of their strengths and weaknesses, and having each of them overcome their particular flaws in order to come together as a family.
Rosie O’Shea is the eldest of the women. She is the solo owner of The Crossroads Hotel, carrying on the mantle passed to her by her late husband Mick, one that is increasingly becoming both a financial and personal burden. Rosie is the kind of woman you can rely on – tough as nails on the outside but buttery soft underneath – and once she makes a promise she’s determined to keep it, even if it’s to her own detriment. Rose hasn’t been in a romantic relationship since Mick died five years ago but when David Ryan walks into the hotel it dredges up a whole lot of memories for her – ones that she had long since buried.
Stephanie Bailey, is Rose’s daughter and along with her husband Bryce runs an enormous cattle station that has been seriously affected by the drought. Stephanie faces challenges of a different kind to her mother. She too is more than capable but is feeling more and more constrained by her husband’s chauvinistic attitude. Dealing with his moods, juggling the demands of family life and working on the property means she has to dig deep to maintain her calm and composure. Stephanie is walking a tightrope where her marriage is concerned and as the situation gets worse she is forced to face some home truths.
The third character, Faith Montgomery, is a city girl who discovers something about her past that leads her to The Crossroads Hotel. Faith has led a privileged life and finds the heat, accommodation and her new bar job more than challenging. Raised to value honesty, the lies she tells when she arrives in Birralong sit uneasily but once she has locked herself into them it’s a situation she finds hard to reverse. Drawn into the lives of the people in the town she soon finds herself questioning her choices, particularly where Cameron Bailey is concerned. Fate forces her hand and draws the three women together in a way none of them could have anticipated.
I so enjoyed creating and developing these three women and I hope readers enjoy meeting them and seeing how their stories unfold.