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  • Paula Altenburg

Competitive Characters

The obstacle course scene in The Montana Sheriff was hands down the most fun for me to write, and judging by my editor’s comments, she loved it, too. It really showcases Dan’s personality. It’s told from Dan’s point of view, so the reader gets to see what’s going on inside his head. He’s a little competitive:

He powered through the tire obstacle, leaping from one to the other, then grimly swung across the monkey bars with his stomach clawing its way into his chest. He was breathing heavily now, but he’d seen a defibrillator on the wall so figured he should be fine. Jazz and Brody were both first responders, and if things did reach that point, he’d have to live with the shame. Or die from it. He was good with that, too.

He sneaked a peek at Jazz. She looked bored.

He took a running start and cleared the next wall. Thank God he was tall. By now Brody was finished with the course and had jogged back to help cheer him on.

“Go, Dan. You got this,” he said.

Dan hoped the guy burned in hell. One of his lungs had already collapsed and the other had sprung a slow leak. He had to ask himself who he was still trying to impress, because if it was Jazz, that ship had sailed at least two obstacles back.

And then we have Jazz’s response to Dan's attempt to impress her:

Jazz wondered what the penalty was for accidentally killing the county sheriff, because Dan looked like he might die. Challenging him to an obstacle course race might have been a bad idea. Halfway through, when it became obvious he wasn’t going to quit, she’d felt mean.

I love Jazz. Check her out here.


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