John and Emma – two real characters

Unlike having a child, when one can only assume there will be a family resemblance, and you pray they will make wise choices, and you want so badly to live long enough to know the men or women they’ve become–when a writer births a character SHE/HE can choose–though to be honest, the characters take on such a life that often you seem to have no control at all over their destiny.

In my mind, my secondary hero and heroine in the series I’m punching into the computer, have become very clear and dear. While in their youth they may have been the beauties we conjure up for our romances, these two have lived enough life to know that true beauty comes from within, that a man’s word defines him, and that new love is possible at any age.

John Wenghold is the crusty, wizened owner of the Feather ranch in the Flint Hills of Kansas. He’s never shared his boyhood home with another woman–until his dying brother asks him to look after his three daughters. John has a lot to learn about the ways of a woman, and at the same time has much wisdom to impart about the ways of life. And niggling at the back of his mind–and heart–is the way of one Emma Ledbetter, widowed owner of the mercantile. John prides himself in all matters of life…but we all know that pride can lead to a big fall. Will it be for Emma? Remember–John isn’t the real hero of this story…or is he?

Emma Ledbetter is the widowed owner of Ledbetter Mercantile, in the small town of Cedar Bluff, Kansas. She’s known the love of a good man, and the hardships of living on the prairie. She’s tough, because she’s had to be–but wise because she knows Who is in control. “John Wenghold is as old as dirt, and I’ve known him since he was just a speck of dust.” Thus she defines their friendship. She becomes a substitute mother and confidante to John’s newly arrived Chicago niece…but could there possibly be a speck of ‘dust’ in her eyes?
Like, Sara’s story–this one may never get published. But John and Emma have become a huge part of my writing journey. Though you will recognize the pictures, this is as close as I could get to my own imagination. They are as real as life to me. I only hope one day you may meet them, and love them as I do.


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9 responses to “John and Emma – two real characters”

  1. Cherie Gagnon says :

    I love Uncle John and his crusty ways. A very endearing character! Anyone else who’s had a peek into his life would agree 🙂

  2. Susan Mires (@susanmires) says :

    I’ve really had fun meeting your characters. I think they’ll be in a book some day.

  3. Sara Meisinger says :

    Uncle John is pretty much who I expect, but not Emma!! How fun to see who you had in your head. Next time I read a scene with Emma she’ll sound completely different in my head!! How fun. Thank you for including pictures!

    • julane hiebert says :

      Really? It does help to have a visual of them, doesn’t it? I would think by now, you would be tired of hearing them in your head!! But thank you for all the times you’ve been willing to listen. Never fun to travel alone.

      • Sara Meisinger says :

        I’m not sure who I pictured/ heard, but it wasn’t Merelda Cuthburt! But, NOW I can see it and she’d play the part well. As for traveling alone, I’m not sure any of us would make it too far! I wouldn’t have made it out the front door.

  4. Susan Hollaway says :

    Loved the insight into your characters, Julane.

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