I feel like I’m friends with the people in your stories, but I know that means that you must have put tons of time into making those characters into real people. How do you do it?
With my major characters, such as Kate, Anders, and Erik in the Northwoods novels and Libby, Caleb, and Jordan in the Riverboat Adventures, I ask myself, “What does this character want? Then, “How can I say no?” That way my characters get really motivated and conflict develops.
I also try to develop characters that have both strong and weak character qualities. If a strong quality goes too far it can become a weak characteristic. For instance, Jordan is so courageous that at times he can be too brave, and it borders on recklessness.