Meet Jasmine: My trainwreck heroine

As we get closer to the release of the first in my romance novella series, Where You Left Me, Vol. 1, I thought it might be fun to introduce you to the main characters in the same way that I meet them. On a worksheet. Because of COURSE, that’s where I start (I have a slight addiction to making worksheets.)

Ah, the character possibilities!

So, this worksheet is the first thing I fill out when thinking about a new story. One sheet to keep all the ideas in one place because the mind isn’t what it used to be! I tend to start with an image. I use Google and scroll through people who meet my basic requirements of age, hair color, etc. Then I print that image, glue it in the appropriate box, then the real fun begins!

Who is this character? What makes them tick? What are things about them you might never see on the page but will influence their choices? What do the want vs what do they need? Two very different things. One is what they think will make them happy, the other is what really will. That one difference becomes your story arc and results in your book’s theme. It’s important stuff to think about before you even write a word.

So for Jasmine, I knew she had a short pixie cut. I don’t know how I knew that, I just knew that she did. Naturally, one of the very first images that came up was ALICE from Twilight. Y’all, if you don’t know I’m a Twihard girl, well, now you do. I was HOOKED on those books/films #TeamEdward (don’t come after me.) I looked at that picture and said, yeah, Jasmine gives off Alice vibes at least in the look department. Sold. Alice became the physical inspiration.

Even in that awful wig, I could see the frame of Jasmine

After I have that, I can work on the basics: Job, Age, Family, Friends, and most important for my books: who is the romance with?

That’s when I can dive into the last section. The nitty-gritty stuff that will make its way on the page in a subtle way.

Instantly, she feels like someone fun to write to me.

Next post, I’ll introduce you to her love interest. *swoon.

If you want to see how Jasmine comes alive in the book, not to worry, you can pre-order! Hehe. The book goes live on Feb 8, 2022.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/32DkLM4
B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/where-you-left-me-dani-bannister/1140823397
iBook: https://books.apple.com/us/book/id1602398564
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/where-you-left-me-1
Other Platforms: https://books2read.com/u/4Ap79A

Da book trailer!

Danielle/Dani Bannister, author and character creator!


Still single. And why that’s okay.

Why YES, Valentine’s Day IS around the corner. And YES, I WILL be single for it. Again.

It’s been MANY years since my divorce. So many that I’ve literally forgotten how many. Seven-ish?? My memory with time is about as good as it is with names. My kids were in elementary school, and now they are in high school, so awhile. In that time, I have gone out with a few people since the divorce but none of them stuck. And that’s likely because of me. Not because I’m flawed or broken (we ALL are) but because my needs are different at 45 than they were when I was in my 30s.

Insert fictional boyfriend’s initials here.

At first, it was terrifying to be on my own. And for several months after the divorce, I had no idea what I was doing. But since then, I’ve come to terms with life and the quiet of my house when my kids are at their father’s. Being alone isn’t as scary as it used to be. I’ve settled into it. Embraced it.

While I’ve not subscribed to the crazy cat lady mentality yet, (mostly because I’m allergic to cats) I’m not resistant to the idea because I can see where they are coming from. They can get their cuddles and affection from their fur babies while also maintaining their independence. Kind of a win-win.

Since I can’t have pets where I live, where can I get that “affection?” That feeling of someone caring about ME and my desires?


So many book boyfriends, so little time.

Through the eyes of my characters, I can live out hundreds of different romance scenarios I’ll never experience personally. I’ll write the dialogue of words I’ll never hear, men I’ll never meet, women I’ll never aspire to be like, but through their words, a part of me lives through them. When I write two lovers embracing, it’s not just for the character’s sake, but for mine as well. I can imagine the situation right along with my readers. There is a satisfaction to be had in that.

If I’m not in the mood to write, I can always turn on the television and get swept away in shows like Outlander, or Bridgerton, or yes, even Twilight. Fiction is an escape, not only for readers, but for the writers too.

At the end of the day, being single is probably a good thing for my romance writing. If I ever were to be in a relationship where my emotional needs were being met, I might have to switch genres and write murder mysteries… and that might not end well for any of us. 😉

Danielle Bannister, author and still single Sassenach