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Savvy Characters are NEVER “too stupid to live” by Kathryn Jane


Yikes OR YES

How the heck do you create a character with flaws,

and put her in dangerous situations while avoiding this ugly misstep?

  • By learning how to brilliantly navigate dicey situations
  • By discovering how an emergency situation could/should/might unfold
  • By understanding how to be prepared for anything from a screaming smoke alarm to a hurricane or earthquake.
  • By becoming inventive with the type of situation you put your character in.
  • By discovering innovative ways for your characters to be vulnerable, and make mistakes,
  • By learning how an emergency situation should unfold, you will see places where you can create a simple misstep to put your character in danger

Examples for your fiction:

  • When the bad guy is coming through the back door, your heroine needs to be going out the front, and she needs to have her go-bag in her hand. Won’t work if it’s upstairs in her bedroom closet.
  • When the smoke alarm is shrilling and your heroine makes a bee-line for the door—grabbing her kid, a cat, and a dog on the way—will she remember her car keys? And what happens when the cat panics? Does she turn it loose on the street? What if her child needs daily meds, did she think to bring those with her?
  • When a sexy firefighter pounds on your heroine’s door and tells her she has to get out now, does she just leave? Should she grab anything first? (Besides the gorgeous guy?)
    • Psst … Do you have firemen in your books? Please say no. They are called firefighters…. Always!
  • A huge storm has knocked out power and your cell battery is dead. When your basement is filling with water and you need to get out what do you do? What do you take with you when a rescue boat comes by?
  • Your heroine’s car plunges off a bridge and into the river. How the heck does she get herself out of this nasty situation? How hard is it to break the window of the car while it’s sinking?
  • Your smart heroine smells smoke and dials 9-1-1. Can she answer the first question they ask? The second? Can YOU?

Okay, take a breath. Relax.stop

Because all these examples while a perfect set up for a “too stupid to live,” situation, can be avoided, heck can be handled brilliantly, with a bit of training, and lots of cool knowledge.

And this is win-win time, because my Emergency Preparedness workshop will not only set you up to write great self-sufficient characters but will set YOU up to deal with emergencies which could pop up anytime in your own life.


2017 was a year of horrible emergency situations in North America.

Here in Western Canada where I live, we had devastating wild-fires which displaced thousands of people, whole towns were evacuated, and miles and miles of land were left charred and smoldering.

In Florida, and Texas, hurricanes and flood water ripped people from their homes and changed lives, some permanently.

In California, homes were consumed by wildfire at a speed so incredible evacuation routes were cut off and lives hung in the balance.

Did any of the people involved expect this to happen to them?

Not likely.

Were any of them prepared for just in case?

I don’t know, but I hope lots were. hearts

And I hope lots of you sign up for my Emergency Preparedness workshop so you too will be armed and ready if Mother Nature decides to pick on the place you live, or if you have characters who should never be, “too stupid to live.”

This workshop will:

  • Arm you with simple tips and tricks.
  • Prepare you for survival if you have to run from your home.
  • Help you be ready to help yourself.
  • Assist you to create your own emergency kits
  • Provide you with information which will help you achieve peace of mind.
  • Introduce you to a wide variety of emergency situations for solid plot building
  • Ensure you have excellent, relevant, useful and functional information to use while creating vulnerable, yet emergency savvy characters (no more damsels in distress!)


…and voila, two birds, one stone/workshop.


Sure hope you join us next week for a ton of great information in easy to digest installments! In the meantime, here are a few handy tips.

  • Three items everyone needs to have within an arm’s reach of your bed.
    • A flashlight
    • A pair of shoes or boots
    • A phone
  • Three “safe” places for items such as notes to family if you have to evacuate
    • Oven
    • Fridge
    • Freezer
  • Three important details when preparing your pets for evacuation
    • Travel crate with photo ID attached
    • Water dish
    • The scent of their human (a pair of your socks, or a blanket from your bed, etc)
  • If your character goes down in a plane crash, what common items would do her the most good?
    • A mirror
    • A plastic tarp
    • Trail mix


In my latest book, Into the Sunrise, Dusty has to do some pretty awesome “thinking on her feet” when her world tips on its axis. When it looks like she’ll never have what she’s always wanted in life, she finds another way to get to where she needs to be, and finds out there’s really no such thing as never.

Into the Sunrise is a women’s fiction standalone novel, which has a bit of crossover with my Romantic Suspense series. (Dusty and Chase show up in the next Intrepid Women story).


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Kathryn JaneKathryn Jane writes page-turning mystery, adventure and romance in the form of Women’s Fiction, and Romantic Suspense. She also writes and narrates a wonderful collection of Short Stories about stray and feral cats. Her spare time (she says laughing), is spent spreading kindness and joy to family, friends, and strangers alike through her painted rocks and

Living in the Pacific Northwest, Kat is blessed by being surrounded by everything she loves–the Pacific Ocean, the color turquoise, her aging but charming prince and his sappy dog, and of course, Miss Mavis, a grateful but opinionated feline who somehow ended up homeless in her senior years.



INTO THE SUNRISE by Kathyrn JaneInto the Sunrise by Kathryn Jane

A love story of epic proportions.

On the back of a horse Dusty has skills equalling that of any man, but when her feet hit the ground, her ability to cope with reality is sadly lacking… until.

Until life slaps her so hard getting back up might not be possible.

Dusty’s new journey takes her from a ranch in western Canada to a reservation in New Mexico, and the discoveries she makes along the way are beyond life-changing, and a love like nothing she’s never imagined are the reward at the end of a rugged trail not meant for the faint of heart.

Buy this book!


  • C
    Connie Parrott
  • February 7, 2018
Great idea for a course, Kathryn! I live in Houston, and while we were lucky to live on high ground, my sister, my brother and my brother-in-law all had homes flooded...and they live across town from each other! One on the SE side, one on the NW side, and the other on the NE side. Incredible.

You may well be saving lives with this course. Not to mention helping me resuscitate some of my characters. Thanks in advance!
    • K
    • February 8, 2018
    Thank, Connie! I look forward to sharing with you!
      • K
      • February 8, 2018
      Goodness, Thank requires an S ! :D
  • M
    Marsha R. West
  • February 14, 2018
Good post, Kathryn. Just saw this and shared. :)