Saturday, November 03, 2012

Donna Alward: Birth order…

When Fiona, Shirley and I sat down to write our Holiday Miracles trilogy, we had to sort out our sisters first. Who was eldest, middle, youngest? What were they like? What was their role in the family? In a lot of ways, I think our characters have a lot of OUR individual characteristics.  Shirley’s character, Grace, is a bit glam, independent, daring, fun. I’d use those words to describe Shirley (and add in another one: stylish!). Fiona’s character, Faith, is a bit of a peacemaker. She’s NICE. She doesn’t cause a lot of waves and in some ways removes herself from drama (there’s a reason why all three sisters live on different parts of the globe!). And my Hope – well, she tries to look after everyone. She takes a lot of responsibility on her shoulders. She likes to be in control so she knows things are done RIGHT.

Yeah. Like me. LOL.

But it got me thinking about birth order characteristics too.

So let’s have a quick look at birth order traits and if they suit our characters (quite unintentionally, at least on my part!):

OLDEST: strict, bossy, organized; a stickler for the rules, a high achiever who likes to please others. Oh my goodness- yes to all of those! Hope definitely shows oldest child characteristics!

MIDDLE: Often feels left out, often is. Tries not to make waves, even-tempered. Kind, helpful, generous, artistically inclined and introverted. Well, I can’t say for absolute sure since she’s Fiona’s creation, but that DEFINITELY sounds like Faith to me!

YOUNGEST: Creative, risk taker, good sense of humour, good at getting what they want, looks up to siblings, used to being pampered. I can tell you right now, that Grace is definitely creative (she’s a travel writer!), takes risks and travels all over the world, has a sharp wit, and is generally used to getting her way. Which makes butting heads with the hero soooo much fun….

So where you do fit into the birth order? I have some traits of the youngest child, but since my siblings are much older, I find I have a lot of traits of the oldest too. And a few, perhaps, of the only child, especially since I particularly liked to hang around my sisters and their friends who were much older, though I don’t think I have a sharing issue. J

You can catch the HOLIDAY MIRACLES trilogy right now – SNOWBOUND IN THE EARL’S CASTLE is an October release from Harlequin Romance, my SLEIGH RIDE WITH THE RANCHER is a November release, and Shirley’s MISTLETOE KISSES WITH THE BILLIONAIRE is already available via and will be in stores in December.

Happy reading! And please stop by and visit me at and see what’s happening with the Romance line at


Pat Cochran said...


My twin brothers (6 yrs younger) have
always said that I am bossy! As the
eldest of nine, I had to be firm as
Mother's helper. They still say I am,
even now when the 6 of us still living
are all over 65! I've never told them
that I agree with them, as I do fit all descriptions of the first-born!!

Pat C.

Mary Preston said...

I'm one of seven. I come in the middle, but at the younger end of the family. The oldest of the youngest set. If that makes any sense. We all have such strong personalities.

Kathleen O'Donnell said...

I am one of five and the only girl.. So I could be the younger sister or the older sister. I fall second in line, but I have traits of being the oldest int he family. I have always been the take charge one of my siblings. I am so orginaised it drives them crazy sometimes. Now that my mom is gone I am the matriarch of our family and with dad gone too, my oldest brother as assumed the patriarcal part of the family, but everone still turns to me when things need to get done...

Donna Alward said...

It's funny how we all have our place, isn't it? My brother is definitely who my mom views as the patriarchal head of the family. I'm the only one who lives more than 20 min away from everyone, so I'm the long distance sibling!

Cathy Shouse said...

What? I made the first post--must be lost in cyber space.
I'm the middle child and I hope I don't have all the problems middle children seem to have. You will have to ask others. We never really know, do we? :)

Read excerpt from "Sleigh Ride With The Rancher" earlier this morning. Loved it. Interesting that the heroine is from Australia. Have you been there? Any special research involved? I met a couple of Aussies and they call sweaters "jumpers."

Please let me win, for having to post this twice! lol

Lory Lee said...

I'm fourth from the eldest, we're 10 in the family including my parents, five boys and 3 girls. I'm very much close with everyone, specially with my younger sister. I'm very one who fixes some house and electrical problems when my father and older brothers aren't home.

Donna Alward said...

Cathy, I haven't been there. Lucky for me my character is American and not Australian - I just transplanted her there for work - so I didn't have to worry about the fun terminology!

That being said, I love all the complexities of the English language and reading books set abroad always give that exotic feel, you know? Love it. :-)

Eli Yanti said...

I have 2 brothers and 2 sistes, i'm the youngest, i'm very close with my brother who only different 2 years with me, we always play the same thing, can imagine i'm like a boy :)