Character Interview: Tori Henderson talks about Jesse Cochran

Character Interview of Tori Henderson from A Run for Love


I’m excited to welcome Tori Henderson today to my blog. She’s stepping ahead in time to be here with us, since her story takes place during the historic Oklahoma Land Run. Take a seat, Tori, and make yourself comfortable.

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

As you said, my name is Tori Henderson. Until a short time ago, I was a teacher in Kentucky. My brother, who was a widower, passed away suddenly, and left me with his four children to raise. So I quit my job, and moved to Kansas to take care of them.

That sounds like you had to make quite an adjustment, but I know there is more. Tell us what upset your ordinary world and brought you into contact/conflict with Jesse Cochran.

My ordinary word was disrupted when I decided to make a grab for free land by entering the Oklahoma Territory Land Run. Mr. Cochran was one of the Runners.

What was your immediate reaction to Jesse?

Dislike. He was trying to grab the sticks I’d found on the ground to make a fire for my supper!

Beyond his trying to steal your sticks (the rat), what did you first think of Jesse?

What an annoying man he was. Arrogant and condescending.

Uh-oh. I’m seeing problems ahead. Were you annoyed that Jesse was getting in the way of your goal?

Well, he certainly tried to, anyway. He told me a woman with four children could never succeed in the Land Run. Can you imagine his nerve?

Hmmmphf! Men! What were some of the other headaches/trials you faced in dealing with him?

After we settled in Guthrie, Oklahoma—yes I did manage to secure a piece of land, I found, much to my dismay that this arrogant busybody was my next door neighbor! He continued to interfere in my life, telling me how I should arrange my house, how he should look at my teaching contract because I might be cheated.

Yes, he was a bit on the annoying side, but did you feel attracted to him anyway? Or an immediate resistance to him?

Both. He is definitely good looking, and charming. However, I was engaged to a good looking, charming man who left town a week before our wedding. No thanks, I’ll stay far away from Jesse Cochran.

Understandable, but sometimes what we know to be best is hard to do. Who made the first compromise in an attempt to make peace in your relationship?

He did. When I accidently turned up pregnant–okay, in all honesty, I did have a part in it—he insisted we get married. It took some doing to convince me, and I have to admit I gave him a hard time. But afterwards I didn’t want him to tell me what to do just because I wore his ring. That caused some more problems.

I see some definite issues to overcome between you two. What led to the moment when you thought everything was lost between you?

A tragedy that pushed me into a deep depression. I knew everything was lost.

Yet you managed to make things work between you after some ups and downs, some painful decisions. Would you go through all of that again?

Part of it I would never want to go through again, but Jesse wouldn’t give up.

Good for him! I wish you both a happy future together. Thank you, Tori, for sharing with us today.


Now I’ll grill the author just a little…

Callie, what drives you to be a writer?

The amount of stories running around my head. It’s a way to turn off the voices, lol.

(Starla) As a fellow writer, I totally understand all of the voices running around in your head.


What do you do to get away from the stress of writing?

This is a hard one, because in all honesty, I don’t find writing stressful.

(Starla) Generally speaking, I don’t either…unless I’m right up at a deadline and my characters aren’t cooperating like they should.


Do you use a pen name? If so, why?

Yes. Callie Hutton is my pen name. It’s a way to keep my writing life separate from my ‘real’ life.


Where do you find inspiration for your stories?

Everywhere. In movies, other books, things people say, things they do.


Do you have a regular writing process?

I try to write every chance I get. I usually put in 30+ hours of writing a week.

(Starla) That’s pretty good, and I do the same. But some writers really struggle to find that much time to write per week.


Callie, do you have some “words of wisdom” for other writers, especially new writers?

Read. Then read some more. And more.  Books in your genre, out of your genre, on the craft of writing. And write, no matter how hard it may seem at times. And keep writing, even if it makes no sense, and you think it’s horrible. Then go back and fix it. But keep writing.

(Starla) Excellent advice and thanks for sharing a little about yourself and your thoughts on writing.


Now, let’s talk some book specifics for A Run for Love…

Title:  A Run for Love

Genre:  Historical Romance

ASIN:  B006FQX866

Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing

Release Date:  November 23, 2011

Buy Link: Amazon


What was unique to this particular book?

A Run For Love is about one of the most fascinating episodes in American History, the Oklahoma Land Run. Guthrie, Oklahoma had a population of zero when the sun rose that morning, and a population of 10,000 when the sun set.


Was there anything that surprised you while writing this book?

How brave the men and women were who actually participated in the Land Run


Did you have a favorite character in this book?

Jesse. He’s truly my idea of a hero.


Did you have a favorite scene?

When Tori gets involved in the March for Decency, gets into a bar brawl with whores, and ends up jail.  I still laugh when I read it.

(Starla) It is always fun to write something that you, the writer, can enjoy, too…something that makes you laugh or cry.


Were there scenes that were particularly hard to write and why?

The scenes about Tori’s depression. Because I went through a depression in my twenties, so I knew how she was suffering.


Will there be any sequels to this book?

There already is.  A Wife By Christmas features a grown-up Ellie Henderson, who gets in quite a bit of trouble. That book was released December 1st. And right now I’m working on Michael Henderson’s story.



TORI HENDERSON wants independence, freedom and no husband.  JESSE COCHRAN wants a new start, far from the crippling effects of a childhood stained by being the whore’s kid.

It’s April, 1889 and the Oklahoma Land Run is about to begin.  Since they’re going to be evicted from their Kansas home, Tori needs land to provide a home for her four nieces and nephews. After the unexpected death of her brother, she became their only parent. Jesse wants to leave his past behind, and practice law.

Their first encounter in Arkansas City, where thousands have gathered to await the firing of the cannons to begin the race, has them snapping at each other.  His opinion on a woman participating in the Land Run without a husband certainly reinforces her opinion of domineering males.  It’s easy to dismiss each other, however.  That is until the dust settles after the Run, and they end up next door neighbors in Guthrie, Oklahoma.

Will these two survive life together when an unintended pregnancy forces them into marriage?



Pastor Dave put his arm around her again, and attempted to ease her up.

Tori flung his arm off and jumped up, slipping on the rubble.

“Leave me alone! All of you. You can stop looking at me like that, too. No one is stopping me. Do you all hear me?” Her fists scrubbed at the tears running down her cheeks as she faced them.

“Jesse never gave up on me.” She pointed a shaky finger at the pastor. “He never gave up. Never! No matter how many times I pushed him away, he never, ever gave up. You didn’t know that, did you?” Her voice lowered, and she rubbed dirty, bloody hands down her skirt, her voice shaking. “I’m not giving up on him, either.” She flung her arm out. “So you can all go on home, but I’ll be here until I find him.”



Author Website:  Callie Hutton

Facebook: Callie Hutton

Twitter:  Callie Hutton

Amazon Author Page:  Callie Hutton

Email:  [email protected]




19 thoughts on “Character Interview: Tori Henderson talks about Jesse Cochran

  1. Starla Kaye

    Welcome, Callie, I love that excerpt! After knowing that he earlier tried to stop her from taking part in the Land Run…now she’s determined to find him. I’ve got to buy this book!

  2. Bonnie

    Hey, now I know what I’ve been missing out on. I especially like the format set up for the interviews. Excellent content and presentation. Only a writer knows how much research goes into their book, so this is insightful information.

    Bonnie J. Myrick Eaton


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