I like creating characters. I was a lonely child and had lots of imaginary playmates. Now as a writer I get to put all those fun people down on paper. The thing that’s most interesting to me though, is the way those secondary characters tend to capture the imagination of my readers. I put in a lot of work on my primary characters. They typically have long a long backstory much of which doesn’t make it into the book. My secondary characters are typically created on the fly. Take Nate Randolph, the hero of my current WIP Dark Star. Nate was part of Tonya’s backstory, her long-lost love who takes off for the Peace Corps and is never heard from again. So when I was writing Rock Star I knew someday I’d do this story reuniting her with this secret agent man. The interesting thing is the way he popped up in Try a Little Tenderness. In that story once I’d stranded Koss and Lola on Ile de Lina, I needed a way to get them out again. As initially written Koss was going to do a rescue type thing and save Lola, but really that made no sense. Koss is one sexy geek, but he’s no commando, it seemed crazy to have him going up against professional mercenaries alone. So, I went through my catalogue of characters for a fighting man, it worked perfectly to have Nate show up and help them out. Also, Nate was talking to me incessantly the whole time I was writing Try a Little Tenderness. It was deucedly hard to finish that book because he simply wouldn’t SHUT UP! I had to put him in the book or lose my freaking mind. It wasn’t a big part, but boy did it have impact. I’ve had more emails about Nate than any other character I’ve created besides Tonya. And once I revealed that he was Tonya’s long-lost love the interest went stratospheric.
Another more recent character is Jacinto from Buttercream. He doesn’t even appear in the book, yet something about the adopted Vietnamese man with the Latino name who lives in a yurt in Kansas making goat cheese struck a chord with people. I do plan to do a whole series of novellas about this quirky little family which is near and dear to my heart, but this interest in both him, and Poppy’s sister, Daffodil caught me by surprise. I love off-beat characters and I think I’ll have a lot of fun with these ersatz hippies.
For the writers who read this blog, how about you, do you have secondary characters that have taken on a life of their own? Forcing you to write their story NOW! Readers, how do you feel about secondary characters, how much is too much? Do you enjoy having them, or are they a distraction?
From the appropriately named, Chocolicious Reviews. I especially love this quote:
I was very pleased to discover she could up the heat without losing any of the sweetness that I expect when I pick up one of her books. I highly recommend this book.
See, I told you I was hot and sweet!! LOL
…and other third party vendors. I know some of you prefer to buy at sites such as Amazon, ARe and FictionWise, that’s why I get so excited when my books become available at the third party sites. Of course, they’re always available at Loose Id as well. For those of you who’ve read Buttercream (or any of my books) do me a massive favor and review them at Amazon or Goodreads. It makes a huge difference. Remember a review can be just a few sentences. Thanks for your help.
Check out this review from The Literary Nymphs. I particularly love this quote:
Buttercream is a beautifully written story that will leave you wanting to read it over and over again. Readers will bond with the characters immediately, as if they were next door neighbors. If you have never read a Roslyn Hardy Holcomb story, you are missing out. Just let Buttercream be your first, and I can guarantee you, it won’t be your last.
Isn’t that freaking awesome. Got to put that on my website.
Look what they said about Buttercream.
Love this quote:
Overall this is an excellent quick read that anyone who has the time should read. This is the first and definitely not the only story that I will read from this author.
Amazon.com: WAR (9780446556248): Sebastian Junger: Books.
As y’all know Sebastian Junger is the absolute love of my life. Someday I’m going to write an absolutely nauseatingly Mary Sue book starring the two of us, until then I’m usually salivating to get my hands on anything he’s written. I’ve been waiting for his latest, War, to come out in paperback. Well, guess what Santa left in my stocking? Yep. It’s so good I read it in two days flat. This man is so unbelievably talented he seriously makes me want to step away from the keyboard.
Reading his account of life in the Korengal valley in Afghanistan has inspired me to do a serious rewrite on my book, Buttercream. The lead character in that book is a helicopter pilot, and I’ve got all types of insights into what that life is like, that I never had before. I think it will result in a better, more well-rounded book.