Love at First Write

I tend to fall in love with my secondary characters. Not that I don’t love my heroes and heroines. I do. But my secondaries?

They’re in a class by themselves.

Part of the reason they’re so important to me is that I often model them after people I know, usually students. It’s not a way of saying a student is one of my favorites. They’re all my favorites. I love teaching. Yet a distinct personality or even a name will call to me novelon a level I can’t explain. Maybe it’s a “writer thing.”

Or I’m simply insane. That’s what my husband has been saying for years…

While I can use humor with a hero or heroine, I can let a secondary go to an extreme. Eccentricity becomes the rules of the day. The peculiar way she dresses. His odd mannerisms. Her unusual way of speaking. Being able to write about all those things and more is turning an author loose on a literary playground. At least for me…

My favorite secondary characters have to be Sheila and Bruiser from the second of my Damaged Heroes stories, Free Falling. Picture a small, demure legal secretary who dresses in Dockers, angora sweaters, and understated jewelry. All of about five-foot tall, she is often msj-ff3istaken for being a high-schooler. That’s Sheila. Add the personality of an Army drill sergeant, and she becomes the character with the best one-liners I’ve ever written.

Her boyfriend is the stereotype of a Hell’s Angel. All leather and attitude and height that towers over most people. But he looks at Sheila through the eyes of love, and together they make the most mismatched and devoted couple I’ve ever created. Since Bruiser is a private investigator, I’ve decided I might owe him and Sheila their own book one day. A nice cozy mystery perhaps.

That’s the last great thing about secondary characters. You don’t always have to tell them sj-damagedheroes3goodbye. Oftentimes, they can reappear to vex or assist other heroes and heroines. Or they can even be elevated to a starring role.

***As a side note, Free Falling is in the new Damaged Heroes Collection, which is on sale for 99 cents beginning March 3rd on Amazon and Barnes & Noble!

The set includes Murphy’s Law, Free Falling, All the Right Reasons, Faith of the Heart, and Twist of Fate. All for only 99 cents for a limited time.


Love at First Write — 4 Comments

  1. Great post, Sandy. I love the poster above, “Careful or you’ll wind up in my novel.” I need to turn that into a t-shirt. I think you’re one of the few authors I’ve heard admit that their characters are modeled after people they know. Not that we don’t all do it, we’re just not always as forthcoming about it. LOL.

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