Secondary characters are fun to write. They are not burdened by the heroic responsibilities of the two main characters. With this leeway, an author is allowed to make the secondary characters fun, shady, goofy, or bumbling without detracting from the over-the-top qualities necessary for the hero and heroine.
Two of the most enjoyable secondary characters I’ve writtern were the aunts, Lizzie Mae Fraser and Maggie Jo Gamble in my Men of Stone Mountain series: BRAZOS BRIDE (now available), HIGH STAKES BRIDE (releasing this week), BLUEBONNET BRIDE (end of 2012).
|Available now in print and e-book|
These two ladies are loosely patterned after my mom (as Maggie) and her older sister, Elizabeth (as Lizzie). Both have passed on now, but either would have done anything for her children. The sisters were always close and, as widows, grew even closer. Aunt Elizabeth always found something nice to say, and was one of the world’s best cooks. My mom was more critical or, as she was prone to say, “just let her know what I thought,” but she was tireless when it came to helping her children. My youngest daughter and I were reminiscing just Sunday evening that my mom also made the world’s best pies and candy.
When they were together, my mom and aunt were such fun. I had tried to get them to move near me and live in a duplex so each had privacy yet still had the close companionship of the other where I could look after them. My mom was willing. Aunt Elizabeth hesitated and then learned she had colon cancer, which ended her life. One of the joys of writing is that the author can accomplish in print what was not possible in reality, so I brought these two sisters together in fiction to enrich the lives of one another and the lives of their family (as the models did their children in life).
Releasing later this week in Print and E-book
In series, secondary characters can become the main characters of later books. In the Men of Stone Mountain series, brothers Zach and Joel were supporting players in Micah’s story, BRAZOS BRIDE. Each brother will have his own book, so readers can follow their developing relationships throughout the series. Each character must continue to change, to move forward in his character arc as the series continues. In Zach’s story, HIGH STAKES BRIDE, readers see Micah and Hope as parents of a son, Andrew. Micah remarks that he never realized it was possible to love a child who can’t even talk yet as much as he loves Andrew. Micah also helps Zach face the truth.
As you can tell, my books often feature family relationships. What I’ve enjoyed about writing the Men of Stone Mountain series is that the three brothers are closely knit. They may look at life in a slightly different way, but each is loyal to and supportive of the other two. I love that in a family, don’t you?
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