So I’m in the midst of Book II of my first paranormal romance series. I’ve plotted out all five books already—plotlines, romantic couplings, story arcs over the course of the individual books and the story as a whole. I’m set. And what happens…?
Well, Jeremiah, to be exact. You see, Jeremiah is the brother of the heroine of Book II. And like most other characters in this series, he has a dark past. Jeremiah plays as much of a role in this story as all the other secondary characters. He doesn’t get extra page time. He has the same amount of snappy dialogue as everyone else. But while planning Jeremiah’s back story, I got a little…engrossed.
Soon, I’d written pages of notes on not only his whole sordid past and how it related to Book II, but I’d actually gone and written scenes…scenes that Book II had no room to support. My secondary character’s notes became very distracting—and expansive (25 pages so far!). I realized this particular secondary character was calling to me. No, not just calling. DEMANDING! If all the other secondary characters were getting their own books, why couldn’t he?
I found myself setting Book II on the side to figure out how and IF I could do what Jeremiah wanted—and, admittedly, deserved. I knew if the series got published, readers would want to know more about him. They would want him to have an HEA just like all the others. In fact, they would probably demand it as much as Jeremiah did. And after going through a hellish past and an even more hellish ordeal in Book II’s black moment, I realized Jeremiah deserved an HEA of his own.
Thankfully, it didn’t take long to hit me. The series is paranormal so I created a way to bring his supposedly-deceased wife back from “the dead.” Only, of course, there would be a price. Jeremiah was going to have to go through hell all over again to get his HEA, deserving already or not. Readers would probably hate me for making his life miserable all over again, but—hey—he got his way and now had his very own book all to himself! And we love it when our romance heroes redeem themselves. Am I right, ladies?
My five-part series is now a six-part series with Jeremiah’s currently set for Book III. The more time I spend with him, the more I believe that I made the right choice. Just as I made the right choice to take my western novella, Blackest Heart, and expand on it! Not only did it win1st Place
in the 2009 More Than Magic’s Novella category. It was chosen for a paperback anthology, July’s The Way Back Home, AND its two sequels, Bluest Heart and Bet It On My Heart, are slated for publication in 2010. I’ve learned to go with my instinct…or rogue characters, in this case. Usually, it pays off and I’m all the happier with the work as a whole!
So writers – it’s your turn to sound off! Do you have any rogue secondary characters knocking down your muse’s door? Are (and how are) you indulging them?
Readers – what secondary characters have you read that you thought deserved their own story? Did an author ever make you deliriously happy by giving one of your favorite secondary characters a chance to redeem themselves in their own book?
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Amber Leigh Williams
Historical, contemporary, western, suspense…
Every romance under one roof! Visit today!