Saturday, August 23, 2014

Favorite characters are not always the main characters

Let me clarify my title a bit. Yes, I love my main characters. I couldn't write about them if I didn't. But sometimes a supporting or minor character will pop up out of nowhere and that character will dwell in my mind for a long time.

Although I love the male and female protagonists in my romantic novel A Caribbean Summer, my favorite characters are two supporting ones, namely Amos, the brother of Peppy, and the mysterious "Johnny" who doesn't appear until close to the end. From my point of view, "Johnny" puts everything into perspective.

In my mystery novel The Chameleon Chase, one of my favorite characters is the one and only murder victim! Originally, I had not planned to kill that character but there was a time and place when I needed a victim so I had to make the sacrifice. I do realize that particular character might not be endearing to the reading public or seemingly all that important.

And I can never forget Nutty Norma in The Pool Lizards. She isn't exactly my favorite character in that book but she provides a lot of entertainment. I even brought her back, briefly, in The Groundhog Lounge.

And in my mystery novel Death by Salsa, I kill off four supporting characters whom I really, really like. I also kill off some despicable ones also. To tell the truth I like most of the characters in that book, especially the two married couples: Hannah & Clay and Sherylynn & Marty. But the mysterious Tex is the one who intrigued me the most.

In Who'll Kill Agnes? the police chief's wife is one of my favorite characters. She plays a small role but always seems levelheaded next to her bumbling, misguided husband. I may bring her back in a short story or two.

In my short story titled Margarita (the first story in The Doorbell Rang), the title subject is my favorite of all the characters I've created so far. Her life is the life that sometimes I wish I had had. I created her in my mind soon after my own adventures in Mexico and had a premise for a story or novel. But I never wrote the story until last year. As most of my stories go, it went in a slightly different direction than I had intended. And at the moment, not only is the title character one of my favorites but so is the story.