Thank you for inviting me to blog today about my new release, The Mistress Memoirs, the latest installment in the Boscastle series. I hope everyone is hanging in through these last weeks of winter. I don’t know about you, but I am more than ready for a little mild weather. I can’t believe it’s almost Spring and I have a chance to talk to you again.
One of my favorite things about writing a book is creating secondary characters. Unlike the hero and heroine in romantic fiction, sidekicks aren’t held to the highest standards. Often the more flaws that a supporting character reveals, the stronger the protagonist appears in contrast.
This doesn’t mean the main players have to be perfect, but by the end of the book they should have changed for the better.
Secondary characters are allowed to be static. Even so they can serve as connectors and sounding boards and threads that can either loosen or tighten the tension of the plot.
Sometimes, however, a secondary character steals the show. At this point the author might need to put the brakes on and realign before the book becomes unbalanced. It’s always a compliment when a reader asks if a supporting character will have her own book. Usually my answer to that is not yet. But if enough readers are interested I will try my best to include a popular secondary character in future books. Still, I have to wonder whether this character’s sins would be forgiven once they have to stand in the spotlight. It seems to me that the weaknesses allowed a supporting player are what make them appealing. And even though I know that happy endings are the rule in romance, I do enjoy writing a few wild cards in the background.
My favorite supporting player in The Mistress Memoirs is Georgette Lawson, a moderately successful courtesan who is happy enough in her dream world until her first lover, Sir Colin Boscastle, returns to ruin her life again. Georgette is as lazy as hell. She’s a terrible mother. Although she loves her children, she doesn’t have a clue how to take care of them. She relies on their governess, Miss Kate Walcott, for everything. However, in order to write an entire book about Georgette, she would have to go through a rigorous process of redemption, and I don’t think she’s quite ready for that yet.
Can you think of a secondary character in a work of fiction who has become compelling enough to demand their own stage? The most current character that comes to my mind is Daryl Dixon of The Walking Dead whose quirky mix of bad-ass and baby brother has taken the show’s fans by storm.
**Giveaway Alert** We have one copy of The Mistress Memoirs to give away. Leave a comment on this post answering Jillian's question from above for a chance to win! US only. Please note: You must include a valid email address with your comment to be eligible. Contest ends: 2/28/13 @ 11:59pm.
Jillian Hunter is the author of twenty-one published novels. Her books have been printed in twelve languages and have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestseller lists.
This book is available from Signet. You can buy it here or here in e-format.
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