Compelling Minor Characters

Lily White, the protagonist of my WIP, lives in Detroit and works as a P.I. She used to have a very different life, in Blue Lake, my fictional tourist town on Lake Huron in northern Michigan. Lily started as a minor character in my first Blue Lake novel, Blue Heaven. Even in that book, she threatened to take the story over. She was a little brat, just 17 years old, a damaged runaway. The way I tamed Lily for that story was to tell her someday she’d have her own turn.

Then I forgot Lily until I began writing Love and Death in Blue Lake. Searching for a subplot, I thought, wouldn’t it be fun to bring Bob and Lily back after they’d graduated college? I wanted to see what would happen to them. I kind of figured they’d get their happy ending. Sometimes plots don’t go the way you plan, but I was pleased with the way Love and Death ended. It felt right somehow. Lily got into a whole lot of trouble, and she settled some old scores. When she rode out of Blue Lake leaving a broken-hearted Bob behind, I had no idea where she’d end up.

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Sorry for the spoiler about Bob, but it is a very minor one. He gets his own story in my upcoming (November 2016) release Blue Lake Christmas.

Lily of course couldn’t let Bob have his own story without demanding a bigger, better one of her own. Well, to her it’s a bigger city, Detroit, and a better mystery, because she’s the one solving it. I’ll be working on Lily’s story for the next several months. If not years. Lily has layers and I’m taking my time uncovering them.

And yes, she’s already insisting that she should have her own series. I’m not sure about that, but what I do know for sure is compelling minor characters can take your stories further than you’d ever imagined.

 

 

The Mysterious Series

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There’s been quite a bit of activity on the part of my unconscious self, and I’m thinking today is the day I am reining in all that ‘intuitive’ business. I have tasks needed done now, rather than spending my days chasing down just exactly what I am doing with this paranormal series called “Traveling Girls.”

Everything I do with these books is out of sequence, disorderly, not my usual MO while writing a novel. First, I started putting up scenes from Gypsy, the mother of the series, on my blog. Then for Christmas, I put the entire book on my website for free. Happy Holidays! Next, I  once again interrupted the book of my heart, just days from its being finished, to indie publish Gypsy I haven’t done a lot of promo, but expected I’d give Gypsy some free days on Kindle at some point.

Then a chance meeting with my Gypsy cover artist the other day resulted in me telling him about what I’d heard regarding New Adult series. (If Gypsy is the mother book, the traveling girls are her NA offspring.) One of the things I heard about NA series is that readers like the covers the same, not exactly, but similar enough to be recognizable. James* said “I have the perfect cover for you.”

I didn’t even have a name for the second book yet, although I had pulled the manuscript out of the deep file it was buried in. So James and I did a bit of brainstorming and between us figured out how to fit “Traveling Girls” into the cover. I found my perfect title. The image is stunning, but really, a cover before a properly edited story? I just didn’t want him to sell it to anyone else. Once he sells a cover, he takes it off his “buy” shelf.

So I decided it would be fun to put the cover up as a blog post. Ha! I have this thing, I don’t know why, but many, many of my photos get cut off when I transfer them from my pictures to Word Press. I tried so many fixes, and my lovely friend Bodicia offered to help as hours were going by and I was not getting the image right.

I tried a few more things and presto! I had my blog entry. Just the new cover shot with the new book title, but I loved it. The title was at the bottom instead of the top, but that’s fine. Then I noticed my sidebar was blank. Oh dear. I went ahead and tried to correct it but when all came to nothing, took Bodicia up on her offer to help. She restored my book images and links as well as some other stuff.

I do have plans for this series that mysteriously inserted itself into my conscious mind, front and center, at a not-so-great time. Maybe it’s good cosmic timing. You will be hearing more about this paranormal series soon, but for now, I’m keeping it under wraps until I can wind up that book of my heart that I finally finished.

*If you’d like to inquire further about James and his work: aepbookcovers@gmail.com