Secondary Characters Gone Rogue by Maggie McGinnis
Before I started writing seriously, I used to listen to authors talk about how their characters would take over their books. I was mystified. You’re the author, I’d think. How in the world did you not know what this character was going to do? She’s a figment of your imagination! You created her! You OWN her, for goodness sake!
In every single book I’ve written, I have a slate of characters I plan to work into the mix. Some have starring roles, some are the JV players, and some are barely supposed to appear. However, there’s always at least one character on that JV-B team who goes rogue and decides to take things in his or her own hands. Part of the fun is not knowing who that’ll be until I’m well into the book.
In Accidental Cowgirl, Ma and Roscoe were two of those characters. Originally, I figured retired trooper Roscoe would pull Kyla over in Chapter 1 and we’d never see him again. It didn’t happen. Ma, on the other hand, was going to be the strong, capable, quiet-ish woman-in-the-background while everyone else took center stage.
I completely fell in love with this woman once she started talking to her boys. She’s tough as sun-baked leather, but her love for her sons is squishy, bone-deep and powerful. If I needed a second mom, she’d totally be in the running. However, I’d never ever want to get on her bad side. (Hot sauce, anyone?)
Yes, I felt pretty smug way back then, sitting at my first Romance Writers of America meeting, wondering how these seemingly-perfectly normal women had lost complete and utter control of their own books to characters of their own imaginations.
That would never happen to me, I vowed.
How about you? What’s your favorite kind of secondary character? If you’ve read Accidental Cowgirl already, who do you hope gets his/her own book someday?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Maggie McGinnis is the author of Driving Without a License, which was a finalist for Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart award. A former high school English teacher, an accomplished musician, and a certified black belt, she lives in New England with her family.
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