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Victoria James on Secondary Characters and GIVEAWAY!


Author Victoria James is talking about secondary characters. She has a new book out, THE RANCHER'S SECOND CHANCE. You can read reviews here.


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Over to Victoria now...





The Allure of the series and secondary characters…

It occurred to me the other day, when adding a page on my website for ‘The Tall Pines Ranch’ that I never really set out to write a series. Or, at least I never used to. My ‘Red River Series’ sort of evolved. My latest book, The Rancher’s Second Chance, wasn’t started with the intention of writing more books set on that ranch. So what happened?

Secondary characters. I’ve always loved reading stories where family and friends play an integral role in the book. I guess it’s no surprise then, that I like writing books like this as well. But this did come as sort of a surprise. 

My secondary characters just take on a life of their own. I should be used to this by now, but I was pleasantly surprised when my editor wrote in the margins of The Rancher’s Second Chance that I needed to write the best friend’s story now. I loved that, because my hero’s best friend (Gage) grew in personality as I wrote that book and I knew as well that I needed to write his story.

So how does this happen? How do secondary characters take on a life of their own without stealing the main character’s thunder? Let their personality shine through in dialogue with the main character. I’m more of a panster than plotter, so for me this happens without planning ahead of time. Also, it’s important to have a little mystery surrounding their background-for you and the reader. I found myself intrigued by Gage’s backstory and how it has shaped him. By the end of writing The Rancher’s Second Chance, I had a fully fleshed out story for my next Tall Pines book. I took notes on Gage as I wrote Rancher. And then a week after I finished revisions for Rancher, I submitted a proposal for Gage’s story.

I love revisiting characters and places. For me it’s like coming home. So if you want to expand the personalities of those secondary characters, give them a little freedom! Let them have a significant enough role in the first book, without revealing too much.

Thanks so much for having me on your blog!


Victoria's latest release...
The Rancher's Second Chance



Widowed rancher Cole Forrester is all about running his family's ranch and guarding his heart. The last thing he's looking for is love, but when his little sister can't make it home to handle some of her wedding details, he's forced to entertain the event planner, Melanie Simms. Melanie is everything he's not even remotely interested in: she's high-society, complicated, and high maintenance. But when he's stranded with her at his remote cabin in the Colorado mountains, he realizes he's seriously underestimated her. She's hiding something about her past from him, but despite everything, he finds himself falling for the last woman he ever expected, and the first woman to make him want to give his heart and risk everything...



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15 comments:

  1. I love secondary characters as well. They always steal my heart. :)

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    1. I love it when they get their own book too! :)

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  2. Secondary characters are so fun! They often end up as my favorites, and I can't help but write about them too :)

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  3. I love secondary characters. They give the story more depth and of course create more stories. I find that sometimes many secondary characters help bring put the good qualities of the main character.

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  4. Man, is this another one of the joys of being a pantser? LOL. I'm such a plotter, and I know everyone's back-story as I write! BUT as a reader, I really love it when authors do what you did, and turn an intriguing secondary character into a main character in another book :)

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    1. LOL, Liz! I've tried so many times to be a plotter, but it just doesn't work for me :)

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  5. Secondary characters can really surprise us, can't they? I've certainly been surprised by the way some readers really latch on to secondary characters of mine and want to know more about them. So it sounds as if you've got a natural hit with you next Tall Pines book.

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    1. Thanks so much, Helena! It is nice to hear when readers fall in love with secondary characters, isn't it?

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  6. Oh yes, secondary characters add colour and variety. They are often the real characters! I'm also a pantser!

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    1. Thanks Val, glad to hear I'm not the only pantser!

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  7. When I'm reading, I enjoy fully developed secondary characters. Often they're cardboard cutouts.

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  8. Yay for well rounded secondary characters - they do so give a story more depth to a story!

    Lovely to meet you, Victoria and I do so hope Cole takes a chance on mysterious Melanie! Take care
    x

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  9. Sounds great! I love secondary characters. ;)

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Join the discussion. What do you think?