Secondary characters are just as important to the story as the hero and heroine. When I’m creating my secondary characters, I figure out their goal, motivation and conflict as it relates to the hero or heroine.
In “Unchained Memories”, the two most important secondary characters are Renee, Charlotte’s sister, and Matt, Clay’s best friend.
Sister relationships are always full of conflict and drama and the sisters in “Unchained Memories” are no different. When Charlotte and Renee were younger, they were best friends growing up in a loving household. They played together, shared secrets, clothes and dreams. But then tragedy struck and their parents died in a car crash that also injured Charlotte. Being the younger sister, a senior in high school, she was alone during her stay in the hospital and rehab. Renee was in college at the time, and did not take over the role of parent or nurturer. This affected Charlotte greatly, and the deep-seated resentment over this is clear in the beginning of the story.
Although Charlotte disrupts her life to return to her hometown of Princeton when Renee’s husband dies suddenly of a heart attack, she continually acknowledges to herself that Renee had not been there for her when she needed her. At first, Charlotte doesn’t raise the issue with Renee, who is not only grieving the loss of her husband, but trying to be in the present for her two young children. But after a while, Charlotte can no longer keep silent and the anger, resentment and blame come out. Charlotte and Renee have a lot to work through during “Unchained Memories” and the conflict between them adds heightened emotion to the story.
While Clay has several siblings, two brothers and two sisters, I did not use any one of them as the main secondary character, although they all have a role in the story. Matt is Clay’s best friend and colleague at the hospital. They are both ER doctors, having met during their internship at Nassau General Hospital. Matt is recently divorced and jaded about relationships. He gives Clay a hard time about dating Charlotte and hones in on the fact that Charlotte is a medical malpractice lawyer, the bane to their existence as doctors. Matt is a constant buzz in Clay’s ear to ditch the enemy before it’s too late, advice Clay doesn’t want to hear.
Although Matt tries to interfere with Clay’s love life and touts the benefits of serial dating, when Matt meets Renee, his own counsel seems to fall by the wayside.
Secondary characters have just as much depth as main characters, although they have less page time. The challenge is to make the readers care just as much about them as they do the hero and heroine. I have had many people ask me if I am now writing Renee and Matt’s story because they want to know what happens with them. I am thrilled that readers care, and once I finish my work in progress, I plan to explore their story.
What a fascinating tale! I think secondary characters help to move the story along. Thanks for taking a Saturday, to spend time with us and our readers today!!
Dr. Clayton Montgomery believes in working hard and playing even harder, until he reconnects with Charlotte. Barely noticing her crush when he tutored her ten years ago, Clay has a chance to make up for lost time when the beautiful lawyer comes back into town…until he discovers her chosen career path.
Now, philosophical differences soon become a reality and Charlotte is faced with the choice of representing a client against the hospital and against Clay. Will Charlotte give up her career and her tribute to her mother for a second chance with the man who got away?
My love of reading dates back to my childhood when I would borrow at least four books from the library every week. During the summer, I would sit in the house and read, until my mother, totally frustrated, would send me outside to play and lock me out. I always found my way back in. However, I must confess, I hated to write. In every English and writing class throughout college, I dreaded trying to be creative. As a friend from law school so aptly put it, “The reason why we’re here is because we don’t have a creative bone in our bodies.” I agreed.
Despite my dislike of creative writing back then, I embraced legal writing, and was first published in Volume 5 of the Fordham International Law Journal. My article was entitled “In re Mackin: Is the Application of the Political Offense Exception an Extradition Issue for the Judicial or Executive Branch?” I would advise you against reading it, for you will surely fall asleep.
Following law school, I returned to central New Jersey and took a job at a local law firm where I have been a partner for many years. My area of practice is divorce, and while emotions run high and clients are living through the worst time of their lives, I find the practice very satisfying. In addition to litigation, I have added mediation and collaborative divorce to my repertoire, which are much more civil ways of dealing with issues in family law cases.
In addition to practicing law and raising two daughters, I’ve been working towards my second career. Memoranda of Law and Legal Briefs, although fascinating, pale in comparison to writing romance/women’s fiction. So how does one transition from divorce lawyer by day to romance writer by night? That’s the beauty of having two distinct passions.