The Mistress of Pennington's Tour

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Happy to welcome my author friend, Jannine Gallant to my blog today....

Characters with a History and a FREE Book by Jannine Gallant

I’d like to thank my good friend Rachel for having me on her blog today. It’s always a pleasure to visit across the pond! Yes, I have a free book to promote, but first let’s talk a little about how our heroes and heroines meet.

I’ve noticed a trend in my books. I may be a little slow, because it took me a couple years to catch on. LOL It suddenly occurred to me that in several of my books (especially the shorter novellas) my heroes and heroines knew each other prior to the start of the book. Aren’t they supposed to meet at the beginning of the story? You’d think, right?

Now in my Class of ’85 series, the history between the characters was understandable. They knew each other in high school and are reconnected twenty-five years later at the beginning of each book. But when I sat down to write my latest series of novellas, Secrets of Ravenswood, I was having a hard time plotting the first book. The h&h needed a strong connection right up front or there’d be no reason for him to jump in to help her with her problems.

Hmm…it was a dilemma. So I went back to a formula that had worked for me in the past. I gave them a history. Samantha and Ethan knew each other as children but had no real connection at the time since he was three years older. Good, but not good enough to warrant his current level of involvement in her crises. Take it one step further, I told myself. Voilà! The two had a one-night-stand after a party five years before. She wasn’t ready for a committed relationship and bolted straight out of the country. Both have lingering feelings. He has no reason to trust she won’t run from him again, but he cares enough to want to protect her. Yea, my plot now worked! And the subtle undertones in their relationship created even more friction.

So, do your characters ever have a shared past or do they meet on page one of the book? If you’ve never tried giving your h&h a history together, think about the possibilities. Especially in a novella, diving into an emotional quagmire already created for your characters can really work!

Today is the final free day for We’ll Never Tell, book one in my Secrets of Ravenswood trilogy. Download the book HERE.

Secrets of Ravenswood

For three lifelong friends, will past tragedies haunt their futures—or open the door to love…

We’ll Never Tell

Three young girls witness a murder—and make a pact never to tell what they saw. But when the woman’s body is uncovered seventeen years later, the killer’s faith in their promise is shaken. A few deadly reminders may be in order…

Samantha Beaumont knows it’s time to reveal the truth about what happened in the woods all those years ago—until the accidents begin. Fear that the killer will shut them up permanently leads Sam on a quest to protect her friends and expose the murderer’s identity. No one, certainly not the man she spent one memorable night with, will stop her.

Ethan Thorne has no reason to believe Sam is any more interested in a commitment now than when she ran from him five years before. Still, he can’t resist trying one more time… When he realizes her life is in danger, he’ll risk everything for a chance at love.

For information on all my books visit my website, or follow me on Facebook and Twitter.



  1. Hello Rachel! Hello Jannine!
    Funnily enough, my main characters in my debut novella Desire in Deadwood have a history as do the ones in my current submission! I found it easier to kick off with a past between them. It is a good plot device because that shared history means that they already have feelings for one another - even if they've tried to suppress them. In a novella, there isn't the luxury of time that there is in a full novel, so I'd definitely recommend it!
    Molly xxx

    1. Molly - I so agree. In a novella, a history between the characters allows emotions to build so much faster. And that can be key to a well-rounded story.