The Importance of Secondary Characters...

As a romance writer, my books will always have a hero and heroine - that is an absolutely certainty! However, for me, creating secondary characters is no less important that the 'stars of the show'.

My first love is writing series which often means I end up with a whole cast of characters - for my Templeton Cove series (Harlequin) the count was around 40...the Shop Girl series currently stands at around 30.

With this many characters they must all stand out and add something to the main plot or development of the hero and/or heroine. Having said that, I cannot say that I carefully sketch out my secondary characters before I begin writing as I do the protagonists. I have found that as I write, the cast grows through what is happening, what the hero and heroine say, do and think.

However, every now and then a secondary character threatens to take over the story - I have fallen in love with so many of my secondary characters (good and bad alike!) that I have gone on to give them their own book. Thus why series writing is my joy and what keeps my writing fresh - I am never sure when I start out how long a series will be...

Ultimately, I want my readers to love every character that comes onto the page - I want them to see, hear and react to them. It is important that the reader becomes intrigued or amused by them. So much so, that the characters become an integral part of the story and only serve to increase interest and enjoyment.

As I sit here, I am already thinking about my next historical project and becoming more and more tempted by some secondary characters who are shouting at me that they are not finished - they have more to say, do and explain.

Watch this space to see who shouts the loudest!

Rachel x

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