Welcome Wednesdays – Supporting Characters

Welcome Wednesdays – Supporting Characters

Welcome back to Welcome Wednesday!  Every Wednesday, authors have an open invitation to tell the world (or at least everyone who visits here) something about one of your books; and readers have the chance to discover some great new authors.  It’s one of those “win-win” thingys.

Today’s theme is all about supporting characters.  Obviously authors spend much of their time on their main protagonist – that’s who the story is about, after all.  But the supporting cast is just as important – a memorable secondary character can do wonders for a story.

So, authors, please jump in and tell us a little about one of your books, and then tell us about one of the supporting characters – a friend of your main character, a co-worker, a family member, whoever they are.  Tell us why they’re important to the story, what makes them so memorable, how you came up with them – anything you like!  (and be sure to include a link to your books or website so we can learn more about you!)

I’ll start things off.  Sara is the main character of the Dream Series.  We meet her when she’s still in college, and jsut when she’s begun to step into other people’s dreams.  She meets Brian, her boyfriend, and she’s got her roommate and best friend, Beth, and they both support her throughout the story.  But one of the big surprises for me in writing Dream Student was Sara’s father, Howard Barnes.  I didn’t have any huge plans to bring her father into the story (and in the old, original draft of the story, he doesn’t have much of a role at all), but he ended up with probably my favorite scene in the book – a heart-to-heart conversation with Sara while she’s home for Christmas.  He went from just being in the background, to really being the kind of father anyone would be lucky to have, in those few pages.

 

So now it’s your turn…the comments are open!

Oh, and once you’re done here, why not visit Exquisite Quills, where there’s a meme like this one every weekday!

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17 Replies to “Welcome Wednesdays – Supporting Characters”

  1. My 1st book, “From Barren Rocks to Living Stones” is the true story a teenage Brit living in Aden, in whats now known as Yemen, during widespred intense terrorism during the conflicts of 1966/67, and then tells of the evacuation out n 1967. However, I am thinking of another character called Eddie, a most unlkely hero who was extremely nervous. Here is an excerpt of when his time of heroism came

    “So, all they had to do, it seemed, was to head back for the same bus home. The three companions made their way down the road laughing amongst them selves at how the day had transpired. This was intended to be the end of the expedition, yet it now emerged that there was to be another tomorrow that had to arise before it was to be complete. However, Eddie’s full moment of glory was to arrive even sooner than that. As they moved back along the road they began to see more people that were gathering around, as well as a number of cars and taxis passing by. Suddenly, as the crowds around them grew, Eddie threw himself towards Violet and Jon, lifting his arms out and stretching them around his friends in a protective fashion, as if he was defending them from some unseen hostile enemy. Violet and Jon were feeling shocked at first, fearing that he had perhaps allowed the stress of the whole situation to get to him, then hearing his shout “Look out! Look out! It’s a bomb!”

    Those were words they always hoped would never be heard, yet within themselves they knew they always needed to be prepared for them. “

  2. James,

    Thanks for letting people talk about their books!

    In Mail Order Bride Tess, we meet the main character Tess who is a seamstress sweating away in the shop each day and feeling all alone. She lives with her family and is working on her younger sister’s wedding dress alterations. A friend invites her over to help with child care and picks up on Tess’s sadness. Jane shows her the Matrimonial Newspaper ads from men out west looking for wives.

    Tess is quite bashful and they laugh together at some of the requirements and demands in the ads! However, Tess sees one ad that stands out! Jane is a great supportive friend in helping her get beyond her shyness and taking a risk to find the happiness she longs for by having her own family. She encourages her and helps her to see she doesn’t need to spend her whole life living with her parents. This is a sweet romance that takes place in the 1880’s. You can find Mail Order Bride Tess on Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00YCLAHX8/

  3. Troianne, Book #1 in my time travel society series is a great main character, but the one that supports her is the handsomest and most patient loving man around. Duncan Belles-Whitby. A dashing, tall, dark, handsome man with the most beautiful blue gray eyes ever. He supports his Angel (Troianne). When he first meets her he is between her legs delivering her baby in front of his mansion. She had shown up in the middle of the night in a thunderstorm in heavy labor. Duncan being a physician in the 19th century. Is called upon to assist her in the birth of her first child. When he looks upon Troianne’s beautiful face he realizes this is the woman of his dreams his Angel. Throughout the book Duncan is there to protect her and her little daughter Diana. He opts to adopt Diana as his own. Duncan is the epitome of a loving , generous, husband and father, a healer, a protector and a lover.
    I believe a supporting character needs to be supportive. There for the main character to lean on and to carry the weight of the burden throughout the book so the main character can tell the story. The supportive character also plays an important role as the focus cannot solely remain on the main character every minute.
    Therefore the great importance of this secondary person is in my mind as interesting and exciting as the first.
    In all of my books the woman is main and the man is secondary. This comes from my independent streak. I have been married a total of 32 years of life. A woman must remain the main character. LOL at least in a book.
    Visit me on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Crystal-Miles-Gauthier/e/B00MEFQN6Y/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1425413180&sr=1-2-ent
    Twitter: @cubbymom0403
    Website: http://www.crystalmilesgauthier.com
    Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/Crystal%20Miles%20Gauthier/_/N-0

    Thank you JJ. For letting me tell it like it is about my secondary character.

  4. Hi James, thanks for sharing this great opportunity.
    My debut novel from MuseItUp, Canada, is Mariah’s Marriage. Mariah Fox is a serious minded young woman, educated and sharp as a tack. she attracts the attention of the Earl of Mellon who decides she’ll make him a fine Countess. But, Mariah is without the social polish a young lady needs in 1822 to be a successful countess (and yes, it could be undertaken as a job with social aims). enter, or cue, Lady Daisy, the earl’s sister. From the moment I thought of Daisy, I could visualise her and hear her voice, so much so I had to edit her appearances ruthlessly. She carefully takes Mariah to the right dressmaker and generally allows her to practise the minor social skills she’ll need as an earl’s right-hand.
    I loved her so much, she has her own book now. Also from MuseItUp, Daisy’s Dilemma was published on 16th June.
    Both books are featured on my blog: http://goo.gl/ILNek6 and all my books are available at online bookshops. Here’s my amazon page: http://goo.gl/EouENm

  5. Thanks for the opportunity, JJ!
    In my Charming Academy series, I have a lot of secondary characters as each of my main characters goes on their quests. One of my favorite secondary characters is a mermaid named Nerissa who shows up for the first time in Finding Prince Charming, the second book of the series. She was there to be a friend and source of temptation for the main character Adrian. He’s been turned into a frog, but she sees him as he is. While he is supposed to be waiting patiently for his princess, Allegra, to come, Nerissa tries unsuccessfully to steal his heart. But she isn’t just flirtatious, she’s a valuable friend. When he faces danger, she is there to help him out of it. I actually didn’t intend for her to be such a favorite, but all of my readers loved her so much that I got several requests for her to come back in later books. She has a brief stint in The Ultimate Prince Charming, the fifth book, and will be back again in Prince Charming’s Quest.
    For more about my books, visit my website http://www.jessicalelliott.com or follow me on twitter @Jess_L_Elliott.

  6. Grant Appleton is a supporting character in my book ‘Easy Blood’. The main man is the vampire Eric Vauclare. But whereas Vauclare has incarnated as a good-looking fellow and a ladies’ man, Appleton, who is his helper, has come to earth this time in the shape of everyone’s idea of a pork butcher. Expanding waist, thinning hair and all.
    Appleton, though in the background ‘facilitating’, is the only one amidst the fraternity of ‘immortals’ who has no fear of Vauclare. He is centuries old, like ‘King Bat’ Vauclare himself, and has the strength and experience to stand up to him. Which he does.
    When Vauclare courts the luscious Adeane Wentworth, stringing out the preliminaries before he fangs and feeds on her, Appleton looks on enviously.
    Easy Blood spins a bloody tale of treachery, deceit and old-fashioned human gumption.

  7. In Out of Time, my main character, Marion, who is from 2006 stumbles into 1191 whilst visiting the ruins of Sparnstow Abbey. I have various supporting characters, but one of the most interactive is the enigmatic Hildegarde, the Abbess of Sparnstow. Hildegarde is much more than she appears to be and holds hidden knowledge of Marion’s own time. She is as at ease dealing with the poor of the area as she is when faced by Prince John at his most devious, and can face down a man with a sword as capably as she deals with the care of her daughter nuns. As she finds a little more out about Marion, Hildegarde makes a surprising discovery of her own.
    Here is the link to my book on Amazon. http://geni.us/1DNb

  8. My favorite supporting character is Lydia, from my Resurrected series (sci-fi romance).

    Lydia is Lottie’s best friend, and the woman Lottie risked her life for on multiple occasions. In the first book, Resurrected, Lydia is portrayed as a fairly weak and ineffectual character, and it’s her character that develops and changes the most throughout the series, which is why she is so interesting to me. Because Lottie’s resurrection was never supposed to happen, her existence threatens not only her new life, but the life of her friends, including Lydia.

    By the end of the series, Lydia is quite different than the woman you first meet in book 1, although I think she’s still likable – just really tough, fierce and likable, and not someone you’d want to mess with! She is endlessly loyal, especially to Lottie, who idolizes her more by book 3 than ever before.

    To learn more about the series and all of the characters, please visit my Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/schmitz.resurrected?ref=aymt_homepage_panel, or pick up a copy of Resurrected and Insurrection on Amazon today!

    http://www.amazon.com/Resurrected-S-M-Schmitz-ebook/dp/B00ZSF3W6G/ref=cm_cr_pr_bdcrb_top?ie=UTF8
    http://www.amazon.com/Insurrection-Resurrected-Book-S-Schmitz-ebook/dp/B0128TMRL0/ref=pd_sim_sbs_351_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=14GFJJHCTMT4DG5JJTK3

  9. Hi James, how generous of you. And what fun to read about books new to me. My Kindle will be getting stuffed! My current book, A Question of Honor, is the first of the Stormhaven love stories, featuring Devin Starke and Sydney Castleton. It starts with Syndey returning a horse to the ranch which her sister, wife to Ty Randolph, had taken in a fit of pique. Ty accepted his wife leaving but he sure missed that horse. He’s a nice, level headed sort of guy except for an undying hatred for Romance books, since he thinks they rotted his wife’s brain. He helps Devin and Sydney’s relationship along, laughing all the way while watching his tough ex-soldier friend turn to mush around the small feisty woman. His day will come. In the meantime he runs Stormhaven, a ranch in Northern New Mexico helping PTSD vets learn to deal with the world.
    http://www.amazon.com/Question-Honor-Stormhaven-Story-Stories-ebook/dp/B00WHHG8WS
    http://mona-karel.com/

  10. In Curse of the Fae King, circumstances have forced Mordred, the Elf Overlord, to be the nastiest thing out there. If he isn’t utterly ruthless, his subjects will overthrow him. I wanted to make him the embodiment of evil but he took on a life of his own. Yes he’s ruthless, but it’s only so he can make things better for the Elves. He hates how his subjects treat their women and jumps at a chance to make the female drudges life better.
    Okay, he tries to steal the Fae King’s bride by any means necessary. He’s devious and decidedly dodgy. I certainly wouldn’t buy a used car from him, Oddly, so do my readers. I’ve had a few emails asking if he’s going to get his own book, which is remarkably flattering. And if you’re curious, one day he will, but not quite yet.

    http://www.amazon.com/Curse-King-Scattered-Siblings-Book-ebook/dp/B00HV1VVY0/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1438196908&sr=8-1-spell&keywords=curse+of+the+fae+kin

  11. Great idea – thanks! In my Aphrodite and Adonis series set on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus (the Greek side), the mythological couple are the supporting characters – helping human couples who visit the island with their love lives. So far two novellas are published: The Aphrodite Touch and The Adonis Touch (under my Romy Gemmell name), and a third is almost finished. Cyprus is known as Aphrodite’s Island as it is where the goddess of love is supposed to have been born on the foam of the sea and Adonis was her most beloved lover. The human couples don’t realise who Aphrodite and Adonis really are when they befriend them!

    Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/e/B005WAJD92

    Website: http://www.rosemarygemmell.com

  12. Thank you for the opportunity to talk about one of my books and a supporting character. My fourth book in my series, A Knight To Call My Own, just released and I just fell in love with secondary character Rolf, who is the heroine’s (Lynet) captain of the guard.

    Rolf play’s a pivotal role to the plot of this story including my future time travel’s: The Knights of Berwyck, A Quest Through Time series. Lynet’s brother-in-law proposes a tournament to win her hand in marriage since he is tired of waiting while Lynet attempts to find a husband on her own. Her efforts to change his mind is useless, and Lynet finds herself in a bit of a quandary between her affections for her long lost love, Ian, and Rolf, whom she feels she could learn to care for given enough time.

    I won’t give out spoilers and ruin the book, but even this author had a hard time with the way the story had to proceed in order for my hero and heroine to move forward to find love. When your heart is broken, is love still worth the risk?

    Amazon: http://amzn.to/1BV0DM4

  13. Hi James:

    When you mentioned supporting characters in your Dream series, I immediately thought of Beth. But Sara does have a great dad in Howard. Thank you for this opportunity.

    In Rock Crazy, Katie McGowan is bi-polar, pregnant, and abandoned on the Moon. Almost. Her boss, Jake Johnsrud and his wife, Annie, are among the richest people in Rockton, but they live simply. It’s still basically a pioneer society, even if they do have the best brain surgeon in two worlds living and working there. Annie becomes Katie’s best friend and protector, and Katie is shocked when she discovers that Jake and Annie were among the prisoners who first settled the Moon. She was afraid of encountering “those people,” even though she knew they were political prisoners sent there by a dictator who tried to take over the country. They were stranded because he left the US bankrupt and unable to retrieve them once the military ousted him and restored the Constitution. There is no logic in prejudice. Katie doesn’t get over it until she realizes all of her friends were prisoners, including Annie, who she comes to look upon as a mother. In fact, I thought I’d write a couple of paragraphs of back-story on Annie and Jake and ended up with Rock Bound, which I finished and published first!

    Here’s the url for Rock Crazy: .

  14. This is so exciting reading about everyone’s books and supporting characters!

    For my Bowdancer fantasy series, six books (so far) about a young healer who leaves her village to discover who she is and where she belongs. It actually follows her life and that of her children. By book three, Warrior Women, I began to expand the story around Jan-nell, the bowdancer, and the themes of independence and feminism I hinted about in the first two books. When she went in search of the famed Warrior Women, the women who lived on a high mountain apart away from men, I had to create strong memorable women as part of the sisterhood of master hunters and trackfinders. I pulled from people I knew and women I’d admired. So the six master hunters and trackfinders came to life.

    One of them, Bekar, was modeled after a musician I know, a multi-instrumentalist, who had such a strong presence. But Bekar was a minor character, just one of the six leaders of this village of women. However, as I began to shape her and her story, she became imprinted on my heart and mind. I couldn’t leave her and the women on the mountain when I wrote The End on Warrior Women.

    Thus, The Lost Song trilogy was born–Jan-nell’s search for the origins of the women on the mountain through the words of a song. Bekar and a master trackfinder became prominent characters in that trilogy. And another completely different cast of supporting characters sprang up: the desert beastmasters and the dark muscled sword dancers. All of these characters, at different times, supported Jan-nell, offering encouragement, a listening ear, and wisdom.

    As Jan-nell moved through these books, these supporting characters became her family, closer and more loyal than the family of her birth.

    So if anyone says that supporting characters are just cardboard cutouts to keep a plot moving, they don’t understand how authors’ minds work when writing a series. You can almost expect some minor character will pop up in another book down the road because life sort of works that way.

    The Bowdancer Saga and The Lost Song Trilogy can be found at museituppublishing.com and at Amazon and Barnes and Noble and other ebooksellers.

  15. In my first book I wrote for eXtasy Books — Freedom in Chains — I had the wondeful supporting character of the “dom next door”, Oliver. He had all the funny lines, knew what to do and helped in any way he could. It was fun to write him and he got a much bigger part than planned.

    That ususally happens when I spend more time with all characters… Most of them come into the book in order to bring the story along, but then, somewhere in the middle of the plot, I find out that the supporting characters are absolutely necessary, sometimes even wonderful and, not to forget, they deliver comic relief more often than not. While the main character has to struggle to get his goal the supporters are not always participating but take a look from the outside. Hence their view differs and they are in not as much trouble as the main hero (ok, at least in my books…).

    You can find Freedom in Chains and other books here at
    http://www.extasybooks.com/?route=product%2Fauthor&author_id=111

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