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Friday, September 22, 2017

Memorable Characters


This month’s question is a three part and more complex. What characters in other author's books have not left your mind? Have written a character who wouldn't leave you? Why do you think this happens?
There are many novels where you remember the characters. Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca; Jo from Little Women; Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice and so many others. Contemporarily JD Robb writes great characters. I love Dallas and Roarke, Summerset and Peabody, and most of the other of her regulars.

Why does this happen? It’s a good question because if I knew the answer I’d be able to write those memorable characters. These characters are fully developed, three dimensional with a mixture of traits that are common in people. They have weaknesses, individual personal traits, a fully developed background that shows where they came from and how they’ve developed and become the person they are now. People can relate to them, empathize with them, root for them and cheer them on. They are characters you wish you knew and could visit.
One character that I’ve written that stays with me is Kye from Book three – Kye’s story - from my Hawkins’ ranch series. He’s adopted and a member of the Blackfoot tribe. I did a lot of research about the Blackfeet, his characteristics and his growth.  
Now, I’m off to check and see what the other authors have to say about memorable characters.
Anne Stenhouse  http://annestenhousenovelist.wordpress.com/
Heidi M. Thomas
http://heidiwriter.wordpress.com/
Victoria Chatham
http://www.victoriachatham.com
Diane Bator
http://dbator.blogspot.ca/
A.J. Maguire 
http://ajmaguire.wordpress.com/
Judith Copek
http://lynx-sis.blogspot.com/
Fiona McGier
http://www.fionamcgier.com/
Skye Taylor
http://www.skye-writer.com/blogging_by_the_sea
Rachael Kosinski
http://rachaelkosinski.weebly.com/
Rhobin Courtright http://www.rhobinleecourtright.com

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Linda Nightingale on Secondary Characters


This week we’re going to find out a little about author Linda Nightingale. Linda will be talking about secondary characters. She’ll also tell us a little about herself and her writing, and answer some fun questions.
Linda Nightingale is a native-born South Carolinian who has lived in England and Canada, and now resides in Texas.  Before turning to writing, she bred, trained and showed Andalusian horses for thirteen years.

In 2012, her novel, Gemini Rising, was voted Best Mainstream Novel in the Preditors & Editors Readers Poll. Her vampire romance, Cardinal Desires won the Georgia Romance Writers Magnolia Award in 2013, and that was followed by her science fiction romance, Love for Sale, being awarded Best SF/Fantasy novel of 2015 by the Paranormal Romance Guild’s Reviewer’s Choice, and also voted one of the Top Ten Romance Novels of 2015 by the Preditors & Editors Readers Poll for that year.

Beverley: Are secondary characters important in a story?
Linda: Secondary characters are supporting actors and even have their own Oscar category. Secondary characters can help show traits of the hero and heroine, cement the plot and reveal information unknown to the hero and heroine.  In my current WIP, I give a secondary character his own scenes told from his POV but I’m not sure I’ll get by with that one!
Beverley: How many secondary characters should be in a story? Can you have too many?
Linda: I think you should have a sufficient number to tell your story.  I’ve never heard no hard and fast rule at any rate.  That said, I doubt I’d parade ten or more secondary characters onto the stage.  A couple of well-developed secondary characters can easily help flesh out the story and the other characters.
Beverley: Do secondary characters need to have or be involved in conflict? If yes - inner or outer conflicts, or both?
Linda: I think so.  The more they are involved in the story, the more real they become, and convincing a reader that our characters are real is the primary objective, isn’t it?
Beverley: How detailed do you need to know your secondary characters?
Linda: In a more concise way, I try to make them as round and real as the main characters within the limits of space and time (not nebulous universal terms)
Beverley: How do you use secondary characters in your books?
Linda: To support the main characters, to add a subplot, to add interest in a lagging middle.
Beverley: Do you have any favorite secondary characters – yours or other?
Linda: My favorite of my secondary characters in Four by Moonlight is the anti-heroine in “Night Before Doomsday.”  Ruth is lush, sensual and alluring. She knows what she wants and uses all her charms to get it.  She doesn’t come across as a nice person, more as conniving, but if you think about her actions, it’s clear that she’s in love with the hero even if she also wants to possess him like a trophy.
~*~ Disclaimer: I don’t feel like I’m qualified to pontificate on the craft of writing.  I’m purely a pantster and completely write without any outline or mainboard.
Beverley: Any last comments on secondary characters?
Linda: To me, the best part of a story is how the characters interact. So giving the main character someone to interact with, even if it’s a minor exchange, can add depth to the story.
Beverley: How long have you been writing?
Linda: I wrote as a young girl but put my pen away as a teenager when a newspaper editor was rather brutally critical of my angsty poetry.  I didn’t pick up my pen again until 1992 (I’m older than dirt) when I wrote my first novel—a vampire story called Sinners’ Opera. Shortly, I won the Georgia Romance Writers  Magnolia Award for Excellence (Maggie) with another vampire book called Cardinal Desires. I was now a writer, but it took me until 2012 to become a published writer.
Beverley: Which genre or genres do you write or prefer to write?
Linda: I like to play fast and loose with the boundaries of genre.  I have published a sci-fi romance, a contemporary romantic suspense, paranormal romance.  In October, Class Act will re-release my first published novel, a controversial dark fantasy, titled Anointing: Gemini Factor.
Beverley: Who influenced you the most in deciding to become a writer?
Linda: Anne Rice.  I thought if she could do it, I could do it.  And I must give credit to all the wonderful writers I’ve met along the way.
Beverley: What obstacles did you have to overcome to begin creating your work?
Linda: When I began writing, I had two young children, an Andalusian horse breeding farm and brokerage, and a full-time job as an Executive Assistant for a Circuit Judge in South Carolina.
Beverley: What gets your creative juices flowing?
Linda: Music
Beverley: What will stop your creative muse the quickest?
Linda: Duty and deadline.
Beverley: What do you have for breakfast?
Linda: I don’t eat breakfast and only sometimes lunch.  I snack during the day and have a nice meal with wine in the evening.
Beverley: What do you wear when you are writing?  
Linda: Whatever I dress in for the day quite frequently leggings and some manner of top: t-shirt, tunic or such.
Beverley: Where do you do most of your writing?
Linda: In my office, overlooking my backyard.  I do almost all of my writing on my laptop.
Beverley: Do you have a favorite cartoon character? Why?
Linda: Sorry, no.  Unless you’d count Alucard from Castlevania!
Beverley: Who would you love most to meet 'in person' and why?
Linda: I’d love to meet the Duke of Windsor (Edward VIII of England) who abdicated the throne to marry the American divorcee Wallis Simpson.  I’ve always been very attracted to his life and times and would like to meet the man who gave up a crown for love.
Beverley: If you had an unexpected free day what would you do with it?
Linda: Search for something to do or jump into my car and drive to the Hill Country, perhaps, the twisty 3 Twisted Sisters, for a fun day behind the wheel.  I have always been a car nut and age hasn’t cured that addiction.  Wings says hello.
Beverley: What are you working on now?
Linda: I’ve just submitted a controversial dark fantasy to CAB (Class Act Books).  I expect it to be released in mid-October, so I’m on hold for first round of edits.  Gemini Factor isn’t for everyone, but it is a love story played out in a fantasy setting.
Blurb for Four by Midnight:
An anthology of love in the moonlight…in the paranormal universe.

Gypsy Ribbons – A moonlight ride on the moors and meeting a notorious highwayman will forever change Lady Virginia Darby’s life.

Star Angel – Lucy was stuck in a rut and in an Idaho potato patch. She’d seen him in the corner of her eye—a fleeting glimpse of beauty—now he stood before her in the flesh.

The Night Before Doomsday – All his brothers had succumbed to lust, but Azazel resisted temptation until the wrong woman came along.

The Gate Keeper’s Cottage – Newlywed Meggie Richelieu’s mysterious, phantom lover may be more than anyone, except the plantation housekeeper, suspects.
 
Buy Link:                                                                         

Publisher's website at http://www.classactbooks.com
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M3Q9J8B/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1

You can find Linda at:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/linda.nightingale.52?hc_ref=SEARCH&fref=nf
Website: http://www.lindanightingale.com
Blog: https://lindanightingale.wordpress.com/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4839311.Linda_Nightingale
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/lbnightingale1/?etslf=10520&eq=LInda%20Nightingale
Twitter: @LNightingale

Don’t forget to check back next week for another author interview.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Promote Your Books


I stole this from a brochure I got at a conference from SelfPubBookCovers.com. It’s one of several tips in their four page brochure. The title is 'How to promote your book to increase your sales – Learn what successful authors are doing.'
Make sure you’ve filled out your Amazon Author Profile page and any other place where you fill out a bio (such as on Twitter or Facebook). Include your social media links, blog post feed, and website links.
A basic author website can be built on a Wordpress or Blogger platform for easy updating and would have your bio, book list, ISBNs, covers, book blurbs and store links that lead directly to the book product page itself. Other pages on a website might include a blog, contests, or “extras” for your readers such as free short stories or character interviews.

When it comes to social media, be social! Don’t spam your followers by replying to them with your book link just because they followed you. Be friendly and engage in conversation.
The biggest tip is to start your email newsletter mailing list now. Even if you haven’t published a book yet! When you book releases, you’ll want to have a list of readers to notify. Never add anyone to your list who doesn’t want to be on it, but do invite them to sign up on your website themselves. Put your mailing list sign-up in your email signature line, too.

Oh, and you can get a free book on successful Self-Publishing at SelfPubBookCovers.com  

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Secondary Characters with Houston Havens


This week we’re going to find out a little about author Houston Havens. September’s theme is ‘Secondary Characters’ so Houston will be talking about secondary characters. She’ll also tell us a little about herself and her writing, and answer some fun questions.
Houston Havens is a Bestselling romance author, a former successful model who enjoyed an adventurous jet-set lifestyle, and a past she uses to set the world on fire with her erotic romance books.
She a tenacious Irish lass, who strives to entertain with seductive stories created from her decadent imagination and traces of a provocative lifestyle she may or may not admit to. She intrigues her readers with a mix of the past, present, and future, and sexy blends of futuristic science fiction, paranormal fantasy, and western romance, always with love everlasting.
Her interest in the paranormal, fascination with quantum science, passion with myths, and the lure of her mysterious Celtic Irish-Druid bloodlines are combined with generally unknown truths, strange facts, and questionable fiction filled with passion and mystery.
She hopes her sultry stories will entertain and fascinate those who dare to take the journey. But don't be fooled by the glit and glamour Houston has a secret: she was an Acquisition Editor at one time. You can find her at http://houstonhavens.com


Beverley: Are secondary characters important in a story?
Houston:  I'll let what a reviewer said about my secondary characters answer that question -
"This is what makes Houston Havens a bestseller. She's so talented in her craft even her secondary characters stand out in the minds of her readers!"
If you want a reviewer to say that about your characters and you want 5 star reviews and a chance at hitting the bestseller mark and gaining faithful readers -  heck yes !
Beverley: If yes, why?
Houston: Secondary character are as important as every other aspect of the novel. Secondary characters aren't there just to fill space. They are there to help the main characters come off as fully rounded living beings. As well, they are there to reveal things about the plot and main character to the reader. They're there to help the main characters move the plot forward and to intrigue your readers into wanting to read "their" story (your next book or possibly a series making the secondary character in this book the main character in the next book, like I did in my Psychic Menage Series.)
As an ex-Acquisitions Editor I couldn't express enough to authors how important it is for them to USE EVERY character and word on that page to WORK for them. Your word count is limited - use the words and character wisely. EVERYTHING must count or toss it out.
Anyone who's having trouble understanding how to make secondary characters work for them should read my Psychic Menage Series and see how I do it, or come to my lecture at the Midwest Writers Conference where I'll be speaking about this and other secrets on writing; the importance of your very first paragraph. Authors attending the conference can submit the first page of their work. I'll select a few to explain how to structure an opening paragraph so a publisher will read it.
Oct 6-9 2017 in Indianapolis, IN http://midwestwritersconference.blogspot.com for those who can't make it to Indianapolis I heard the lectures will be aired (online) so please check this conference out.
Beverley: How many secondary characters should be in a story?
Houston: LOL well in my Psychic Menage Series I have several in each book because it's a seven book series - Here's how it works: In Sinful Surrender Book One I introduce four main characters and I have to introduce seven secondary characters (Book One's heroine needs a close friend 1st Secondary Character. Then I need to introduce 3 more men for this secondary "close friend" of the heroine to be interested in and these men play important roles in book one - one is the doctor, another is a warrior who helps the main hero fight in a war (series plot) and the last is a minor secondary character and brother to the warrior and doctor, But what makes this minor character stand out in my readers minds is that even though his appears is limited in book one, I gave him a description my reader not only won't forget but will intrigue them -  he's an albino who brings bad news of a spy in camp)
These three men (Secondary characters) are SPOTLIGHTED because they and the Best Friend (another Secondary Character) to the heroine in book one will be the main characters in book two (Phantom Desire) of the series. However, I can't stop there with my secondary characters because Psychic Menage is a seven book series, my villain in the first five books is only foreshadowed or makes limited appearances. So, I introduce him in bits and pieces (like the shark in JAWS). The purpose in this is to create tension in my readers and keep them reading to the end of the series.
I have another main character who appears in all seven books as a Secondary Character but in the end is a Major Player in the series. This is what keeps my readers reading - you cloak characters in the clothing of Secondary yet the reader's so intrigued by what she reads about them, she just knows the author will tell her more in the next book.
I have another Secondary Character who appears in book one but is a main character in book three Exposed Ecstasy. The reason he's brought into book one is because his role is very important to the series and to the characters in book one. Yet he can't be completely revealed until the end of the series BECAUSE he leads the readers into the SECOND SERIES.
I could go on and on but you see Secondary Characters play many roles in a novel (Be it a series or single title)
Beverley: Can you have too many?
Houston: The most important thing here is not how many Secondary Characters you have but what role do they play in the plot, be it a series or not…what is their role. They have to have an important reason to be there…not just to fill in space.
If the Secondary Character has no real purpose and is just there as a writer's convenience to manipulate the hero or heroine, then that one Secondary Character is too many. Again, it's not how many you have or don't have, it's how you use them that counts.
Beverley: How detailed do you need to know your secondary characters?
Houston: As an author, you should know all your characters VERY WELL. The only way to make them come alive and become real in your reader’s hearts is to know your characters. You must know what is behind the things they say and do. They just don't say things to be mean. No one does. Those who are mean are mean for a reason - as an author you have to know this reason to make the character come alive for the reader.
My bestselling author friend Kayelle Allen has a series called The Antonello Brothers with a villain named Pietas. Her villain was so mean that when she got to the Surrender Series (Due for new release soon) she didn't want to know him at all. In fact, she was afraid of him. She just couldn't understand why he did what he did. She struggled for eight years to write the second book - because she didn't know her Secondary Character. Then she and I did an interview and she uncovered this villain and all his reasons for doing what he did. She then decided to write his story. She knew him so well she wrote Bringer of Chaos in two months.
If you're interested in seeing how she developed her series go to www.kayelleallen.com
Beverley: Do secondary characters need to have or be involved in conflict? If yes - inner or outer conflicts, or both?
Houston: It depends on how you're using your Secondary Characters. I'd say in most cases YES the Secondary Character will have some inner and outer conflicts (it's what makes them real) Now the trick is in know how deep to show this inner and outer conflict and that depends on if this character is part of a series where they might become a main character or if in a single title this Secondary Character ends up being the villain or somehow affects what's happening to the hero/heroine.
Beverley: How do you use secondary characters in your books?
Houston: As I said above, I use them in a multidimensional ways depending on whether-or-not it's a series or a single title. I can't get into a lot of details about this subject in this interview, so I'd highly recommend those interested in this subject check out my Psychic Menage Series and see how I do it, because each book uses the Secondary Characters differently.
Beverley: Do you have any favorite secondary characters – yours or other?
Houston: I love Faerydae, Grid, and Quidel from my series who were Secondary Character at their creation who have become major characters and I love Marigold who as of yet is a Secondary Character but will play a major roll at the end of this series and play a big part in the following series. There are many other Secondary Characters that I love but for now they're staying right where they're at.
Beverley: Any last comments on secondary characters?
Houston: Don't be afraid to dig deep into all your secondary Characters - you never know who they will become.
Beverley: How long have you been writing?
Houston: I starting training myself back in the 80's but knowing the importance of my author's voice, I didn't rush any of my work to market. That can really damage an author. Even when I thought my book was ready I didn't submit it. I waited until I knew (actually saw) my voice come into action. That's when I submitted and got accepted.
Beverley: What genre do you write in and why?
Houston: I'm an Irish Lass who can't be pigeon-holed. I write all genre because I'm not limited in my knowledge, so I won't be forced to stick to one genre.
Beverley: Who influenced you the most in deciding to become a writer?
Houston: Johanna Lindsey
Beverley: What obstacles did you have to overcome to begin creating your work?
Houston: I've never let anything stand in my way of writing. However I've had to overcome Dyslexia and being a bad speller (because English was not my first language). My father spoke English with an Irish accent. So, I spelled the way I was taught to talk ~ hence a phonic "bad speller" that had to be retrained how to talk and spell. The obstacles I continue to work at overcoming is TIME. There's never enough of it and it's hard to get people to respect my time since I work at home.
Beverley: What gets your creative juices flowing?
Houston: Conspiracy theories, myths, and history.
Beverley: What will stop your creative muse the quickest?
Houston: Having someone interrupt my work schedule.
Beverley: What do you have for breakfast?
Houston: Not a big breakfast eater - A cup of organic coffee (with organic cream and sugar) with half a sheet of Matzos drizzled in organic honey.
Beverley: What do you wear when you are writing?
Houston: I get dressed just like those who go to work every day, because I am going to work as well. Some days dresses, other days pants depends on the weather. I'm not a sweat pant girl. And yes, I do my hair and put make-up on most every day.
Beverley: Where do you do most of your writing?
Houston: My den is my office.
Beverley: Do you have a favorite cartoon character? Why?
Houston: I didn't grow up in America so I didn't watch cartoons as a kid.
Beverley: Who would you love most to meet 'in person' and why?
Houston: I'd like to meet the very top man of the Illuminati and set him straight….sorry, I'm a feisty Irish lass.
Beverley: If you had an unexpected free day what would you do with it?
Houston: Relax with my hubby and dog at the cabin
Beverley: What are you working on now?
Houston: I'm working to finish - Renegade Rapture the fifth book in my Psychic Menage Series - Don't be put off by the word Menage - I hope most who've read this article now knows I offer a whole lot more than sizzling romance in my novels.
I'm also drafting a book that will tell all the craft secrets published authors don't share with Newbies.
Thank you, Beverley for having me here today. I hope this interview on Secondary Characters has helped a few of your readers.

Blurb for Psychic Menage Series and the first 4 books of the series
Series blurb:

Though the humans were warned time and time again, they refused to believe doomsday was at hand until it was too late to find sanctuary. The price they paid - was their lives. This series takes place in the aftermath of the Transdamian Prophecies of the worlds end from devastating earth changes caused by the passing of the planet Nibiru. The series opens in the future of Earth, in 4860 AD. There were survivors. Not all were human, and not all of them were happy.

What they didn't know was, since the beginning of humanity there had always been and unseen presence guiding their beliefs, actions, and lives. The Secret Blood Doctrine is the law the Dirt Dwellers Elites live by. The Dirt Dwellers have their own goals and reasons for controlling the Earth. The humans were a means for accomplishing their goals, and a way to cover operating costs by culling them at the end of each cycle. At the arranged times, the Dirt Dwellers would withdraw to the Underworld to await the next renewal. http://amzn.to/2ikruOQ

Book One: Sinful Surrender, top psychic spy Fay Avalon suspects what she's remote viewed in her mind-travels and what her post-catastrophic dystopian government of the Underworld is stating as fact is in fact a lie. In search of the truth, she escapes the Underworld, only to land in the arms of her enemy; the Airbornes. Will she get the chance to uncover the secrets the Underworld is hiding? Or will those on the surface, Logan and his brothers, discover who she is? Will they make her their wife or execute her as a spy? http://amzn.to/2iQSitt

Book Two: Phantom Desire, the search for truth continues with Fay's friend Chandra Lamar, but from a past she can’t remember. A psychic vision pushes her to recall her purpose for being, but it’s a ghost that awakens her desires for a life she fears she’ll never have. Does Chandra find true love in the arms of the Nodin men or does her Phantom Desire forever own her heart? Will uncovering her true past expose the Underworld's deception? http://amzn.to/2iQDaw6

The plot thickens in Book Three: Exposed Ecstasy, when Tessla Reto escapes the Underworld after she finds the two men sent to help her are dead. She’s rescued by a handsome stranger…or is she? Faerydae’s search for truth and peace abruptly ends when a woman who stirs everything he’s spent a lifetime denying falls into his life. Will Shomar be able to win the woman of his dreams or will a Faery always have her heart? Can the Underworld's long reach find Tessla, daughter to the ruler of the Dirt Dwellers, on the space station or will they find a way to draw her back to the surface? http://amzn.to/2hZeahU

Book four: Intimate Betrayal, Kindise Wyatt is in search of her lover and escapes her Star Rider capture with the help of an Old World Mole. What she doesn't know is, his sexy but mysterious friend, Jaden Valenti is a Dirt Dweller and has orders to assassinate her. Will betrayal at every turn crush Kindise's inner strength to lead the Freedom Fighters and defeat the Dirt Dweller Elites? http://amzn.to/2hZeahU

The saga continues with three more books - I hope you decide to join this journey and visit my worlds.

You can find Houston at:
Website: http://houstonhavens.com
Blog: http://houstonhavens.com/blog
Twitter: https://twitter.com/HoustonHavens
Facebook: www.facebook.com/HoustonHavens
Newsletter signup: http://houstonhavens.com/vip/
Amazon Author Page - http://www.amazon.com/Houston-Havens/e/B00J1T0QY6/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+HoustonHavens/
Tumblr: http://houstonhavens.tumblr.com
Booklikes: http://authorhoustonhavens.booklikes.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/24819699-houston-havens


Don’t forget to check back next week for another author interview and discussion of secondary characters.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Website and Book Promotions Tips


First, you need a website, whether you design it yourself or pay for a designer. When you set up your website make sure you have an about me page on your website. Use a unique and fun "about me" page to add personality and authenticity to your author brand. Readers want to know about the author behind their favorite book. You also need to make sure you have a way for your readers to contact and connect with you on your website so people don’t have to hunt for a way to reach you.

Include a newsletter sign up box on your website. Make it front and center. You want to capture those readers so they'll come back for more.
Post you books and covers. Divide your books by series, and include the order. . The more ways you display your books, the better the chances are that readers will find them.
An easy to read, regularly updated website sells books. Forgo the white text on black backgrounds or lots of animated banners and avatars. Think professional and serious and your readers will get serious about your books.

Ensure that the elements of your website all point in the same direction-domain name, website title, post/page titles, targeted keywords in your content, links, tags, images, and so on should all have a commonality that is easy for search engines to catalog.  Start by making a list of ten high value keyword phrases related to your book, genre, and/or target audience.  

And a few quick tips to promote that book. Make your signature line count. Link it to your website first! And if you do link to your publisher or an online vendor's website, make sure the link goes to your author page.
If you want to promote your book – promote. Make time to do it.  Can you spend 10-15 minutes a day finding new twitter followers, sending or scheduling social media updates, or reaching out to secure a guest blog spot? Do this regularly to help to make your marketing activities grow.
Last, don't be afraid to ask for the sale. Everyone hates those "buy my book" emails and social media posts. Readers tune them out. But try phrasing it in a different way. "I'd be honored if you'd buy my book" or "Have you checked out
my book on Amazon?" Drop them sparingly into conversations or posts. It may lead to a sale. 

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Linda O'Connor Visits Secondary Characters


This week we’re going to find out a little about author Linda O’Connor. Linda will be talking about secondary characters. She’ll also tell us a little about herself and her writing, and answer some fun questions.
Linda O’Connor started writing a few years ago when she needed a creative outlet other than subtly rearranging the displays at the local home décor store. It turns out she loves writing romantic comedies and has a few more stories to tell. When not writing, she’s a physician at an Urgent Care Clinic (well, even when she is writing she’s a physician, and it shows up in her stories :D ). She hangs out at www.lindaoconnor.net.  Laugh every day. Love every minute.

Beverley: Are secondary characters important in a story?
Linda: Yes! Secondary characters provide relief from the drama of the story and are a perfect way to reveal backstory or important information without always being in the main character’s head. You can also get a sense of how the main character relates to or treats others by their relationship with the secondary characters. Sometimes the secondary characters provide a jumping point for the next story in a series.
Beverley: How many secondary characters should be in a story? Can you have too many?
Linda: I think you can have too many – it can get confusing to keep track of a lot of characters. Sometimes a series might have a few more because they’ve been developed over the series.
Beverley: Do secondary characters need to have or be involved in conflict? If yes - inner or outer conflicts, or both?
Linda: No, I don’t think they need to be involved directly in the conflict. They are there to help the main character see the conflict more clearly or push them to act a certain way.
Beverley: How detailed do you need to know your secondary characters?
Linda: Not as much as the main character – that’s what makes them secondary. :D They’re like the backdrop to help the main character shine.
Beverley: How do you use secondary characters in your books?
Linda: I usually try to have one main secondary character (usually a friend of the hero or heroine) who helps move the story along and then maybe one or two others who provide comic relief or specifically help highlight a personality trait of the main character. In the Perfectly Series, the next book is based on a secondary character from the previous story. I loved writing Perfectly Together, Book 6, because I revisited a lot of the characters from the first five books.
Beverley: Do you have any favorite secondary characters – yours or other?
Linda: In Perfectly Honest, Mikaela’s best friend, Margo MacMillan, asks a favour which sets up the story. She’s also essential for helping Mikaela work through the conflict. Sam’s mom makes an appearance, and she’s a hoot.
Beverley: Any last comments on secondary characters?
Linda: To me, the best part of a story is how the characters interact. So giving the main character someone to interact with, even if it’s a minor exchange, can add depth to the story.
Beverley: How long have you been writing?
Linda: I’ve been writing for 5 years.
Beverley: Which genre or genres do you write or prefer to write?
Linda: I’m a physician, and I started writing because I wanted to find a fun way to disseminate medical information and to educate and empower readers to take ownership of their health. Targeting a female audience with romance novels seemed like a good idea because women are usually the ones who see a doctor. (Males typically only go when a girlfriend/partner/spouse/mom encourages them to do so. :D) I write romantic comedies because I love being in a fun headspace when I’m writing. I think laughter is essential to great health!
Beverley: Who influenced you the most in deciding to become a writer?
Linda: It was a mix. The many romance writers whose novels I read played a big part. Conversations I had with my book club members after reading Bird by Bird and Eat, Pray, Love made me think that maybe I could write a novel.
Beverley: What obstacles did you have to overcome to begin creating your work?
Linda: I had to spend time learning about grammar and punctuation. Luckily, there were a wide variety of online courses available. And I found a really good editor!
Beverley: What gets your creative juices flowing?
Linda: News stories, headlines, snippets of conversations I hear, lyrics of songs, watching people and putting a story behind their body language or expression – they all inspire my imagination.
Beverley: What will stop your creative muse the quickest?
Linda: Fatigue at the end of the day.
Beverley: What do you have for breakfast?
Linda: cinnamon nut muffin, fruit yogurt (cherry is my fav), and milk.
Beverley: What do you wear when you are writing?  
Linda: My most comfortable clothes – shorts and a T-shirt or comfy sweats in the winter.
Beverley: Where do you do most of your writing?
Linda: I live in a house with a view of Lake Ontario, so I love to sit and write anywhere where I can see the water. I type on a laptop, so three seasons of the year I’ll sit outside. In the winter, I cozy up inside and watch the sun reflecting off the ice.
Beverley: Do you have a favorite cartoon character? Why?
Linda: Inspector Gadget. He had cool gadgets and was successful even though he usually took a circuitous route. I can relate to that. :D
Beverley: Who would you love most to meet 'in person' and why?
Linda: I’d like to meet Ellen DeGeneres. I’m inspired by her kindness, generosity, and her ability to make people laugh.
Beverley: If you had an unexpected free day what would you do with it?
Linda: Get up. Eat breakfast. Write until noon with a Skittle break at 10:30 a.m. Eat lunch. Write until 3 p.m. and get 4000 sublime, no-need-to-edit words done. Go for a bicycle ride. Swim. Share a healthy dinner with my family that someone else cooked. Go to Zumba. Shower. Spend the evening at book club with my friends. Sleep and dream of the next chapter before waking completely refreshed. Hahahahaha.
Beverley: What are you working on now?
Linda: I’ve finished a Perfectly Series novella, Perfectly Crazy in Love, which is part of the Sultry Nights Boxed Set. I’m currently editing and polishing Between the Pipes and Behind the Bench, Books 1 and 2 of the In the Game Hockey Series. They’re slated for release in December 2017 and early 2018!

Blurb for Perfectly Honest (Perfectly Series Book 1):
You never know where your words will take you …

When Mikaela Finn agreed to be Sam’s ‘fiancée’ for a weekend, she probably should have told him that she’s a doctor. Sam O’Brien, aka ‘Dr. Eye Candy’, is trying to shed his playboy reputation and convince a small town hospital that he’s ready to settle down.  But when his ‘fiancée’ helps deliver a baby in the middle of the meet and greet, it’s a bit of a shock. If he’d known the whole truth, he might have done things a little differently because somehow his ‘fiancée’ ends up stealing his job and his heart. Not exactly the change he wanted.
Lies and deceit – it’s a match made in heaven!

Buy Link:   
You can find Linda at:
Website:  http://www.lindaoconnor.net
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/LindaOConnorAuthor
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/LindaOConnor98
Amazon Author Page:  http://www.amazon.com/Linda-OConnor/e/B00S7CNLEA

Don’t forget to check back next week for another author interview