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  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:
Amazon Author Page:

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


  1. Thanks so much for hosting me Beverley! Secondary characters can be fascinating because of all the roles they play. :D

  2. I enjoyed the post about secondary characters. I find them to be vital to a well-rounded story!

  3. Loved the post about secondary characters. I write romantic comedy, too, and appreciate what you do. Hugs!