Beware: major spoilers ahead!
(In describing how some of my characters ‘book-hop’, I may ruin it for you by giving spoilers. Please don’t read on if you don’t want to be exposed to spoilers, such as plot points or romantic pairings!)
I love secondary or minor characters. They add so much to a story and aren’t bound by the rules or preconceptions which can govern the main players. They frequently surprise me when I’m writing and by the time the story is complete, they have often developed in a way I didn’t anticipate. Occasionally, they become so vivid and interesting that I have to work hard to stop them pushing their way to the front and overpowering the lead actors!
Then they get to ‘visit’ various stories and sometimes they even get their own romance. All my stories can be read as stand-alone but here are details of how a few characters hop between books:
Theo Cavanagh was a minor character in Ice Angel (younger brother of the hero, Hal). He was a real charmer and so certain he wasn’t going to fall in love, I just knew I would have to write about how he met his match!
Theo’s story appears in A Bright Particular Star, published by Astraea Press April 2012.
Sir Seymour Dinniscombe and Harriet, Lady Dinniscombe née Forster. Sir Seymour, aka Dinny, was sketched out at the planning stage as a portly, very rich valetudinarian and Regency fashionista. He, however, had no intention of being simply a figure of fun. His intelligence, kindness and interest in wider matters manifested itself during Ice Angel, where he helped in a frantic search for Isabella’s son Dominic and then dashed off to Sussex, proving in the process that love is always more important than muddy boots*g*
In Ice Angel, he fell in love with Harriet Forster, Isabella’s widowed aunt. Harriet, now Lady Dinniscombe, brings out Sir Seymour’s romantic side, restrains him from his more outrageous fashion choices, and aids and encourages all his varied interests.
Harriet and Sir Seymour are at the heart of London high society, a position which serves Sir Seymour’s political and social pursuits, and indirectly (or sometimes directly!) helping other couples find love.
We meet Harriet and Sir Seymour again in A Bright Particular Star.
Hal Cavanagh, Earl of Bramwell and Isabella, Countess of Bramwell. Ice Angel is Hal and Isabella’s love story. Both have been hurt in the past and neither can imagine loving again. Until they meet, that is. Hal’s large and lively family played such an important role in the book – especially Theo – that I wanted to re-visit them.
Freddy Isherwood and Lady Julia Isherwood née Cavanagh. Freddy is Hal’s best friend in Ice Angel and has been love with Julia, Hal’s younger sister, for some time. An argument and a miscommunication, caused by Theo’s well-meaning but disastrous attempt to smooth the path of their romance, drive them apart but they eventually enjoy a passionate reconcilliation.
Margeurite, Dowager Countess of Bramwell. Mother of Hal, Theo, Julia and twins Lukas and Hugo, Margeurite is an eminently sensible woman and hopefully a refreshing change from the meddling older character usually found in romance novels.
We briefly meet Hal, Isabella, Dominic, Marguerite, Julia and Freddy again in A Bright Particular Star.
Lord and Lady Allingham. Lord Allingham and his wife Leonora feature in Siren’s Daughter, a short story in the Midsummer Eve at Rookery End collection. We discover how they met in a prequel story – The Virtuous Courtesan – originally part of the Brief Encounters anthology and now also included in the new (2013) edition of Midsummer Eve at Rookery End. They also make an appearance in Love’s Thorne, a brand new short story for the 2013 edition.
I’ll probably be adding to this list in the future so check back from time to time!