Hello, all! Thank you so much for joining me here today for my monthly column at Sinfully.
With the 9th book in the THIRDS series already up for pre-order, I’ve been immersed in Seb and Hudson’s world. I remember having a chat with my beta reader when the first draft of Darkest Hour Before Dawn was complete—I didn’t even have a title then—and she mentioned how next to Dex and Sloane, Seb and Hudson were her favorite couple. I blinked at her, and said “really? But they’ve had the least amount of face time in the series.” She then explained how it wasn’t about the amount of time they appeared, but the impact they made when they did. I’ve had several readers express their love for Seb and Hudson as well from as early as book 3, and I found that fascinating.
I’m a big believer in fleshing out not just the main characters, but the world around them and the people who inhabit that world alongside them. I treat my secondary characters like heroes because you never know, they may end up being your next main character. When I say secondary characters, I don’t mean Agent #3 who’s hanging out in the canteen while our cheesy-doodle crunching hero is getting himself threatened by a bear Therian (shifter) three times his size over cheese snacks. Now the bear Therian, he’s there for a reason. He’s not just Agent #4. We sprinkle in enough detail to make him memorable. All my THIRDS readers know him now as Zach, and are very patiently waiting for Zach’s book. Why is Zach getting a book? Because I made sure to make Zach memorable.
Very early on in the series, Zach was memorable for one reason. Even if readers didn’t remember his name, all you had to say was “the guy who hung Dex upside down over Cheesy Doodles” and everyone knew who he was. Then in Rack & Ruin (book 3), we meet a wiry, smart-aleck, wise-cracking, cheetah Therian named Austen Payne, another secondary character. From Austen’s first scene, he’s memorable. He’s chased down by one of our main characters Sloane in their shifted form, and carried back like a giant kitten in Sloane’s jaguar Therian jaws. Austen is chill. He’s just hanging out in this dude’s bone-crushing jaws. We find out more about Austen. Then later on in the book, the heat is on, and Austen is injured. Sloane needs someone big and fierce to keep Austen safe. Who does he bring in? Wait for it…. Zach! Yeah, I’m a nerd that way. Now we have Zach, our bear Therian from book 1, and our sassy cheetah Therian who obviously is in need of some major loving to help heal some of the broke inside him. The two meet. It’s not all hearts and unicorns. Austen fears the guy will gnaw on his wee bones.
One of the questions I get most asked frequently? When is Zach and Austen getting their own book? Even if a book or series isn’t set in a paranormal/urban fantasy setting like the THIRDS with a billion and one characters (they just keep popping out of the woodwork!), fleshing out secondary characters is important. They need to be three dimensional. I flesh out my secondary characters nearly as much as my main characters, and if I know they’re going to end up in their own story, I flesh them out even more. Never just throw random traits and quirk at them because if these guys end up with their own story, there’s no going back. Or you’re going to have a hell of a time trying to explain away something you did in previous books. It’s really tough balancing out all these characters and making sure they don’t outshine your main characters. They’ll get their time in the limelight. They just have to wait their turn. Same when your main characters become secondary characters in someone else’s book. You don’t want to stop your main character from being who they are, but you don’t want them taking the spotlight away from your main characters—I’m looking at you Dex.
Who are some of your favorite secondary characters and why? Did they or will they get their own story?
Darkest Hour Before Dawn (THIRDS #9)
by Charlie Cochet
Title: Darkest Hour Before Dawn (THIRDS, Book 9)
Author: Charlie Cochet
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release: 25th April 2017
Genre: Paranormal Gay Romance, Shifters
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase
THIRDS Team Leader Sebastian Hobbs and Chief Medical Examiner Hudson Colbourn are as much in love now as they were nearly seven years ago when a tragic event on the job destroyed their relationship. The two drift together only to be pulled apart time and time again. When Hudson draws the interest of dangerous enemies, both within and outside the organization, Seb wants nothing more than to protect the man who still means everything to him.
As life-and-death events, an uncertain future, and startling truths draw Hudson and Seb to each other yet again, they must make a choice: trust their love and take strength from what they share, or lose what matters most… for good this time.
Meet Charlie Cochet
Charlie Cochet is an author by day and artist by night. Always quick to succumb to the whispers of her wayward muse, no star is out of reach when following her passion. From adventurous agents and sexy shifters, to society gentlemen and hardboiled detectives, there’s bound to be plenty of mischief for her heroes to find themselves in, and plenty of romance, too!
Currently residing in Central Florida, Charlie is at the beck and call of a rascally Doxiepoo bent on world domination. When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading, drawing, or watching movies. She runs on coffee, thrives on music, and loves to hear from readers.
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