Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Charlie Cochet’s Men & Mischief Monthly Author Column… Secondary Characters Making an Impact

Charlie M & M

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

Length: Novel

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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.

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Meet Charlie Cochet

Charlie_Cochet_by_madison_parker150Charlie 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.

Website | THIRDS HQ | Facebook | Facebook Author Page | Twitter | Pinterest |Tumblr | Instagram | Newsletter | DSP | Amazon | Goodreads



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  1. Thanks for the post, Charlie. It's true that I found some interesting secondary characters in books I read that I'm curious in knowing (and reading) more. Hudson and Seb were among them. :)
    puspitorinid AT yahoo DOT com

  2. Thanks for the post,I usually find myself in love with secondary characters ^_^

  3. Great post, Charlie. One of the things I enjoy in the THIRDS series are that all characters seem so relevant. Of course, I love Dex and Sloan, but the rest of the characters seem to be claiming to have their own story told, even Lou (although I did not like him much at the beginning).And, yes, I'm eagerly waiting for Zach and Austin! ;)

  4. Thank you for the post. Secondary characters are so important in a book. They can add that extra element to a story that can make a good book a wonderful book.
    Tankie44 at gmail dot com

  5. I know Dex and Sloane are the main characters, but for the longest time I used scour the pages for Ash appearances, I was so happy when he got his story but I confess I still search for Ash in your books or fics. Sloane and Ash are the best thing ever (and Dex fighting with him)

  6. Apart from Seb & Hudson one of my favourite secondary characters was from Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunter series. He is introduced as Zarek of Moesia in Night Embrace and everyone hates him and he's a real bad a@^e. Then he becomes the hero of Dance with the Devil and oooh boy he became one of my favourite characters ever.

  7. I love Zach. It was sweet that he gave a bag of cheesy doodles to Dex when he was sad. I am having a hard time with Austen being paired with Zach, I have never liked Austen. I like Seb, he's really caring and tender with Ethan(which is my favorite). I am having a hard time with Hudson also, I have never warmed up to him. I am hoping that book 9 can change my mind about him.

  8. @Ilona Zarek is a great example. He came off as psycho when introduced but he and his story was great.
    I'm going with Dominic and Luke from the Cyberlove series from Erickson&Hassell. Dom was introduced as this cocky soldier questioning his sexuality. The snippets you got you wanted to get more and you did in the next book, which I thought was a great story for him.
    I will say I am looking forward to Seb and Hudsons book. Reading their snippets definitely have me excited for their story. Thanks Charlie for this wonderful series.

  9. Austen is one of my fav secondary characters and I am thrilled that he and Zach will get their story. (I also love that you spell Austen with an "e". That's how we spell our son's name and I don't see it very often.)

    Another favorite secondary character of mine is Christine from Jordan L. Hawk's Whyborne & Griffin. While Christine hasn't had her own book, she has played a big role in many of the books in the series.

    Thanks for another great post!


  10. I loved Jaime Reese's Aiden the minute he appeared in the books. So tortured and crunchy. He did get his own and WOW, was it stunning! Lucy Lennox's Brad came off as a flaky twink in Borrowing Blue until BAM, you realized that he really didn't know what he was getting into or how much of a schmuck it made him look like. He gets his HEA in a short story she did recently and it was a lovely read.

    One of the things that drew me to the THIRDS series was how well you flesh out the universe. I did play by email role play for nearly 14 years and I was a huge fan of books where the secondary in one is the main in another. I want to write THIRDS fan fiction so bad!

    One of the things that drew me to the THIRDS series was how well you flesh out the 'universe'. Everything is well thought out and the characters are so multi-dimensional that they come alive for me and allow me the escape I need sometimes!

  11. Zeke is one of my fav characters in the whole Dark Hunter Universe. Most characters got their own book or will do.
    I prefer when secondary characters get their own story at some point because there's always something only they can tell and this way we get to see them as they really are and not through the MC's eyes.
    I can't wait for Martin from The Black Sheep and The Rotten Apple to get his own book.

  12. I can't wait! I love to hear about every couple and their stores! Charlie writes so well and I love the world she has created. I'm so invested and enjoy every book and audio book so far! I also love the sexy times! So awesome! ♥ ♥ ♥

  13. I adore Nina and Zack (even if he has not been around much) I don't know what is bout the big guy but he comes across as a huge moody yet adorable guy, Maybe it was his almost murderous way of defending his Cheesy doodles

  14. I love all your THIRDS characters and I love that they all pretty much got their own stories.

  15. Love ๐Ÿ’˜ this. Love ๐Ÿ’˜ your witty books

  16. sorry forgot my email: humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

  17. Without any contest, Seb and Hudson are my favorite ones. At some point I love them more than I do with Dex and Sloane or Ash and Carl. Because they used to be a couple. They have had a story. A tragic story. They got their hearts broken and even though, they are still so cute, so "human" and very pleasant.
    Yet, i need to know about Rafe. I hated this dude to death but now, i need to know more about him.
    Thank you Charlie for the chance.
    E-mail :

    1. Congratulations Qhuay, you are our lucky winner of this month's author column from Charlie. An email is on its way to you :-)

  18. THIRDS has the best cast of secondary characters. They are all so well fleshed out that you know they will pop out with their own story....eventually!


  19. Dex & Sloane are my all time favorite couple (with Ty & Zane from Cut & Run), but I just can't wait for the HEA with Seb & Hudson, Cal & Ethan, Ash & Cael, Rafe & Nina, or Zach & Austen. And Tony, just please, don't let him suffer. Or Taylor ...
    Thank you Charlie for this world :)

  20. I really love this cast of characters because they're so well rounded. It's hard to pick a favorite because they all rock! Right now I'm loving Letty & Rosa. Since this is a m/m series, they probably won't get their own books but I love seeing the glimpses of their lives as each book unfolds; those women are fierce! I also love Cal & Ethan because Calvin & Hobbs! Cheesy, I know but it makes me smile every time.

  21. I'm so happy we'll soon be able to read about Seb & Hudson, I loved them apart and I can't wait to see them together!

    One of my favorite secondary characters in the THIRDS series is Letty, I hope we'll get a chance to learn more about her.

    foebz (at) hotmail (dot) com