There are a few characters in my Highlander novels who have ended up being larger than life. Some I expected, some I did not. What I love most is how my readers let me know which ones they love most, and they let me know quickly.
What readers don’t realize is that their input can drive much of what a writer does in the future—the direction in which they take their next novels.
How do I know? From your emails, your comments on my Facebook page, and your reviews. Yes, I still read all your reviews.
So, let’s take a look at a few of the characters I’ve noticed are quite popular.
First the expected, and then the surprises for me. The book each character first appeared in is listed.
- Laird Alexander Grant (Rescued by a Highlander)—Larger than life; tall, dark, and handsome; and the master swordsman of the Highlands. Alex grabbed many of my readers’ hearts, and for many of you, he has never let go. Why? I think because while he is larger than life—brusque and muscular, with a tendency to yell—he has a tender side that melts your heart. Who can forget how gentle he was with Madeline? Well done, Alex!
- Loki (Love Letters from Largs)-—While I am definitely a plotter, which means I write the entire outline of my plot for each novel before I type a word of the story, there are many things that never pop into my head until I’m in the middle of the action, fingers flying across the keyboard. Enter Loki. A scamp who grew up in a crate behind an inn, with no memory of his life before it, Loki became a quick favorite of my readers. Why? He adored Celestina and followed her everywhere. He became her tiny hero, though she didn’t even know it. Brodie Grant used the lad as his helper, because the wee trickster could find his way anywhere without being seen. The end of Love Letters from Largs contains a poignant ceremony that squeezed many a tear out of readers, but I won’t say any more. Read it if you haven’t yet! Loki was such a favorite that he popped up in Journey to the Highlands and The Brightest Star in the Highlands in the Clan Grant series. He grabbed a piece of all our hearts, so much so that readers begged me for his story. I was glad to oblige—he was the first hero in my second Scottish series.
- Gwyneth Ramsay (Journey to the Highlands)—Gwyneth was a difficult character for me to write. To be partnered with Logan, she had to be special. I wanted to write a completely different female character—one who was feisty and strong, unafraid of anything or any man, and talented at some activity normally reserved for men. I did my best to write such a character, a character worthy of Logan Ramsay. I was extremely nervous about how Gwyneth would be received, but I was so pleased when you all came to love her the way I do—flaws and all. Whew!
- Kenzie (Loki)—No surprise here. Loki is such a favorite that I had to make another character in his image. Strange even to me that I didn’t plan Kenzie as a character, instead he popped onto the page as soon as Loki entered Ayr, and I said, “Of course!” He’s still crafty and wise, but he’s a bit softer of heart, probably because he remembers his mother, whereas Loki does not. Kenzie is also a bit more talkative. There is nothing hidden with him. You’ll see.
My next blog post will be about the characters I did NOT expect to be favorites.