Guest: Caroline Linden on Secondary Characters

Hi friends! Is everyone stateside recovered from … :X Tax Day? Today we have a short and sweet post from Caroline Linden, who is a first timer to ALBTALBS! So everyone be nice to her! It’s possible she’s offering a bribe too. 😉 Her newest book All’s Fair in Love and Scandal will be out on April 21, and is only $1.99 right now! Soon soon soon! But – let’s see what she has to say today. 🙂

Blame It on BathI always love my secondary characters.

Sometimes I fully intend to write another book starring them; in that case I try to sort them out during the first book, with an eye toward dropping clues and hints about their (future) story. Sometimes it’s more accidental, and the character just grows on me so much I don’t want to let them go. That’s what led to I Love the Earl, the novella I wrote about a character in Blame It on Bath who was just meant to be a passing presence, the helpful aunt who passed the hero some information. Other times… well, other times I really like the characters but am perfectly happy to let them remain un-written-about.

After I wrote Love and Other Scandals, there was a character I definitely wanted to write more about: Aunt Evangeline. I thought she was so cool, a former wild child with two bad marriages in her past, a younger lover she refused to marry, a free spirit who did things her own way and had reached the point where she didn’t give a rip about what people thought of her. I still want to write about her, but when I asked on my Facebook page, if people wanted to read more about her, the response surprised me. Yes please, more Evangeline, people said—but even more urgently, we want Douglas.

Love and Other ScandalsNow, Douglas was a walk-away-from character. He was the heroine’s brother, fond of gambling and drinking and chasing women. I didn’t write anything in his character that I meant to use later. Yet some people wrote to me to explain why they loved Douglas and wanted to read his story and even why he should fall in love with a particular friend of his sister’s. That last part did not fit at all with my plans, but it was really moving to see how much people saw in him.

Lesson learned: don’t ask whose story you should write next if you are afraid of the answer.

So All’s Fair in Love and Scandal is a story that came from nothing: a carefree rake who’d been born lucky, but who had to meet his match. It was a challenge, but a fun one. I hope everyone who loved Douglas enjoys his story—I’m very grateful you all encouraged me to write it!

All's Fair in Love and ScandalNothing wagered…

Douglas Bennet can’t resist a good wager, especially not one that involves a beautiful woman. When a friend proposes an audacious plan to expose the most notorious woman in England, Douglas agrees at once. After all, it would be quite a coup to discover the true identity of Lady Constance, author of the infamous erotic serial scandalizing the ton, 50 Ways to Sin.

Nothing won…

Madeline Wilde is used to being pursued. For years she’s cultivated a reputation for being unattainable and mysterious, and for good reason: her livelihood depends on discretion. When Douglas turns his legendary charm on her, she dismisses him as just another rake. But he surprises her—instead of merely trying to seduce her, he becomes her friend…her confidant…and her lover. But can it really lead to happily-ever-after…or are they about to become the biggest scandal London has ever seen?

So what do you think about secondary characters? Inquiring minds want to know! And to sweeten the pot, Caroline has offered a copy of Love and Other Scandals to one lucky commenter!

9 thoughts on “Guest: Caroline Linden on Secondary Characters

  1. Ada

    I love a good secondary characters, especially in a series. I like knowing our hero/heroines are smart enough to surround themselves with interesting people that make me want to read more! And it always makes it better because we learn so much about them that it’s like re-visiting family rather than meeting a string of new characters. Hi Caroline!! Great to see you here at ALBTALBS 🙂

  2. Diane Sallans

    Using secondary characters can provide the opportunity to show other sides of the main characters – and I love it when some of them get their own stories!

  3. Ki Pha

    Oh secondary characters…. I do love them so very much. They add flavor to the story and make it more fun to read and follow them along. Plus they tend to be the more rational ones, not in their own story of course but in others, they’re mind-readers~ LoL

    And I absolutely adored Lady Evangeline. But Douglas was what I had in mind as the next story so I’m pretty shocked he was supposed to be only a side character. I mean come on, how he left ringed a huge bell so I’m surprised he wasn’t on the list from the beginning. But I’m glad to have his story and can’t wait for the next one!

    *not in for the prize*

  4. Anita H.

    Most of the time I enjoy secondary characters because they can add so much to the story but sometimes they can be a distraction if they are annoying and causes so much upheaval in the story that makes me dislike them and in turn, ruin my enjoyment of the story!

    Hi Caroline, thanks for sharing how Douglas’ story came to be, I can’t wait to read it! 😀


Join the conversation!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.