Everyone views life through their own set of experiences. How I see a situation is not the same as how you see it. What might be scary for me, might not be for you. What makes me uneasy, might merely be a small inconvenience for someone else. What delights me and makes me smile, might get very little reaction from another person. That is how life is. It is part of what makes us unique, and it is an idea that we have to embrace if we ever wish to understand another person.
This is exactly the case for the main characters in my latest book, Her Heart’s Choice. Each is approaching the idea of marriage from a different vantage point. While one desires a marriage founded on love, the other sees love as not enough. The turning point comes when our hero realizes that the heroine is seeing the situation through very different experiences. Once this happens, he can then offer her exactly what she seeks.
The following is a short excerpt from when that happens.
“You play chess?” asked Anne.
Alex nodded. “I do. I do not play well, but I do play. Do you?”
“On occasion,” replied Anne.
“My brother is quite good,” interjected Georgiana. “I have beaten him once, but I think he allowed it.” She giggled and leaned forward as she whispered, “Elizabeth is helping me learn, so that he will not need to allow me to win next time.”
“And is Mrs. Darcy a good player?” Jonathan asked.
Georgiana smirked. “My brother does much more huffing and shushing when he plays her than when he plays me.” Her three companions chuckled at this. “I have often thought the pawns were the bravest,” she added. “They march forward into battle with little power to protect themselves, but always with the intent of protecting their king.” She shrugged. “I find that brave.”
“I had not considered it as such,” said Jonathan, “but I would have to agree.”
“I would not choose to be a pawn, however,” Georgiana replied with a smile. “I am not so very brave.”
“And what piece would you be?” asked Alex.
Georgiana pursed her lips and furrowed her brow. “I had not considered it.”
“I would be the queen,” said Anne. “She can move as she wants and holds great power. The others will often protect not only the king but the queen as well, and,” she lifted her fork as she made her point, “a pawn will march his way across a board, facing danger at every move, just to become a queen.”
“I should not like to be the queen,” said Georgiana softly. “I would not wish such a great responsibility.”
“Responsibility?” questioned Anne.
Georgiana nodded. “If the queen is captured, does she not put every other piece in greater danger, including the king?” She blushed. “I like to imagine the king and queen love each other.” She made the admission quietly. “I should hate to place any I love in danger.” She was quiet for a moment. “I have changed my mind,” she said finally, “I think I should like to be a pawn, bravely defending those she loves — if only I could be so brave.”
Alex nodded thoughtfully. “I still would wish to be the knight.” He smiled. “Not only would I then get to defend my king and queen with my life, but I would also get to ride a horse while doing so.”
His tone may have been light, nearly a laugh, but the intensity with which he looked at Anne was far from light. She understood his meaning.
Just before this exchange, Alex had pieced together what it is that Anne wants, and Anne knows from his choice of chess piece that he understands. It should be an easy step from here to happily ever after, right? One would think that, but again, each character is viewing actions through the glasses of previous experience, and those glasses can often make things cloudy.
Creating those glasses of previous experience and helping the characters to focus their lenses is part of what I love about writing stories. And I believe, it is part of what I find so absolutely fascinating about writing stories for secondary characters because, for many of them, we are given very little detail and typically no depth to understand motivations. From the excitement that such thoughts create in my mind, I think it would be safe to say that character creation and development is a passion of mine. I find it fascinating. I obsess over making them realistic. I find myself becoming an enthusiastic champion of the minor character as I draw them forward and give them their moment to shine. And they stay with me, in my heart, long after the story is finished. I learn things through them by helping them to become round characters and reach their happily ever after. How thrilling is that? To me ? Extremely!
Now, before I tell you about a giveaway, let’s do some math.
Below is a list of my ten books and their main characters. What percentage of these books are stories dedicated to characters other than our beloved Darcy and Elizabeth? (Be careful, it is a little tricky.)
Darcy and Elizabeth
For Peace of Mind
Darcy and Elizabeth
3 Darcy and Elizabeth short stories, 1 Colonel Fitzwilliam (and he is a main character in one of the Darcy and Elizabeth stories), 1 Edmund Bertram, 1 Mr. Bingley
*Listen to Your Heart
Anne de Bourgh and Colonel Fitzwilliam with Darcy and Elizabeth as well as Lady Catherine and a lost love 😉 (I am not saying who that is as it is a lovely surprise twist.)
*Through Every Storm
Wickham and Lydia
Her Father’s Choice
Darcy and Elizabeth
*No Other Choice
Mary and Lord Rycroft
*His Inconvenient Choice
Kitty and Richard
*Her Heart’s Choice
Anne de Bourgh and Alexander Madoch
*And Then Love
Lucy Tolson and Philip Dobney – friends of Darcy and the new rector at Kympton
Did you get 65%? If you did, you are correct.
I have six and one-half books dedicated to the happily ever afters of characters other than Darcy and Elizabeth. Yes, I definitely have a thing for secondary characters, don’t I?
And to celebrate those secondary characters, I would like to give a Kindle book to three readers.
To enter, simply tell me which title marked with an * in the list above would be your choice if you won.
Contest closes on Friday, June 10 at midnight EST.