Thursday, January 16, 2014

What to Do with Leftover Characters

Karen Witemeyer
If you're like me, after the holidays, your house is filled with leftovers. Food, decorations, Christmas cards, gifts you're not quite sure what to do with. One of the challenges of the New Year is to tackle these leftovers so that the house isn't overrun. The easiest thing to do is to just throw everything away and start fresh, but that can be wasteful. So we pack some things away. Donate others. Recycle others. But my favorite is to take those leftovers and find a new way to use them. Who doesn't love turkey casseroles?

In your writing, there occasionally comes a time when you are faced with a similar dilemma. Perhaps you've reached the end of a series, or you have a compelling secondary character who lingers in your mind not wanting to be packed away. How do you handle these leftovers?

You could just throw them away and start fresh. Or you could carefully pack them up hoping that they might be brought out again sometimes in the future. Or you might repurpose them into something delicious.

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I did just that with my Archer brothers. Readers grew so attached to these reclusive brothers named for heroes from the Alamo, that they clamored for more. And to be honest, I became rather attached to them as well. My editors have always steered me away from series because I only put out one full-length novel a year and it is hard to sustain interest in a series when they are spread out over such long periods of time. However, after turning in the manuscript for Short-Straw Bride, the book where Travis and his brother Jim both find love, I pleaded with my publisher to let me write another Archer story. I promised to write it so that it read as a stand-alone book, new characters, new setting, etc. 

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They agreed and Stealing the Preacher released the following year (Crockett's story). But there were four Archer brothers. So what was I to do with the youngest of the clan – Neill?

That's when I got the idea of trying a novella. It seemed the perfect solution. It would be a shorter project that could be finished more quickly so my readers wouldn't have to wait a full year to read the final Archer story. At the same time, it would free my next full-length project up for a new story in the pattern my editors preferred. But would my publisher get on board with the idea?

Thankfully, the answer was yes. After discussing it with my editors and my agent, we came up with three additional Bethany House authors who were willing to join in the project (Mary Connealy, Regina Jennings, and Carol Cox). The four of us got together and brainstormed ideas for how to tie the four stories together, and after a few virtual meetings, A Match Made in Texas was born.

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I enjoyed writing the shorter novella piece so much, that when my next contract came around, I incorporated ideas for additional novellas. My publisher bought two. So now when I write my full-length novels, I can take those leftover characters (compelling secondary characters that are just begging to star in their own tale) and create marketable novellas for them. My hope is that offering additional content between my annual releases will keep my fan base hungry for more. An since these next two novella projects will most likely be e-format only, I'm also hoping that with the lower price point, new readers will give me a try and become devoted fans.

But what if your publisher isn't open to the novella idea? Well, there are many ways to get extra content to your readers. Self-publishing is opening a door for just these types of projects. However, some publishers might consider this a conflict of interest, so be sure to work with your agent and be up front with your publisher before setting a project in motion.

Another option is to offer bonus content free to your readers either on your website or as a "gift" for signing up for your newsletter or liking your Facebook page. I have done both of these. I posted the epilogue that was cut from my first book on my website for all readers to access for free. I also have a short story and Bible study that I wrote years ago, fictionalizing the story of Rahab that I offer as a free gift to anyone who signs up for my newsletter. My publisher has also run promotions where everyone who likes my author page on Facebook gets exclusive access to the first chapters of my next book well before they are available anywhere else.

My only caution is to never slap something together just to have more content available. Your name is on it, and it must reflect the quality of writing your readers have come to expect from you. It must fit your brand. If not, this bonus content will end up hurting your career more than helping it.

So the next time you have leftover characters or story ideas . . . think about writing a novella, an epilogue, a companion story, anything that will help get content in front of your fans and help build your readership. Whether the material is free on your website or published in print or digital formats, it can go a long way toward keeping your readers engaged.

Have you got any secondary characters you love and have 'left behind'. Is there a story for them in you? Leave a comment to get your name in a drawing for a copy of A Match Made in Texas
Karen is living her dream by writing Christian historical romance novels for Bethany House. Her books have consistently hit bestseller lists and have garnered awards such as the ACFW Carol Award, the Holt Medallion, and the Christian Manifesto's Lime Award for Excellence in Fiction. In addition, she is a multiple RITA and National Reader's Choice finalist. Karen is also a sought-after speaker for national writing conferences and regional workshops. 
Find out more about Karen and her books: A Match Made in Texas (a novella collection) Stealing the Preacher, Short-Straw Bridand To Win Her Heart ~ 2012 Carol Award and HOLT Medallion Winner


  1. Welcome, Karen.

    It's always fun to see you in choir at conference. And to read your books.

    I just finished the first draft of a novella, using material cut from another project. Your post confirmed that it wasn't a bad idea. :)

    There's coffee a brewing.

  2. Anything you as authors want to do with your characters, JUST DO IT!! I'll read it! Thanks, Karen for another great post. And yes, it needs to be quality, instead of just quantity, but I'll never turn it down when you include both. And yes, I'd like a chance on winning!

  3. Helen, your dedication to writing and coffee making is noticed and appreciated?

  4. Hello Karen.

    You offered some great ideas. I'm working on a first book in a series and have plans for two more.

    In my first book, I have the heroine reforming the town drunk. Both of my critique partners suggested I give him is own story, but he wasn't one of the characters I wanted to use. I never considered using him in a novella.

    Thanks for the post.

  5. Oh, and I Love your book covers. Bethany always does a great job.

  6. Hi Karen.

    Thanks for the post.

    I am working on a book right now that I would love to use some of the secondary characters as main characters in another book.

    I would also love to be entered for a chance to win A Match Made in Texas...


  7. I am working on my first book and I have a character that should be a secondary character but she's trying to steal the show, and I have fallen in love with her. My problem is she is an elderly lady and I don't know that she could sustain her own story but she surely could be the 'matchmaker' for future stories.

    I would love to be entered in your giveaway. Thank you for the opportunity.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

    countrybear52 AT yahoo DOT com

  8. I don't know about your other readers but I could definitely sustain interest in a series written by you even if I had to wait a year between releases!
    Even though I wish it was a full length novel I am so happy Neill is getting a story (which sounds amazing by the way!) that I'm content with a novella! I can't wait to read it and my sister and friend are both clamoring to read it as soon as I'm finished!
    I was also crazy excited to hear that you are doing more novellas so we won't have to wait so long to get new things written by you!

  9. Hi, Karen.

    I read Stealing the Preacher and absolutely loved it. I don't usually read historicals, but the premise and the characters drew me right in, and the heart of the story is timeless. I really like the Archer brothers and would love to know what happens with Neil. Please enter me into this drawing.

    A few months ago, I tried my hand at romantic suspense during NaNoWriMo and had someone reading my daily output to keep me on track. I wrote in a character to add a complication initially, but to ultimately be a big help to the hero and heroine. My reader ended up loving him more than my hero! I was a little put out by that, but I could understand why she loved him. She has been clamoring to read a story about him ever since. I was also intrigued by two supporting characters in that story, one of which I imagined was just begging for a woman who would get him. So I ended up with my very first idea for a series.

    Being unpublished and not knowing how an editor would feel about having all of the books is a little anxiety-inducing, but is also a (relatively) far off worry for down the road. I am currently working on the second story while swapping chapters of the first with my critique group in preparation for submission.

    I've never tried a novella, but that would be an awesome solution to dealing with leftover characters. I also like when authors will sprinkle in a beloved character from an earlier book into the others in a series, even if they don't get their own full length book. I like when you can see them evolve or find love of their own in the background of all the other stories.

  10. Hi Karen,

    Welcome to Seekerville. I'm not published yet, but I've written a few books. The ones I've written are series because I loved the secondary characters and loved the settings.

    I like your idea of a free read to entice readers, and thanks for the encouragement to do our best with every writing project.

    Have a great day!

  11. Welcome Karen! I'm trying to embrace recycling and throwing out! My house is a mad mass of clutter after the holidays. It's time to get serious!

    No way could I ever toss my characters! I get too attached to them and the secondary characters that fill out their lives. Novellas seem such a perfect solution to the character who isn't quite rounded enough for a full-length book.

    Love the idea of offering epilogues on websites! You've given me so much to think just to find the time to write it all, LOL!

  12. I'm a novella lover and have a four year old boy running amuck, so that probably explains it. That, and the price for ebook novellas is about right (99cents or free).

    I love the idea of "leftover" characters getting their own stories. I'm not sure "leftover" is the right term though, - my brain gives leftovers a slightly negative vibe. Since people usually are clamoring for their stories, I would call them BONUS characters. That feels more positive (but I do like the leftover analogy thing).

    Oh, and PLEASE put my name in the running for your novella anthology. I've been eyeing buying it, but with car trouble this past holiday season, budget isn't allowing anything other than free downloads for me *sigh*.

  13. I LOVED Short-Straw Bride and I am soon to read Stealing the Preacher. I would love to read A Match Made in Texas.

    As for leftover characters, I am working on my first novel and haven't had to deal with that yet. Thanks for the great article!

  14. Morning KAREN and welcome to Seekerville. What great ideas to use secondary characters in other ways. I really like the idea of offering their story on your website. A great way to get readers interested in your website.

    I don't particularly like series, but these ideas would be great ways to get a peek at what happened to the other characters without having to read another whole book.

    Sometimes when writers try to incorporate a series they develop too many characters and it gets confusing, esp if there is a lot of time between them. Usually we read so many books in between, we forget who they are. And it annoys the heck out of me to pick up a book, enjoy it and then find it is in the middle or end of a series. So I'm pleased that your publisher encourages you to write stand alones.

  15. It's fun to hear a little background about some of your books and what you did with your "left over characters." The idea of novellas for those characters' stories, or/and to tie up a secondary character's story is a good one. :) Thanks for the other tips as well that we can give as gifts for readers.

    Loved your post!

  16. Hi Karen! I have been dealing with this very issue on my work in progress.

    I have two characters I LOVE. One in particular was my POV character for my prologue. This character is near and dear to me and even won a couple of writing contests for me. As I get deeper into my MC' s Hero's Journey, however, things are changing and the Prologue is becoming unnecessary. I'm sad because I want this character's story to be known. I've written entire backstory chapters with her so I can get a better picture of my story, chapters that will have no place in the finished novel.

    I have noticed novella releases btw main releases have become more popular and hope Elizabeth's story will eventually find a place. If not as a novella then perhaps on my blog, as you said. Thanks so much! Glad to know I'm not the only one who has a hard time letting go:)

  17. I have so many characters rattling in my head I'd like to give stories too.

    I have a perfect story for Laurie McClellen, the youngest daughter from Petticoat Ranch.

    How'm I supposed to write that, HUH???????

  18. And in the original version of The Husband Tree I had an epilogue where Belle Tanner and Silas Harden's five sons end up practically ruling the whole Montana Rockies and man did I have a vision for those men--especially when they got it in their head it was time for them to hunt up wives, what a wild bunch they were.

  19. Great to have you here, Karen!

    So far, most of my interesting "leftover" characters have found their way into their own full-length novels. I understand what you mean, though, about keeping books in series close enough together that readers don't lose interest. It's a lot of pressure!

  20. And I am with a younger brother for the Kincaids.

    I'm pitching a story with him in it. No idea if it'll fly but it just might.

    Heath Kincaid, all grown up. He's never really felt like part of the family and he has to strike out on his own to find out he wants to come home...but of course he finds himself plunked right down in the middle of....another three book series full of trouble.

    (poor far no cavern in this one)

  21. AND HELEN you have battled all week with Blogger. Thank you for fighting to stay with us.

    WELCOME. I saw you got in yesterday.


  22. I remember Heath! Go for it, Mary!

  23. CONNIE QUEEN I think the important thing is to hang onto the idea.

    And part of why that's a great idea is because then you view each character you create as needing to be three dimensional. Even if you don't put it on the page, at least in your own mind, to make each character REAL enough to merit his or her own story, I think that shows in the book. When small characters have depth.

  24. HI CORTNEY! Hang on to all those ideas. Start a file for them. You'll be glad you did when you're writing two books a year and you're on your thirtieth book. YAY! It can happen!!!

  25. Cindy W she could be the center piece for a series, the town matchmaker.

    Go for it.

    I love characters that strong!

  26. Welcome back to Seekerville, Karen! I've been looking forward to this post. What a great idea. It's also interesting how popular "added content" is to readers!

  27. What a fabulous group of comments already this morning. You all are so gracious.

    Thanks for the welcome and the virtual coffee. I might need to find me a cinnamon struesel muffin to go with it. Yumm.

    It's so fun to hear about all your projects! I love the elderly lady matchmaker and reformed town drunk. Lots of interesting potential there.

    And Sara - if Elizabeth has won your heart so fully, there's a good chance she'd win readers' hearts as well. Keep her story handy. You never know when you might need it. :-)

  28. Mary - I could totally picture a new Montana series with the Harden boys.

    Wait...wasn't there already a series with the Harden boys? Oh, that was the HARDY boys. My bad.

    Still, throw in a little mystery and you've got yourself a bestselling series for sure. I think those other boys are still in print. I'm sure the folks at BHP would run with that.


  29. I'm reading Stealing The Preacher right now :) Sweet, sweet story!
    I do like a series, especially if I've grown attached to the characters. Of course, I'd love to win this giveaway.
    I love how you handle the spiritual elements in your books, by the way.You make the characters' faith such an integral part.
    : )

  30. Thanks, Courtney! Your comment really means a lot to me. There is a fine line between faith intrinsic to the characters and a story that becomes too preachy - Especially with a preacher as the hero. LOL. I'm glad you found Crockett and Joanna's story fun to read.

  31. I am so glad you finished up with the Archer Brothers, I enjoyed them so much. I look forward to reading about Neill.

  32. Loved hearing about how A Match Made In Texas came to be! And reading about everyone's leftover characters!

    I have a few leftover characters floating around, making me wonder if I should make my trilogy into a foursome.

    One in particular is a little girl from an abusive home. She has spectacles, big brown eyes, pigtails, a curious mind, and she guzzles punch at a fourth of July celebration like I've never seen. I'm thinking she would make an adorable heroine whose curiosity gets her into a lot of scrapes, which, of course, will drive her hero nutty. ;) Not sure about her occupation, yet, but I think it'll probably come from some plot twists in book 3.

    Thanks for sharing with us, Karen!! Looking forward to "Match." Would love to be entered.

  33. I'm with Mary. Too many characters rattling around in my head that I want to give their own stories. And do you know what? I have this horrible penchant for wanting to always redeem my bad guys. The book I'm finishing up right now? Yep. Thought of a story for my bad guy. To go along with the other three stories in the series already rolling around in my head.

    But the idea of writing something as short as a novella kind of terrifies me. I don't know that I could manage.

    Well, maybe I could manage. After all, Julie Lessman's The Light in the Window is a novella, right? ;-)

  34. Natalie - That little girl sounds adorable. She would definitely be fun to plan a story around. My 2015 novella takes the young boy who is a secondary character in my 2014 full-length release, Full Steam Ahead, gives him 17 years to age properly, then brings him back home to deal with the issues that led to his running away in the first place. Of course I have the perfect woman waiting for him there. :-)

  35. Naomi - This was my first novella, and I was a little worried about the short word count, too. I found it rather freeing, though, not to worry about subplots and such. I bet you would do great at it. :-)

  36. Hi Karen! I enjoyed your post, and am LOVING A Match Made in Texas---you ladies did a great job! (also waving to Mary Connealy!).
    Hugs, Patti Jo :)

  37. Mary-I would pay big bucks for all those stories you mentioned!!!! I know want to read them all so bad! And that short story about Andersonville?! Please, please find a way to get these all published!!!!

  38. Welcome to Seekerville, Karen! Thanks for your savvy post on not wasting leftovers. Especially those secondary characters begging for their own story.

    I've given two secondary characters hero status in a novella, which was great fun and pleased readers who wanted to know what happened to them.

    I've also set a couple of novels in the same town with the same wacky secondary characters that add humor and small town flavor. These books aren't series since they release too far apart.

    Love your books. A Match Made in Texas is on my TBR pile. Looking forward to reading all the stories!


  39. Abbi, my current plan on the Andersonville novella is...drumroll... to wait until the release of Stuck Together, because some of this novella won't make sense until you know the Stuck Together story I don't think????

    And then release it, free, a chapter at a time on my blog.

    I'll definitely let you know. It's not too long and if I release it say...two chapters a week it won't take long to get it out there.

    I think I can create PDF files and post them. I know how to do that.

    It'll be fun.
    I'll make a fuss about it on Seekerville when it happens.

  40. So THAT'S how Match Made in Texas came about. Love the backstory! And that you found a way to have more fun with characters that refused to go away. :-)

  41. Hi Karen,

    It was great to talk with you at the conference this year!

    When I wrote the book that will be coming out this year "Betrayed Hearts" (so much fun to say that!) a secondary character in the story, a hairdresser (that I based on a real life girl that did my daughter's hair and makeup for her Grade 8 grad) begged for her own story. So I ended up writing another story set in the same small town with the hairdresser as the heroine -- and that will be my second book to be published, hopefully also this year.

    So, yes, absolutely recycle those characters!!

    I love your books, Karen and would love to be in the draw!


  42. Hi Karen,

    Seems January is novella month in Seekerville!

    Love your idea of including a novella in your proposal to your editor. I never thought of including the shorter story with my series proposals. Great suggestion. Thank you!

    Also like how you use those shorter reads to build your fan base. Do you send your short story and Bible study as an email attachment to those who sign up for your newsletter or FB?

    Congrats on all your success, Karen. Thanks for being with us in Seekerville today.

  43. Hi, Karen!

    As a reader, I LOVED each of the ideas you suggested for writers. SO much - in fact - I just signed up for your newsletters! Although, I thought I had, probably, already signed up - I didn't want to miss out on that fictionalized version of Rahab, and bible study! LOVE biblical fiction!!

    Would also LOVE to read "A Match Made in Texas - thanks for the opportunity to win a copy!!


  44. Oh, I am so into this conversation.

    I hate saying goodbye to characters, towns, etc.

    I get so stinkin' attached it's ridiculous! The idea of a novella is just wonderful, Karen! Delightful and marvelous!

    I love writing novellas. They're quick, fun reads, you CANNOT POSSIBLY BORE ANYONE IN A NOVELLA I mean, really, it is humanly impossible.

    I think.

    Well, let's HOPE, anyway! So the thought of re-using a novella for a leftover character is a perfect draw for new readers.... and a perfect reward for established readers!


    Mary, quit hoggin' all the blog space, really, don't you have a cow to catch or somethin' akin to that?


    I actually like your advice to HELEN because Helen is my go-to gal for my A.M. Cuppa.

    I love Helen and she's a trooper.

    Okay, I'll play nice.


    And I read that sweet Match Made in Texas book on my way home from North Carolina and LOVED IT.

    Loved it to pieces.

    I'm still smilin' thinkin' of it!

  45. Susan - I'm so THRILLED for you! That first book to hit publication is something special. And your hairdresser sounds fun. Wishing you all the best!

  46. Debby - I have the story saved as a PDF document. Once someone signs up for my newsletter, I think the document (or a link to it) is emailed to the reader. To be honest, it's been several years since I asked my web designed to set this up for me and I've forgotten how exactly it works. Maybe Bonnie can tell us. :-)

  47. bonton - Thank you so much for signing up for my newsletter. Super cool! I'm glad you found the ideas helpful. I'm always looking for ways to reward my readers.

    You might have noticed that everyone on my newsletter list is also eligible for the free book drawings I do every month. Maybe one of these you'll get some free books out of the deal, too. That'd be cool.

  48. Hi, Ruth! So glad you enjoyed Match. And I love your enthusiasm. I was feeling a little drooping this afternoon and you just perked me right up!

  49. Hi Karen,
    I would love to go in the drawing for A match made in Texas.

    There have been books I have read that are in a three book series but there were 4 characters. the last book has had 2 stories going on to wind it up and I wonder why not 4 books. It felt rushed to have two storylines.

    Mary love the thinking of the 5 sons ruling the area and hunting wives. Could have been interesting.

    Day five of this (insert nasty word as my brain if fried) never ending heatwave! The house is hot, outside is hot. Im hot. Did I mention its hot? I ate something yesterday thats affecting me a little which adds to me not liking this heat and the fact who can sleep! didn't get below about 86 over night already over 90 at 7.30am. They say the change will come late today. tomorrow around 86 which right now seems way to high for me. OK end of rant.

    I still haven't heard from the specialist rooms who said they were ringing people yesterday afternoon. I guess that means no appointment in Jan. think I will go stick my head in the freezer!

  50. Karen, what a delight to have you at Seekerville!!

    Two of my 'won't leave me alone' secondary characters in my first historical now have their own stories. And because they were written in sequence, as I learned more of the craft, the third book is the strongest. I also see where a lot -- a lot -- can be cut from the first story. I'm considering making it a novella and then the other two full-length with each able to stand on its own. Given your experience, do you see any concerns with starting a series with a novella?

    And thank you for sharing your writing talent. I've enjoyed every one of your books.

    Nancy C

  51. Jenny - I've been watching the Australia Open (big tennis fan) and they had to suspend games yesterday because of the heat. 107 on court not counting the heat index that makes it feel much worse. I don't know how those players move around the courts without melting on the spot. Hope you get some relief soon!

  52. Nancy - There are actually several debut authors at Bethany House where I publish who were asked to write a novella to introduce their debut novel. The novella was published digitally and given away for free through all the online retailers as a promotion prior to the launch of their novel. This was done to help them build a readership. Authors like Jen Turano and Melissa Jagears did this, and I think it was pretty successful. Something like that might work for you as well.

  53. MARY C Heath Kincaid?? Oh my gosh, YES! And if his story is the start of another series, double YES! I'll even adapt to the idea of no cavern. Honest.

    Is there any glimpse of the rest of the family? It would be interesting to see an older Seth (yes, he's my favorite).

    Nancy C

  54. Good gracious, Karen, thanks for walking me up. I even read Melissa's novella! Hmm. Maybe that's where the idea came from :-)

    I second what Courtney P said about appreciating how you make the characters' faith such an integral part of the story. I have never once felt like your stories are hitting me over the head with a message. Nicely done.

    Nancy C

  55. Karen,
    I completely get what you mean about the leftover characters! Their fists turn to super hard iron and they pound on my brain, demanding a chance to tell their stories. Patience is definitely not their virtue. If only they wouldnt crawl up inside my heart so that I love them so much....

    Mary C.
    I always thought that the Reeves boys should have their own story's out there too. They just latch onto a readers heart, the conniving little things. Maybe match up Laura McClellan with one of the triplets... Or maybe one of Grant and Hannah Cooper's children.
    Stay warm everyone!

  56. Karen, thanks for your great ideas! I've been thinking about writing a novella for a while. I enjoy novellas which come between my favorite authors long awaited books.

  57. I'm definitely NOT a writer except for the bits I write on my little blog. But what you've written about what to do with left over characters - or characters just to good to leave in the dust - is very interesting and gives insight into what some of the author's novellas are actually doing. I enjoy it when I get a novella and discover characters that I "met" in a former full length novel. Nice job.

    Would love to win this book! You write enjoyable, light hearted, good books for your readers.

  58. I'm working on my first novel. It has been percolating in my brain so long that books 2 and 3 are pretty far along, in my head if not on paper. Book 2's hero was once in love with book 1' s heroine. Book three is about her son. In all three I have this amazing antagonist. She's a very bitter elderly woman. She's really terrible to the couples I. all three books, but she's so wounded and sad that my heart breaks for her through it all. I can't wait to reform her in the end.

    Secondary characters are wonderful.

    Please, please enter me for A Match Made in Texas. It was on my Christmas list, but I didn't get it :-(

  59. I just finished reading A Match Made in Texas. Loved all the stories. Y'all did a great job. Loved it!

  60. DEBBY GIUSTI: You've probably received Karen's story/bible study by now, but if not - a link is enclosed in her newsletter sign-up confirmation!


  61. I've heard so much about these books on other blogs - and I love the covers. They sound like good books to. I've been keeping my eye out for them, because while romances aren't my favorite, I do enjoy them sometimes and it is hard to find well written ones.

    And Julie,
    Thank you so much for taking time to tell me about your books! I am really glad you left the comment because I do not like starting a book that is second in a series unless I have read the first. I downloaded book one and I am SO excited to start it! And them being about an Irish family only made me more excited, I love the Irish.
    I am hoping to have it done by the 31st of February because it contest sounds like it will be fun.

  62. As a reader I have fallen for more than one secondary character. Love it when they have their story told.

  63. I love your books, Karen! I really liked Crockett in Short-Straw Bride and was happy to read his and Joanna's story (loved that Joanna was a red-head!).

    I have so many characters in my wip I don't know what to do with them. I'll have to write novellas or companion stories for them.

  64. My sister loves your books and I think would to if I had the chance read them, they look awesome and I would love to win this book!!! I don't really know who are my favorite characters are though! Thanks for the awesome giveaway and God Bless!!!

  65. I've read so many books, I don't know if I have a favorite second character!
    I LOVE your books!!! It seems like lately, you came out with new ones, so fast! I only have the first 4! Thanks for the AWESOME Giveaway!!!

  66. I'm so glad you were able to talk your publishers into letting you write stories about Travis and Neill. I'm one of your readers who really liked the Archer brothers in Short Straw Bride. Stealing the Preacher was such a fun story. I'm looking forward to Neill's story in A Match Made in Texas.


  67. KAREN!! I am SOOO sorry I missed your day because I reallly wanted to be here!!

    LOVE the back story on the Crockett boys and how you came up with the idea for a novella!! I wish I could do that, but I'm not sure I could write something that short, as testified by NAOMI'S smark alek comment below!! :)

    NAOMI SAID: "After all, Julie Lessman's The Light in the Window is a novella, right? ;-)"

    Okay, so it was pitched as a novella and ended up as a 115,000-word novel -- it's STILL the shortest book I've ever written ... ;)


  68. EVY!!! You came!!! I am soooooo glad to see you here, and I'm sorry I'm late, but SOOO excited I caught you in time to get the free download of A Passion Most Pure before you read A Passion Redeemed -- YAY, saved by the comment!! ;)

    And, OH HONEY, if you love the Irish, you are going to LOVE the O'Connors, I promise, so DO let me know if you like it, okay? And if you don't like it ... uh, well ... never mind! ;)

    Oh, and the contest runs till March 31st so you have LOTS of time if you like APMP, to read the remaining six books in the family saga, okay?

    THANK YOU sooooo much for reading my books and coming by Seekerville to visit. The MUCH-LOVED KAREN WITEMEYR is the guest today, and if you've never read Karen's books, trust me, you would absolutely LOVE them!!


  69. You had me laughing, leftover characters indeed. Honestly though, great post. Thanks.

    I personally love to see those leftovers turn up in the next book by an author. I feel I already know them a bit.