It's Secondary Monday! I love a good secondary character and today's guest has a very interesting one. Sorchia DuBois is here to tell us how her heroine's best friend nearly took over her book and her series! Welcome Sorchia!
The Persistent BFF: A Secondary Character Who Nearly Took Over
Zoraida Grey and the Family Stones
Zoraida Grey and the Family Stones is the first book in a three-book series. Writing a series gives me the opportunity to develop a number of main characters. Over three books I can explore the psyches of Zoraida the protagonist, no fewer than three potential love interests, as well as a couple of nasty villains. And it means that I have the luxury of developing some secondary characters along the way.
Zhu Morgan is a Chinese American who grew up in Arkansas. She and Zoraida have been besties since kindergarten. Though I knew I would develop Zhu more than—say, the waitress at the local café—I didn’t anticipate what happened. My plan was to use Zhu as a sounding board—a way to further the plot and show character through dialogue. But Zhu wasn’t satisfied with that. She wormed her way into the story and soon I realized the friendship between these two women had to be a driving force.
Beta readers loved the friendship and wanted more, so I wrote Zhu into additional scenes. She developed habits and desires and quirks just as endearing (to me, at least) as those I wound into Zoraida’s character. Zhu doesn’t always agree with Zoraida and she isn’t afraid to say so. She began to react to the mess she and Zoraida land in and, because of Zhu’s perspective and quirky attitude, Zoraida has to think harder about how to handle the problem. Zoraida can’t predict what Zhu is going to do next and neither can I.
But a story is all about conflict, so even though Zoraida and Zhu are steadfast friends, events and people they meet will challenge their devotion to each other. What, I asked myself, could challenge a friendship between two people who have grown as close as Zhu and Zoraida? Maybe a man? Maybe two men? Maybe a disagreement that leads to danger for one or the other? Maybe each woman has a goal but those goals seem to be at odds? Maybe some unexpected twists?
All of those things threaten to wedge Zhu and Zoraida apart. But they have more to worry about than their friendship. Each one must make hard decisions in order to survive. Getting out of Castle Logan alive won’t be easy.
So important has Zhu become to the Zoraida Grey Series, that I plan to devote the first half of book 3-Zoraida Grey and the Pictish Runes—to Zhu. At least, that’s what the outline says, but you know me and outlines!
The Blurb, Zoraida Grey and the Family Stones:
Granny’s dying, but Zoraida can save her with a magic crystal of smoky quartz. Too bad the crystal is in Scotland––in a haunted castle––guarded by mind-reading, psychopathic sorcerers.
Getting inside Castle Logan is easy. Getting out––not so much. Before she can snatch the stone, Zoraida stumbles into a family feud, uncovers a wicked ancient curse, and finds herself ensorcelled by not one but two handsome Scottish witches. Up to their necks in family intrigue and smack-dab in the middle of a simmering clan war, Zoraida and her best friend Zhu discover Granny hasn’t told them everything.
Not by a long shot.
He smiles with white teeth, his cheeks dimpling, his gaze moving from face to face, intimate with each person. The crowd titters, hanging on his words. He wears a gray jacket and trousers and a white shirt. The neck of the shirt is casually open, revealing a curl of dark hair.
A shimmer of magic like the barely-noticed buzz of a gnat brushes my cheek. I recognize an attraction spell when I feel one. Even Zhu is mesmerized, a dopey look pasted on her face as if she’s just eaten the last piece of Chocolate Mud cake. What is he up to? Why would he bother to cast such a spell only to impress a bunch of tourists?
I note the crowd’s rapt attention, note how Michael Logan’s black eyes twinkle as he speaks, how nicely he fills out the white shirt and gray trousers. His eyes do reflect the stone’s smoky depths. Ensorcellment weakens my will. That is the purpose of the spell—a mesmerizing, seductive blend.
I am not used to being enchanted. It feels oily, cloying, but as unyielding as the stone walls of Castle Logan.
Near panic, I cast my senses afield, searching for something to ground me and free me from this uncanny feeling. Anger bubbles in time with the song of the Healing Stone. Just who the hell does he think he is?
The now perpetual prickling on the back of my neck shifts into high gear. Another set of black eyes watches me from the outer doors. As if splashed in the face with cold water, I forget Michael Logan’s hypnotic voice and handsome face. The younger Logan, still angry if I’m any judge of tight lips and frowning eyebrows, pins me to the spot with a suspicious glare. The gray cat weaves around his legs, and he lifts her into his arms, scratching her ears. His eyes never soften and never waver from mine. Questions ricochet in my mind, but they are not my questions. They are his.
The buy links:
Wild Rose Press
Barns and Noble
Sorchia's Social Media Links:
I live in southern Missouri waaay back in the woods. It’s a beautiful spot, but quite a distance from civilization. The nearest shopping center of any size is 100 miles away though smaller ones exist closer—30 miles or so. I’m actually considering moving out of the area. Looking for a nice place to go, but haven’t landed on a new location yet. Suggestions appreciated.
I taught English at local high schools, community colleges, and online for many years, but writing is what I really wanted to do when I grew up. About 5 years ago, I decided it was do or die time and I haven’t questioned that decision. This is one reason I’m thinking of moving—the writing community around here is sparse and it’s a long way to book signings and conventions.
I have a couple of grown kids who come home occasionally to eat and to do laundry. Eight cats and a husband live in my house, also.