Christie Meierz: Falling in Love With Secondary Characters

Hi GLIAS Friends--it's Liz here, very excited to bring you our second visit from wonderful sci fi romance author Christie Meierz. Her newest novel, Farryn’s War, was released on September 22, and today Christie is here with some insight into secondary characters. So help me welcome Christie Meierz back to Get Lost in a Story!
Hi Everyone! 
In a romance, everyone is watching the hero and heroine, but that doesn’t mean the secondary characters are scenery. In my second novel, for example, a secondary character gets romantic advice from awhale—while everyone thinks he’s dead.
In my third novel, an ambassador from an empathic civilization, on the way to delicate negotiations with Earth, meets anelderly revolutionary with a disapproving husband, as well as an aristocratic foodie with an interest in martial arts and a talent for making money.
     What do these characters do for the story? They can serve as foils to the main characters, of course, and add color and vibrancy to the setting. They can also introduce an element of fun, even when the main action is serious. Bertie, my aristocratic foodie, dresses up in lavender and introduces an entire world of empaths to baklava; Evie, the elderly revolutionary, fixes the ambassador up with Bertie; and Neera, a sex slave from one of the human colony worlds, is destined to introduce coffee to the empaths of Beta Hydri IV.
     That world may never be the same again.
     The danger for the writer, however, is falling in love with these characters and letting them take over. Bertie burst into existence fully formed, halfway through my third novel, and he was such a compelling character that even my editor—who believed that all important characters must be introduced in the first few chapters—either didn’t notice or elected not to complain. Evie’s existence hints at all sorts of interesting complications going on under the radar of Earth’s repressive government. And the villain of my third novel captured my attention so completely that I simply had to write his story, and he became the protagonist of the fourth.
     Which is, of course, one of the best things an author can do with the secondary characters that they fall in love with: give them their own story, or at least carry them into the next book. The recipient of the whale’s advice on love, for example, put in appearances in my first three novels, and will be a necessary voice in my fifth. The technique of folding continuing characters into the action helps keep the author’s To-Do list to a dull roar, because if every appealing character got his or her own novel, you can see how the number of works waiting to be written would quickly escalate into unmanageability.
     Characters and stories are inseparable, and vivid characters—especially secondary characters—make for a richer world. When you fall in love with them, you get lost in their story, once again.
     Which is what reading is all about.

Award-winning author Christie Meierz writes space opera and science fiction romance set in a civilization of empaths on the edge of a dystopic Earth empire. Her published works include her bestselling debut novel, The Marann, its sequels, and two prequel short stories published in Into Tolari Space ~ The First Contact Stories. Her forthcoming novel, Farryn’s War, was released on September 22, 2015.
Christie has spent a night and/or eaten a meal in all 50 U.S. states, plus Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Currently, she lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with her mathematician husband and an assortment of stuffies. When she’s not writing, she writes about writing on her blog, Meierz Musings (christiemeierz.com/blog), and Facebook (facebook/christie.meierz and facebook/tolarispace), where she welcomes comments and friend requests.

Christie's Question and Giveaway for you:
What's your preference -- Science Fiction, Romance, or both? Christie has e-book copies of FARRYN's WAR to give to two commenters today!

Contact Christie:
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/102691646677524435055/ (I know, I know. I refuse to give them my mobile number; they refuse to give me the custom URL based on my name. What can ya do?)


  1. Replies
    1. Hi Christie! It's so nice to have you back. Loved your take on secondary characters--they are most definitely my favorite part of writing a book!! Good luck with Farryn's War!!

    2. Welcome Christie! Secondary characters––I can't imagine a world without them. They totally enrich every scene and are critical to story immersion. And they are fun to write! Looking forward to reading Farryn's War.

  2. Welcome back to GLIAS, Christie !

  3. either

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com