Thursday, July 01, 2010

Thursday Talk Time: Secondary Males



Debut Superromance Author Liz Talley talks about the other important men in books -- the secondary male.

Males on Monday. I suppose we only need them once a week otherwise we could get too distracted and end up staring at the broad shoulders, strong jaws and piercing eyes and forget we’re supposed to be writing. Sigh. Some of them are just too absolutely hot to tear ourselves away. Am I right?

But today, I’m not going to talk about the fantasy heroes we put front and center in our stories. Nope, I’m gonna talk about our secondary males. I know, some of them can be pretty darn cute too – so smoking that we write them their own stories. I guess this subject is on my mind because as my first book hit the shelves a little less than a month ago (Vegas Two Step, June Superromance,) many of the people who read it didn’t comment on the hero Jack. Oh, my beloved Jack, he of the lovely blues eyes and rippling six pack. No. Not him. They wanted to know about Bubba.

Who is Bubba you ask? Well, he is what his name suggests…but a little more. Bubba is a big ol’ heaping of redneck mixed generously with good ol’ boy. He’s big, he’s bald, and he has an uncanny knack for knowing what to say to my heroine. He’s country as a turnip green with a bulbous nose, delicate ears, and a bad sense of style. He makes Larry the Cable guy look like George Clooney, yet he’s endearing. And readers like him.

I’ll be totally honest. I modeled Bubba after my youngest brother who himself can be a little rough around the edges yet still settle down to watch a chick flick at the drop of the hat. Strong and suble. Big and tender. Rude and gentle. Bubba is a big oxymoron and absolutely intriguing to write. I have had such fun with him, and the man pops up in all my books, providing necessary comic relief and spot on advice to other characters. He’s the perfect secondary character, so I had to reward him and give him a sideline romance which will continue throughout books four and five. Hey, the man lost him momma to cancer and willingly puts up with all my other characters. He deserves some happiness with a butt-kicking, tattooed feminist.

Secondary characters are pretty darn important in a story. Now I know in category we have to give tight focus to our hero and heroine and there’s not much room for expanding our secondary characters, but if you can take some time to think about what a secondary character brings, you’ll end up with a person readers want to know more about. And that’s a good thing. :-)

So, I’d love to hear about your best secondary characters…and if he’s male, all the better. Gotta stick to the theme, you know. Leave a description of your favorite secondary character, and I’ll choose a lucky poster to win a copy of my June release and a $15.00 Barnes and Noble gift card.





You can learn more about Liz and her upcoming books at on her website!

18 comments:

  1. Ooh, not sure if he qualifies but my favourite secondary male character (or possibly third, depending on how you count it) is Colonel Brandon in 'Sense and Sensibility'. I'd have been treading on that silly drip Marianne to get to him first!

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  2. Liz, Bubba sounds like a hoot! And he can give me advice any time... But Jack sounds pretty darn gorgeous too.

    And Alison, with you on Marianna - that girl so deserved to get stomped.

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  3. Love the sound of Bubba!
    I think my fave secondary male character is probably Ron from The harry Potter books, he's so great!!
    =)

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  4. Alison - I agree. I love Col. Brandon or maybe I just love the quiet, faithfulness he displays. And, yeah, Marianne didn't deserve him. But then, he loved her for who she was, didn't he?

    Liz

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  5. Thanks, Heidi :)

    And, Bec, I agree. I do love Ron, especially at how oblivious he is with regards to Hermoine.

    Liz

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  6. Oh...a Vegas book :) I must have...

    I like kids as secondary characters - for the same honest & comic relief reasons. One thing I haven't seen, but want to, is a bratty 15-year-old get their own book farther down the line in an authors career.

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  7. Bubba sounds like a wonderful character! I'm glad he's gettin' a gal of his own. ;)

    I love richly developed secondary characters because they give stories a sense of realism. We rarely meet people in a vaccuum, and one of the ways we get to know them best is by who their friends are, and what they think about them.

    Bonus, too, if a secondary character I've gotten to know and love winds up with a story of his/her own.

    Favorite secondary males? I agree with Ron Weasley. Also, Gimli and Legolas in the LOTR trilogy--now there's an odd couple, even before The Odd Couple was written. In Rachel Lee's Conard County series, I always loved secondary character Sheriff Nate Tate. I was pleased when he finally got a story of his own.

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  8. Bubba sounds like a wonderful character! I'm glad he's gettin' a gal of his own. ;)

    I love richly developed secondary characters because they give stories a sense of realism. We rarely meet people in a vaccuum, and one of the ways we get to know them best is by who their friends are, and what they think about them.

    Bonus, too, if a secondary character I've gotten to know and love winds up with a story of his/her own.

    Favorite secondary males? I agree with Ron Weasley. Also, Gimli and Legolas in the LOTR trilogy--now there's an odd couple, even before The Odd Couple was written. In Rachel Lee's Conard County series, I always loved secondary character Sheriff Nate Tate. I was pleased when he finally got a story of his own.

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  9. I love the little bit of fun quirkiness secondary characters add to a book. If Fred the dog from Jennifer Crusie's Anyone But You counts as a secondary male character, then he'd probably be one of my all-time favorites.

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  10. Jenna - I've often wondered about that too. I think a lot of readers like the idea of seeing a kid grow up and how he or she matures. I do have a secondary characterin my second book who is a 19 year old. Might be fun to see where he is in a few years.

    Liz

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  11. Julie and Summer - good choices. And, yeah, I think a dog can be a character.

    My dog helps me write. Okay, she just keeps me company, but she's a good sounding board :)

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  12. Congrats on your debut release, Liz. Two of my favorite secondary characters are St. John and Faye who made several appearances in a few of Anne Mallory's books.

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  13. My favourite secondary character is Ian Murray, Jamie's nephew in the Outlander seriess.

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  14. Jane - I haven't read an Anne Mallory book in a while. I know I have, but I'll check her out again.

    And I so remember Ian in the Outlanders. I've a hankering to read those again. Thanks for reminding me. :)

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  15. Jane - I haven't read an Anne Mallory book in a while. I know I have, but I'll check her out again.

    And I so remember Ian in the Outlanders. I've a hankering to read those again. Thanks for reminding me. :)

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  16. One of my favorite secondary characters is Bruce Calhoun from Rogenna Brewer's The Marine's Baby because of the person he is and that he helped his pregnant sister-in-law out for a little while his brother was still serving overseas. He will have his own book sometime in the future.

    Another secondary character is Evie Harrison from Kimberly Lang's The Millionaire's Misbehaving Mistress who is 15 and needs polishing before she can be a part of Dallas high-society in this book and then she becomes a main character in Kim's What Happens in Vegas... which you can buy from Mills & Boon right now (UK - August 2010).

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  17. congrats on the book
    i can only think of charcters if they have siblings
    like lori foster books
    i like reading aobut second charcters and giving them a part of the story too
    kh

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  18. Thanks for all the wonderful comments on secondary characters. I appreciate all the recommendations I got for books that have awesome characters.

    Summer - you are the winner of the prize, so if you would email me at artalley@cmaaccess.com, I'll get that off to you :)

    Thanks again!

    Liz Talley

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