It’s sort of required for an author to feel really attached to her characters. I mean, if I don’t feel strongly about them–why should you? So Perla, Casewell, Judd, Fleeta, Colman, Serepta . . . they’re closer than family.

But what I didn’t expect was how attached I’d be to so many of my secondary characters. In a way, I like some of them MORE than my heroes and heroines. Maybe because there’s still some mystery–I don’t have to know them quite so well as the main characters who’s thoughts, feelings, and personal lives are spilled across every page.

And so some of my very favorite characters are the ones in the background. Here are a few I wish I could spend a Sunday afternoon getting to know better:

Angie and Liza Talbot – These older twin sisters from Miracle in a Dry Season are counterpoints. Angie stiff and hard-nosed and Liza sweetly naive. I pictured them living in my great Aunt Bess’ house and I still think about stopping in to see them when I’m in West Virginia.

Hank Chapin – This southern boy who helps Judd Markley find a job in The Sound of Rain is just a solid, genuine person. A straight shooter who’s loyal and honest, I liked him so much I gave him his own story in the novella A Shot at Love.

Charlie Hornbeck – Oh, Charlie! Serepta’s right-hand man in When Silence Sings, Charlie breaks my heart. A black man in 1930s West Virginia who cares deeply for a white woman . . . well, you know life is going to be tough. I REALLY want to write the rest of his story.

So how about you? What secondary character has stuck with you? Maybe even MORE than the hero or heroine? And if you’ve ready my stories–which secondary character do you wish I’d give his or her own book?

Of course, there are others–the story I have coming out later this year features Sheriff Virgil White. Bald and blunt, I have a little bit of a crush on him.