Revisiting Characters

By Heather Thurmeier, author of Falling for You and Stuck on You

Stuck on YouIt’s common in series books to see the same characters appear in books where they are no longer in the spotlight. Sometimes they play an active role in the new story, and other times they simply make a cameo appearance. Either way, I’m a fan of seeing familiar faces when I read a series of books and here’s why.

1. I love getting a glimpse of what life has become for the characters I fell in love with in another book. I love seeing how their relationship has evolved, deepened, grown into something more than it was in the first book. Are they still together? (They better be!) Are they falling even more in love? Are they married, have babies, bought a house? I really just want to see that their story has continued beyond the book. And when the author gives me that, I thank them!

2. I also love reading about those secondary characters from a first book in a new story, even if they remain secondary characters. Not every extra character in one book can have a leading role in the next. And that’s okay with me. I like learning about what these extra folks are doing in their lives, even if they aren’t the main characters. Sure, I read the novel to read about the main hero and heroine, but it’s the cast of secondary characters who fill out the story, make it more authentic and offer support to the hero or heroine. They are just as important to the story as the setting or plot and often are overlooked and underappreciated!

3. It lends a sense of familiarity to the new novel. I enjoy cracking open a new book feeling like I already know the world the characters live in. It’s like slipping into your favorite pair of jeans—it just feels right.

4. I love when a secondary character from a first novel gets the leading role in the next! There’s something so satisfying to see the best friend, sibling or even enemy get to have their turn in the spotlight. And even though I’m reading about different characters and it’s a new book, there’s a part of me that feels like I’m just reading the best, longest, most complex book ever! I love it!!

5. It makes the overall story more complex. I think every time you read a new book in a familiar series, the setting of that book becomes bigger, more involved, more complex, and more complete. I don’t think that even in real life you ever really know everything there is to know about a person, or a place. Reading a whole series of books about the same characters and in the same setting makes you feel like you get an insider’s view of the world. Then you don’t just get to learn about things from one person’s point of view, but many points of view. And since every person can be in the same room together but perceive the environment differently, it only makes sense that you wouldn’t have the complete picture by only learning about something from one person’s perspective.

In my Reality TV Romance series, we follow the same set of characters through the entire trilogy even though there’s a different hero and heroine in each novel. In the first, Falling for You, we focus on Cassidy as she goes on a reality dating show with the hopes of finding true love. What she finds is hunky cameraman Evan Burke who is just too hard to ignore. In that book, we meet a host of secondary characters, both other contestants who are there to compete for the bachelor’s love and also the crewmembers who work behind-the-scenes to make the show happen.

In the second book, Stuck on You, one of the contestants from the first show is again a contestant, but this time she’s in the spotlight. Paige finally gets her shot at finding love on an adventure show that has her teaming up with none other than reality TV’s favorite bad girl—Zoe Oliver. Good thing Paige has Miles to keep her distracted from Zoe’s antics. And we also get to see a little more of Cassidy and Evan too! But I’m not going to tell you how things are working out for them. You’re going to have to read that for yourself!

In the last book, Lost Without You (coming July 2013), our favorite bad girl Zoe becomes the heroine. I know, I know, she’s the girl you love to HATE! So how can she suddenly become the girl you want to root for, the one you want to find happiness? Easy. She’s not who she seems and Chip Cormack, reality TV’s hottest producer, is going to make sure the walls Zoe has built around her heart come crashing down for good. Now Zoe’s not only going to be thrown into a survival reality show out in the woods, but she’s going to have to learn how to save herself by giving her heart and soul to someone else. And no final book in a series would be complete without learning what’s become of your favorite characters from the entire series. I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Do you love revisiting characters from one book to the next too? Share your thoughts in the comments!