Upstaging for Beginners – Secondary Characters’ Round Robin


Upstaging for Beginners is something all eldest children know about. I’m an eldest child – what do you mean, you knew that? There you are in a neat little bubble of loving relatives, doting friends and neighbours and admiring strangers when it BURSTS.

After the Night Before

New Baby

A sibling has arrived. They don’t have to do anything to attract all that wonderful attention that was hitherto yours and yours alone. They just are Secondary Characters and they’re upstaging you.

Secondary Characters should support the heroine or point up by their failings and villainy how sparkling, intelligent, beautiful… Okay, I think we all know what we want the secondary characters to do. Unfortunately, as in The De’il has all the best tunes, the villain often has more of the colour and a writer needs to take enormous care to avoid making the good pale and uninteresting by comparison.

My favourite Secondary Character from my own writing is Reuben Longreach in


Reuben arrived on the first page of the new story fully formed and snapping at the heels of the man I had thought was going to be the male interest. He was certainly a surprise and I loved him from the first words I ‘heard’ him say.

DAISY herself was a secondary character in MARIAH’S MARRIAGE I did have to tone her down in one scene to allow Mariah to flourish.

There are many classic secondary characters such as Dr Watson & Captain Hastings. The reader comes to love their contributions. Clever readers might even solve detective mysteries through their pointed mistakes (I can’t ). And there are many small, almost cameo, characters who live on in the memory. A recent, and in my view brilliant one, was Lowrie the taxidermist and artist in the television serial Shetland, BBC 1

So, in conclusion, I love secondary characters. Visit some of my blogging friends to find out what they think by clicking on any link below from Saturday 19th. My post is up early as I’m off to the Scottish Association of Writers’ Conference – more of that later.

I’d love to know, dearest reader, who your favourite secondary character is from my three published novels, Mariah’s Marriage, BELLA’S BETROTHAL and Daisy’s Dilemma. Leave a comment, please.
Skye Taylor
Beverley Bateman
Judith Copek
Connie Vines
Victoria Chatham
Helena Fairfax
Marci Baun
Rachael Kosinski
Hollie Glover
Dr. Bob Rich

Fiona McGier
Rhobin Courtright


A – Z challenge U is for Ulverscroft

ULVERSCROFT is a large print publishing house. Within the Umbrella title are FA Thorpe and Linford Romance.

Last year I submitted my debut novel Mariah’s Marriage to Ulverscroft for their consideration. I’d seen an article by Sarah Quirke on the Romantic Novelists’ Association blog, October scroll down, which offered advice on how to submit. Her acceptance arrived among the electronic Christmas cards and was a lovely surprise. Mariah’s Marriage will appear in the Linford Romance line next year, probably in February.

Large print was for children for such a long time. but as the market changed when people began to live longer and their eyesight suffered the effects of age, it came into its own for adults as well. My mum had damage to her eyes as a side-effect of diabetes and reached the stage when she couldn’t cope with ordinary print. Finding a box of discontinued large print library books at a sale was such a wonderful event for her. Now there are shelves and shelves of them in my local library: and all much read.

So, look out for Mariah’s Marriage from Ulverscroft early next year. In the meantime, it’s available as below:

Mariah’s Marriage is available from most online book shops. A continuation of one of its characters will be published shortly by MuseItUp, Daisy’s Dilemma.

Mariah’s Marriage amazon UK , US Ca AU kobo

Bella’s Betrothal, set in Edinburgh 1826, is on special offer till April 28th. For 99c @ AU .

The rest of the world:

Amazon UK US  AU




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