Today I’d like to welcome Susannah Sandlin, who recently published Allegiance (reviewed here), the latest book in the awesome Penton Legacy series. (Penton is like vampire toffee, once you sink your teeth into the story, you can’t let go) She’s here to talk about…
Evolution of a series character
by Susannah Sandlin
One of the most interesting challenges about writing a series is how to keep the characters changing and growing, especially in a paranormal romance series where a different couple takes center-stage for each book while there’s an ongoing story line running in the background from book to book.
Also, we want to keep readers up to date on their favorites from previous books without having them steal the show.
Here’s a (spoiler-free) look at how the heroes and heroines of the individual books have carried over into the fourth book in the Penton Legacy series, out this week:
Aidan Murphy and Krys Harris. The first book in the series, Redemption, belonged to Aidan and Krys, and they’ve continued to be a force of stability in Penton through the ravages of the subsequent books. Aidan remains a “keep calm and carry on” type of leader for the town, while Krys is his confidante and a steadying presence in her own right. In Allegiance, we get to see Aidan and Krys as they try to transition the town of Penton into rebuilding mode. Aidan’s also up for a seat on the Vampire Tribunal, where he’ll have a chance to change things from the inside. Does that work out for him? Oops, that’s veering into spoiler territory!
Mirren Kincaid and Glory Cummings. The hero and heroine of Absolution also provide a stable force in the rebuilding of Penton. The former Scottish gallowglass warrior, Mirren is his usual taciturn, grumpy self, while Glory runs interference. It’s always fun to poke the bear, though, so readers will have plenty of chances for Mirren to react in his own gruffly hilarious way to things like trash-talking shapeshifters and Cage Reynolds’ love life. Since so much of Penton has been destroyed, Glory has opened a place called the Chow House where Penton’s humans can grab breakfast and lunch—but not dinner. She needs to be there when her vampire rises from daysleep, of course.
Will Ludlam and Randa Thomas. The first couple of book three, Omega, are still dealing with the aftermath of what happened to Will in the third book and something personal that happens in Randa’s life in the early pages of Allegiance. So we’re missing Will’s banter for swaths of this book. Don’t worry, though, Will fans. He is back for the last third of the book!
Melissa Calvert and Mark Calvert. Melissa and Mark, the stable human familiars of Aidan Murphy in Redemption and Glory’s confidantes in Absolution, had a bit of a setback (okay, yeah, that’s an understatement) in their relationship at the end of Absolution, with ramifications that carried on through Omega. The issues finally get resolved in Allegiance, but not quickly and not easily. A sabotage aimed at Mark doesn’t help matters.
Cage Reynolds. Cage is back in Penton as the hero of Allegiance, and this is definitely his book. But is his heroine the woman he was flirting with at the end of Omega? Or is he falling for someone new to the series? Stay tuned; our favorite British vampire has his own baggage to overcome, secrets to reveal, and love conflicts to sort out.
Matthias Ludlam. The Big Bad Evil Meanie of the series is up to his dirty tricks again after being released from prison on the eve of his execution. But by whom? And is Matthias calling the shots, or is somebody playing Matthias this time? Only time will tell….
Of course we have new Pentonites this time around—an Irish acquaintance of Cage’s from his human life; two women, both vampires, who met Aidan in Atlanta and have joined the crew, and two cast members from my Penton spinoff novel, Storm Force: golden eagle shape-shifter Robin Ashton and psychic Army Ranger Nikolas Dimitrou. Welcome to Penton, Robin and Nik!
Those of you who are fans of paranormal romance series….Do you like keeping up with past series characters as the series progresses, or do you want all the focus to be on the main couple?
Susannah Sandlin writes paranormal romance and romantic thrillers from Auburn, Alabama, on top of a career in educational publishing that has thus far spanned five states and six universities—including both Alabama and Auburn, which makes her bilingual. She grew up in Winfield, Alabama, but was also a longtime resident of New Orleans, so she has a highly refined sense of the absurd and an ingrained love of SEC football, cheap Mardi Gras trinkets, and fried gator on a stick.She’s the author of the award-winning Penton Legacy paranormal romance series, a spinoff novel, Storm Force, a standalone novelette, Chenoire, and a new romantic thriller series, The Collectors, beginning with Lovely, Dark, and Deep. Writing as Suzanne Johnson, she also is the author of the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series. Her Penton novel, Omega, was nominated for a 2013 Reviewer’s Choice Award in Paranormal Romance from RT Book Reviews magazine. Absolution was the winner of the 2013 Holt Medallion in Paranormal Romance.
To learn more about Suzanne, visit her website or follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
Susannah is giving away several prizes on this blog tour:
- 1 $50 Amazon gift card
- 2 $10 Amazon gift cards
- 2 Author swag packs (books, swag)
For a chance to win, use the Rafflecopter below:
13 thoughts on “Guest Post by Author Susannah Sandlin on the evolution of a series character + Giveaway”
i LOVE keeping up with past characters and see how they evolve, mature or how what happened to them had an impact on the others as well. yes the main couple is capital and must have the most attention but having some news on teh others one is nearly capital for me
I haven’t read any of this series but it sounds like one I would love.
i really recommend you to give it a try, read in order it’s so good it becomes addictive
I like keeping up with the characters as the series progresses. Much more fun that way.
I absolutely love keeping up with past characters. It helps develop the new characters.
Thanks, Miki–I think it’s one of the toughest things about a series, balancing between the main couple (or couples, in this case) and catching everyone up on the ongoing characters. Thanks for stopping by!
Thanks for hosting me today, Marlene!
Thanks, Roger and Liz–that’s a good point. We learn about the new characters by how they interact with the old ones. Cage first showed up in Absolution in one brief appearance!
Jo, hope you have a chance to check it out!
I like it when past starring characters are a part of the plot of continuing books in a series, but they’ve already had their starring turn — they shouldn’t take focus from the main couple in the current book! (If that makes sense.)
I haven’t yet read this series, yet I really want to do so. It sounds so wonderful. I love the covers; they appeal to my baser nature for some reason.
THANKS FOR THE GIVEAWAY!
I like it when series keep with past characters but they should have a lesser role than the main couple. Thanks for the giveaway!
I like most of the focus to be on the main couple, but also one of my favorite things about series is that the side characters are characters you’ve met before 🙂 So I do like to keep up with the characters, I just don’t want it to over ride the main characters in their own book 🙂
I like when secondary characters maintain a presence but generally prefer that focus on the main characters isn’t lost.
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