No, this isn’t an article for authors about how to “grow” your characters in a series. This is about enjoying the evolution of your favorite characters as a reader. That’s really at the heart of serialized reading, isn’t it? It’s the reason we enjoy reading a series, or watching one on TV. We enjoy the process of getting to know a character better with each episode…watching them turn from unknown entities to virtual friends (or enemies!). It’s a journey of connection, not to a flesh and blood person, but to something almost more powerful, an idealized image of a flesh and blood person. When that ideal gains depth…humanity…it’s a truly engaging reading experience…because every detail added to their personality brings them more and more off the pages and into the reader’s heart and home.
This concept is on my mind right now because I’m about to release the first Christmas novella for my popular Hoale Construction Mystery series. In Oh! Hoaley Night!, the main characters reach a new level of understanding about themselves and the people they care about, and it changes them in measurable ways. Along with a great mystery to solve, the reader gets a glimpse into Adam’s life, the things that shaped him into the man he is today, and subsequently has a front row seat to watch Adam grow as a person, a lover, and a son. As a bonus, we also get to witness Adam and Dirk’s relationship deepening, as they return to the place where it all began for them and face old insecurities and new revelations. Adam and Dirk emerge from the pages of this book more human…more sympathetic… because they’ve faced some hard truths about themselves and learned to hold onto each other when things get tough. It was an enlightening book to write and I hope it will be a fascinating book to read. We’ll find out in a few days, as Oh! Hoaley Night! releases on November 22nd!
Sometimes going home is clarifying. Sometimes it’s just plain deadly!
Adam travels to Candlelight, Indiana to visit his parents for Christmas. When he arrives he discovers somebody has killed a man and dumped him in the manger of the living crèche at the local church. Unfortunately, all signs lead back to Adam’s father as the murderer. A sheriff with a grudge and a small town more interested in gossip than reality, convince Adam that it will be up to him and the gang to clear his father’s name.