On Writing & Publishing by Robin D. Owens

Personal notes on writing techniques, writing a novel, my writing career and threading your way through publishing a book.

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Location: Denver, United States

RITA Award Winning Author -- that's like the Oscar, folks! Futuristic/Fantasy Romance and Fantasy with Romantic Subplots.

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Sunday, December 16, 2007

Secondary Characters

Some of my secondary characters will always remain secondary characters (I know, that shocks you). But as they move from book to book, they, too, develop traits and I learn more of their backstory.

Today I'm thinking about Tab Holly, the uncle of T'Holly, the G'Uncle (great-uncle) of Holm and Tinne Holly. He was a second son, so he received The Green Knight Fencing and Fighting Salon as his inheritance as many Holly second sons do. The Holly second sons being adventurous they sometimes fail to reproduce. Tab, himself, is not married nor does he have children. So my current hero, Tinne Holly, who is also a second son, has known from childhood that he will be the owner and operator of The Green Knight, is Tab's Heir, and has worked in the Green Knight since a teen (no, that is not all in the story).

Tab and The Green Knight have been in the Heart books since Heart Duel, the third. We are beginning to know many things about Tab, and he stays true to them in Heart Fate. He was once a seaman and uses contractions etc. that a seaman would use. Ya, interestin' etc. He's an older man, I think I put him in his 90s, and he's going strong, he should have another few decades in him. He is the master of the duello. If there is a duel going on, you'd like Tab Holly to train you for it and you definitely want him to officiate. He is the premier fighter of Celta (this is because T'Holly screwed up several books ago and brought a curse down on his head).

Most of all, for my books, Tab is deeply committed to the idea of HeartMates, particularly since he doesn't have one and has always longed for one.

So, yes, your secondary characters live beyond providing a purpose in your books. Yes, they develop and grow. And, yes, sometimes they always remain secondary.

May you live well today.


Blogger talia pente said...

Interesting Robin. I knew Tab was older, but I didn't think 90's. I always did like him since I have a soft spot for working class-type guys. (I love Winterberry for that reason and T'ash because is worked to survive.)

I guess Tab won't get his own book. :( But I would love to see a Celta anthology of short stories that follow some of your minor characters. Perhaps with a Christmas/Winter Solstice type theme.

As for the Green Knight, my teenage daughter is a fencer (of foil) and the sport is elegant and clever. Not too well-known in the US but I like to refer to it as "chess with weapons."

Can't wait for Tinne's story...and Vinni's.



1:19 PM  
Blogger Robin D Owens said...


Thanks, since the Celtans have population problems -- sterility, lines dying out -- I made them live longer, and that way I don't worry too much about birth control for humans or Fams.

Since I wrote this yesterday, I've been thinking of Tab's backstory and may append it to the blog info and put it up on my WORLDS page when Heart Fate comes out.

I took fencing in college and wasn't very good, not really aggressive enough, but I can look across my desk to the wall where my foil is propped between the window and bookcase...


9:52 AM  
Blogger talia pente said...

LOL! Yes, well that is one reason my daughter isn't a Sabre. LOL! I do love the sport.

I look forward to reading a more about Tab.



6:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

observation: in Heart Duel you wrote that Tab was "twelve decades old" (bottom of page 17). Just rereading your great story and noticed that.

7:42 PM  
Blogger Robin D Owens said...

Anon. I knew he was old, but not his exact age off the top of my head! Thanks for saving me the research!


10:48 PM  

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