Wednesday, November 4

Things The World Needs: A “Give This Character A Book” Feature

Have you ever read a book and encountered a secondary or supporting character who was way more interesting than the hero/heroine? Sometimes it works out okay – that person becomes the main character in a sequel, and everybody's happy. Other times, though, they get a quick write off at the end of the book and then they're gone. All that potential lost!

I recently re-encountered this situation while reading A Stitch in Crime. The main lead was nice enough, but she couldn't hold a candle to her mother and grandmother. Her mother was fascinating, and her grandmother was a riot. I would have loved to have seen more of them, and think they would have done beautifully as the main characters in their own book(s). Alas, no such luck.

It got me thinking that there should be a “Give This Person Their Own Book” feature, where readers can vote online for such wonderful but under-recognized characters to get their own books. At the end of every year, the publishing industry would take the five characters who received the most votes and commission the author(s) – or others, if necessary – to write books in which they are the hero(ine). Doesn't that seem like it should be not only doable, but a fantastic way to expand the publication of excellent books? It'd be hard to go wrong with characters that we've already established are fascinating and beloved, the publishers would know ahead of time that the books would have an eager audience!

In addition to the aforementioned mother/grandmother team, I'd have to immediately nominate the following for inclusion in any such contest (in no particular order):

- Gallowglass (Discovery of Witches) 
- Miriam Shephard (Discovery of Witches)
- Chase the Boundary Warden (Wizard's First Rule)

I'm sure there are others, but those are the first to come to mind. Who would you nominate?

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