Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Revenge Welcomes Debut Author Jo Robertson

We are honored to welcome a debut author to the blog today. Not that she's a stranger to this crew. I (Bo'sun, that be me) for one am happy to see this Mama step up and steal the spotlight. Ironic that she's here to tell us about other characters who try to steal the spotlight as well. Please give a warm pirate welcome to award winning author Jo Robertson!

Secondary Characters

One of the real problems a writer has, especially when creating a series around a core group of characters is having one of the secondary characters take over the story. Especially if that character had his or her own story in a previous book.

This happened to me in "The Avenger," my second book in the Bigler County romantic thriller series. This manuscript won the all-around Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in 2007 under the title "The Warrior." 

Ben Slater, the hero of my debut book "The Watcher" is a steady, dependable character, but he does tend to take over any story he's in. When I brought this larger-than-life hero back in the second book, I had to be careful not to let him dominate the story. In fact, I rewrote the book several times to keep Slater's character under control. 

Ironically, the same kind of situation happens in the Jack Sparrow stories of movie fame and Romance Revenge fascination.  Sparrow is often mentioned even before the film title Pirates of the Caribbean.

Although Jack was intended as a secondary character, the exquisite Johnny Depp plays the role with such flourish that the four-film series really is Jack Sparrow's story. We may like and remember the major and other minor characters, but it's Jack who keeps us coming back again and again to witness his witty banter and drunk-eyed swagger. For me, it's Jack who's the best part of the movies.

This started my thinking about how we view secondary characters in the books we read and write.

Generally we have a single protagonist (two in a romance) who dominate(s) the plot. We also have the antagonist or villain who can range from a stock character – you know, the kind who spouts the line "You must pay the rent!" while twirling his mustache – to a very complex, multi-dimensional bad guy who gives you chills and keeps you up all night.

Sometimes we use a stock character because the core of the story is not capturing the bad guy or disarming the bomb or scuttling the ship, but giving our hero and heroine their happy ending. Their difficulties and resolutions are merely played out in a situation the antagonist has created.  

Often, however, we don't want a "flat" villain; we need a "round," fully-developed antagonist, completely fleshed out, so that he becomes a foil used to show the protagonist's strengths and weaknesses.

That's when these secondary characters become interesting to me. The author uses the villain to complement or contradict a similar trait in the main character.

The villain in my debut book "The Watcher," which won the 2006 Golden Heart award for romantic suspense, is a complex character, one who causes the heroine to question the source of evil.

Although he commits heinous crimes, is he inherently evil or was he made this way through his life's circumstances? Should we hate him or pity him? Or both? As a forensic psychiatrist, the heroine Kate Myers must ask herself these questions even as she is intent on capturing him or ending his life.

I wanted readers to abhor and feel sorry for the villain in "The Watcher." Note this passage from his point of view:

He saw her giggle with her mouth wide and her cheeks flushed. He imagined she was thinking of some hidden pleasure or secret delight. Where did she get such careless confidence? Did she know that guys stared at her, salivating over what she promised?

The watcher wanted to crawl inside her head, move around in her skin, and learn what she was thinking, what made her tick. He’d like to take her apart and find the mystery of her.

His groin tightened with anticipation.

She walked away from her friends, wiggling her fingers in farewell as she strode off, confidence settling on her like the mantle of a queen. She walked alone in the opposite direction, heading for the downtown district and the antique stores.

He’d been watching her several days now, and he knew exactly what she’d do next. When she walked home alone, she dawdled at the string of antique stores along Vernon Street, entering each one, trailing among the dusty rows of other people’s discarded items. Junk passed off as treasure. Afterward, she always stopped at the mom and pop candy store at the end of the quarter-mile long street.

Most days she hitched a ride with one of her friends, but once a week, she indulged in her treats: antiquing and long twisted pieces of red licorice. Her preference for that candy made her seem younger to him, and a perfect choice, because he had a sweet tooth too.

After he’d first seen her purchase the licorice and sit outside the store on a wooden bench, he’d bought some for himself. He imagined her licking the cherry flavor with her tiny pink tongue, the stain coloring the inside of her mouth a rich scarlet.

What about you, readers? Do you enjoy secondary characters having their own stories? Do you feel disconcerted when primary characters return as secondary characters in another book?   

What about the antagonists in the books you read?  Do you prefer round or flat villains? 

Be sure to email me with your snail mail addy at jo.lewisrobertson@yahoo.com. I'll email you an autographed postcard of my upcoming August release of "The Watcher" and enter your name in a drawing to win a print copy of this romantic thriller.

You can find "The Watcher" by going here for the Create Space Store or to Amazon. 

Visit my website to learn more about the Bigler County romantic thrillers, as well as my historical suspense and young adult books.


2nd Chance said...

What da ya mean, Jack were the main character a' the movies? I thought that were Hector...


As fer secondaries, I like ta give 'em enough story ta be interestin' in their own rights... And I took me first novel primaries and made 'em pivotal but secondary in the second book and really on the edge in the third book!

I tend ta like me antogonists a bit more well-rounded then Snidely Whiplash, but wouldn't go so fer as yer villain. Wow, that excerpt gave me the shivers!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

WOO HOO!!! Jo-Mama is on the Revenge!
(Aunty Cindy swings by from the Bandit Lair, cracking her riding crop)

GREAT excerpt! And yes, Chancey, this villain is one perverted baad dude! Reading about him will keep you awake past your bedtime, I guarantee it!

Also, Ben Slater is a terrific hero. YUMMM! I,for one, was thrilled to see him as a secondary character in The Avenger. ;-) As you might have guessed, I'm Jo-Mama's critique partner and am lucky enough to have read all 3 of her Bigler County romantic thrillers. I'm sooo excited that other readers will get to share the fun.


Marnee said...

I actually love when secondary characters get their own stories. If, of course, that character is an interesting character. I've seen some spin offs with characters I didn't care much about and I've refrained.

As to main characters who return... I love that more. I love to see how "friends" are doing later on down the road. I like to see them with kids or whatever.

Welcome aboard Jo! Glad to have you!

Donna said...

Welcome, Jo, and congrats on all your success. Your story is too scary for me unfortunately! *shivers*

I think secondary characters have a little more freedom, since they don't have to carry the story, or even act heroically, so they can have a tendency to take over. I wonder what would happen if they WERE given the starring role? LOL Would they demand to have their secondary status again?

Quantum said...

Hi Jo

That's a spine chilling extract. Nothing actually happens but the suspense builds beautifully as the villain observes his potential victim.

He imagined her licking the cherry flavor with her tiny pink tongue, the stain coloring the inside of her mouth a rich scarlet.
You don't actually mention blood, but it will be in every reader's mind ..... brilliantly Hitchcockian!

Many succesful series that I have enjoyed are built around small communities. Robyn Carr's Virgin River series is a good example. Good community spirit allows her to develop secondary characters into primaries in a seamless way.

Consider Jack who runs the Virgin River Bar. He is a primary in the first novel and secondary in the remaining twelve or so novels, making occasional show stealing appearances, but always in support of the new primaries. It is the strong sense of community that allows Carr to do this with apparent ease IMHO.

Afraid I haven't tried your books as yet. May I ask whether the Bigler County series also develops a strong addictive community spirit?

Great to meet you on board! :D

Hellion said...

I love when secondary characters get their own stories, and I love when main characters from other books come back to play secondary characters in other books. You get to see another side of them. :)

Jack is my favorite of Pirates, though I think he is much better at being a secondary character than a hero--he prefers to have all the funny lines and sequences, to show off, et al. Making him the actual hero might blur some of his charm. *LOL* I think that's the way with some secondary characters, don't you? They're much better being the person who says what no one else can say or providing the much needed comic relief.

I prefer round villains. I prefer someone I can pity a little. There's a couple villains I've read I don't care for--like Olaf in the Anita Blake series (Laurell K. Hamilton). He's a serial killer, gruesome and unrepentant. Just a sociopath of the worst order. I don't see anything to pity in him, nothing that turned him that way, just an abnormality of nature. *shudders* And Voldemort from the Harry Potter books is rather designed that way too--he does have a horrible childhood, so in a sense you can pity him, but you also get the idea that if he'd even grown up with a loving family he still would have turned out to be who he was. That some Evil is just Evil, no pity or understanding necessary.

Bosun said...

I'm with everyone else. This dude sounds really creepy. I used to read a lot of Romantic Suspense, and these kinds of characters always made me uncomfortable. LOL! What was it like to write scenes like this one, Jo?

I always seem to have one secondary character who tries to steal the book. What it's teaching me is that my main characters have to be that much bigger. Which is a good lesson to learn since I'd like the reader to want to read about the main characters.

I have a villain in the current WIP. She's like a young Cruella De Ville. In fact, that's what my heroine calls her. Needless to say, the hero's dog hates her. He's a very good judge of character.

Bosun said...

Forgot to say I do like when main characters come back to serve secondary rolls in later books, but I don't like it when they come back like cardboard cutouts slipped into the setting to make the reader feel good about "seeing" them again. As long as they are just as alive and consistent as they were in their own books.

Tessa Dare pulled this off well in her first series. (Yet to read the second.) Eloisa James does this very well. In contemporary, Meg Benjamin and Shannon Stacey have created family stories with large casts. All the family members play a roll in the books but aren't just window dressing. They really play pivotal roles that move the story along.

Scapegoat said...

Congrats on those amazing awards and welcome!

I'm a huge fan of secodnary characters but it is a fine line not to make them stand ut more than the main characters. I've had a few books I ended up finishing only because I wanted more little snippets of side characters.

I do LOVE when I see previous main characters as side characters in later books. I think Johanna Lindsey does this so well in her Malory series.

Bosun said...

HOW could I have forgotten the Malory series?! Malory is only my daughter's middle name. LOL! Yes, I love those books. The character were so real, but they all stood out as strongly as the next. No idea how she found the balance, but you never felt the MC's were being overshadowed.

Jo is on the left coast along with Chance and AC so she'll be in a little later in the morning.

Jo Robertson said...

Hello, uh, ahoy, Revengers! Thanks so much for allowing me to visit today.

I was up a wee bit late last night (wink, wink) with a touch of the flu (wink, wink), so I haven't got me sea legs yet!

I'm soooo happy to be here with these nefarious Pirates who keep me in stitches most of the time. Ya'll are HE-larious!

Jo Robertson said...

Nah, Chance! Sparrow took over them shows! Phhhtttt on Hector! It's Jack all the way!

Good strategy on the secondary characters. I especially like "keeping them on the edge" for the third book.

Readers seem to love bringing those secondary characters back for their own stories, don't they? The trick as a writer is to give the SC something unique, but not overpowering, that lingers in the reader's mind and makes them panting for more.

Jo Robertson said...

By the way, I brought my sword onboard today. I'm just sayin'. I've heard you Revengers can be a rowdy bunch, so I'm armed and ready!

mo said...

I agree with bo'sun. I love when a secondary character that I found interesting gets to tell their own story and I like the original major characters to come back if they serve a purpose in the story.

My favorie example of this is a series of books by Curtiss Ann Matlock. In the first, Lost Highways, we see the main character, Rainy, and her relationship to her family. She and her sister, Charlene, are particularly at odds and we end up either not liking or not identifying at all with Charlene. In the second book (which I think was called Driving Lessons) we get a new and different story but since it's the same time frame, we see many of the same events from the Charlene's point of view. Whoa!! Now we don't think Rainy is so right in her perceptions and Charlene is a very sympathetic woman. Now that's doing it right.

BTW the cover of "The Watcher" is appropriately spooky. Congratulations, Jo!

Jo Robertson said...

Ahoy, me CP, Aunty Cindy! (blinks eyes wearily and brandishes sword). Thanks for the kind words and thanks for making THE WATCHER readable! I bow to your editor-extraordinaire-ness!

I can't believe you beat me here, knowing how you like your beauty sleep in the morning. Ah, but I see you swung by last night.

Yes, I've had tons of fun with both the hero Slater and the villain, The Watcher (clearly he "watches" and "stalks" his victims). I'm very fascinated with the minds of the bad guys. I'd be more likely to study Hannibal Lector than Clarisse!

Jo Robertson said...

Thanks for having me Maureen!

Maureen said, "I’ve seen some spin offs with characters I didn’t care much about and I’ve refrained."

I like when a writer drops a hint of interest about a SC in the first book and then somehow turns that into a compelling attraction when that character has his/her own book.

And often I see SC's that appear to have "fatal flaws," but when they get their own books, we realize how and why they came to be that way. I find that compelling.

Jo Robertson said...

Hi, Donna, thanks for stopping by! The Watcher is indeed scary, but since it's a romance the hero and heroin are sure to survive and get their happy ever after. That's a given.

I think you hit the nail on the head when you said SC have more freedom. Maybe that's why writers feel so liberated writing them (I know I do), like they can break the rules a bit with them and not get their hands slapped LOL.

Jo Robertson said...

Maureen, I meant to say that I love when we revisit characters after they've ended their stories and we get to see how "tamed" they are, happily in love still and having kiddies run around.

I think I enjoy that because in the real world so few marriages last that it's a reaffirmation of my own life. Dr. Big and I have been married waaaaaayyyyy long LOL.

Don't you think that -- across the board -- many married romance writers have happy marriages. It seems so to me, but I could just be dreaming.

Jo Robertson said...

Quatum says, "That’s a spine chilling extract. Nothing actually happens but the suspense builds beautifully as the villain observes his potential victim."

HIgh praise, Quantum, thanks! That's what I was aiming for. I always keep in mind that one day my grandchildren might read this book (hopefully not until they're 18!) and I want the allusion of evil rather than the graphic details.

I like when the reader can paint some of the picture in her own head. I've re-read books years after the initial reading and find my mind goes places it didn't go in the first reading. Does that make sense?

Jo Robertson said...

Wow! Brilliant analysis of Carr's series, Quantum. Perchance are you a school teacher in an alternate life LOL?

The Bigler County series does have the same set of characters, the officiously annoying DA Charles Barrington; Slater, of course, who's the deputy sheriff in the first book and become sheriff in the second one; the beautiful Latina ADA Isabella Torres, who has her own story in the third book.

I think Slater is the heart and soul of the series. He's given up a six-figure income in SF to settle obscurely in this little northern CA town where the community's sort of wrapped him in their lazy, easy-going affection. He has a painful backstory that's gradually revealed in The Watcher.

Interestingly enough, both the heroines in The Watcher and the second book, The Avenger" -- Kate Myers and Olivia Gant -- are imports. I don't know that I planned it that way; these characters display stubbornly strong independence, you know!

Jo Robertson said...

Hi, Bo'sun! Villains are astonishingly easy for me to write. I'm not sure what that says about me! Perhaps my dark side is even darker than most people's. I think I just find it incredible fascinating to consider why people do what they do. I think I'm a fairly moral person -- there are absolute lines I won't cross -- but I'm able to see moral ambiguity all around me.

I wrote Smith's character (he's the villain, but we don't know his name at first) because I'd just taken an abnormal psychology class at the university and learned about this "condition" -- I don't want to spoil the story! -- so I'll be vague. I wondered, what if a person were born with this physical anomaly and in addition had a horrible upbringing, what would he be like? There's an actual documented case of this condition and I just tweaked the backstory to make my villain both terrifying and terrified.

Like I said, there must be a little twisty inside me LOL. Or maybe I'm just highly empathetic.

Jo Robertson said...

Bo'sun says, "I always seem to have one secondary character who tries to steal the book. What it’s teaching me is that my main characters have to be that much bigger."

Ah, I like that lesson! I'll have to remind myself of that when Slater tries to take over "The Avenger" (book 2). I've had to rewrite this book several times. My head is spinning!

It's funny how I spend my entire professional life analyzing other writer's books (I taught AP Literature for many years), but I've never applied the same kind of in-depth analysis to my own writing. I've mainly gone by instinct.

Thanks for the idea!

Jo Robertson said...

LOL on the dog hating the young Cruella. The animals always know, don't they? We used to have a black lab -- beautiful 100+ pound creature -- who loved to toy with the kids who hit their balls over my back fence. He'd wait until they jumped the fence and eased toward the baseball. When they almost reached it, he'd chase them like mad.

We collected a whole store of baseballs LOL.

P. Kirby said...

Usually, I prefer well-rounded antagonists. I'm not a fan of evil that is evil "just because." The most interesting antagonists believe that what they are doing is right, possibly serving a greater good.

That said, one of my favorite villains is Heath Ledger's Joker from The Dark Knight. He's a psycho. He knows it. He's got no angsty-wangsty backstory. He just wants to see the world burn and he wrecks havoc with joy.

Jo Robertson said...

Absolutely, MsHellion. Some characters are fated to be secondary, and that's not a bad thing. Like you say, they can talk about the elephant in the room that everyone else is afraid to mention.

Jack's definitely the character that keeps me returning to the Pirates series.

So do you think that some people are just born bad? I was reminded of the little girl character in the old movie (I think they made a remake of it) "The Bad Seed." She was just evil for no apparent reason.

Jo Robertson said...

I agree, Bo'sun, that it's better if the returning characters have a role to play in the subsequent book (other than standing around looking pretty -- although a little eye candy isn't bad LOL). I like when, as SC, they have a function, like helping the hero/heroine to understand a situation or assisting in rescuing someone.

Jo Robertson said...

Yes, Johanna Lindesey is great at this in the Malory series, Scapegoat.

Thanks for the compliments. It's nice to have the awards, but we know that selling the book is the real goal!

Isn't the upheaval in the publishing industry right now both exciting and terrifying?

Jo Robertson said...

Malory's a beautiful name for a girl, Bo'sun. I named my middle daughter Kennan, a name I'd never heard at the time, but still think is beautiful. Of course, we call her "Ken," which makes it awkward because my little brother's name is "Ken."

Sadly, yes I'm on the Left Coast (or wrong one LOL). It's 9:30 now so I think I'll fix some breakfast. I've had a bit of Pirate's Revenge (ha, ha) from either flu or food poisoning, so I'm thinking a bowl of rice and a banana. Maybe a glass of PEPSI!!!! to settle the tummy.

What a smart, clever bunch of ladies you Revengers are! I'm having so much fun!

Jo Robertson said...

Mo says, "I love when a secondary character that I found interesting gets to tell their own story and I like the original major characters to come back if they serve a purpose in the story."

Absolutely! I was just talking with a colleague about George R.R. Martin's Game of Thrones. He does this so beautifully. I think the first book has about 6-7 POV characters, each with his/her own separate chapters. I love how the other characters are filtered through another character's perceptions. You start to think one thing about them and then see them in a new and different light. That's way cool, I think. Did that make sense LOL?

Jo Robertson said...

Thanks for the compliment on the cover, Mo! There was originally a different "house," but as the lovely Anna Campbell pointed out, it looked too "cozy," so we settled on this abandoned cabin which sets the scene for the prologue.

Jo Robertson said...

Hi, P.Kirby! I agree. Heath Ledger's The Joker was astonishingly evil, almost but not quit mad. I think it's his crowning role.

I like some rationale behind the villain's actions, too. Even if it's in their own twisted psyches. Both villains in The Watcher and The Avenger have strong motivations, not "normal," but definitely in line with their own mad goals.

Hellion said...

So do you think that some people are just born bad?

I don't want to think so. I'm not even a mother, but the thought of a little sugar-bag of humanity is inherently evil and will grow up to be the Worst Thing The World Has Ever Dealt With seems...WRONG. *LOL* It just seems wrong. Everything in me screams that no baby is born evil.

And yet there are some people who had perfectly nice and nurturing mothers, and they end up killing them because they can. WTH.

I'm thinking of that teenage boy that killed his parents so he could throw a party. I don't think his parents were bad people, but the kid--faced with the humilation of likely having to cancel a party he told everyone he was throwing reacted in a violent way. Was there anything before in him to hint at that behavior?

I don't know. I think some of this IS personality, but who's going to look at a baby and think, "That is the WRONG personality" and snuff it out? And how does that make you better than the "bad seed" if you did make that decision?? Ugh.

Okay, I'm getting warped. I need to eat some lunch because I'm not even making sense!

Bosun said...

Wow. Didn't mean to get that deep. And I've eaten lunch so I don't even have an excuse. Sheesh.

2nd Chance said...

Hair a' the dog that bit ya? I can fix up somethin' ta soothe the tummy, sweetness... Since I handle the bar here on the ship...

Villains be a fascinatin' thing ta write. I'm all fer givin' them a reason ta be bad, but in the end I don't believe in makin' it an excuse fer bein' bad.

As fer secondaries...I have cheese fer memory, but I know I read a book with three sisters... And the third, where things switched ta the youngest's POV made fer fascinatin' readin'...because a' the shifts in how the other two were looked at. Made me want ta try that one a' these days!

Bosun said...

Goodness, I had a lunch meeting and the whole ship blew up! Figuratively speaking of course. No real blowing things up unless LaDuchesse is here. LOL!

There is evil in the world. I'm not sure you can argue that. In fact, there's a lot of it making a mess right now. But I'm not sure if those evil people were born that way. Seems to me there's either a mental defect, or something corruptive along the way. Power, ambition, suffering. They can all corrupt until what was is no longer there and what's taken its place is unfathomable.

Looking at the most troubled parts of the world right now proves this. It's as if life has no value and people dying means nothing.

Bosun said...

We do need to create a drink in honor of Jo. Something scarlet red with a licorice stick.


2nd Chance said...

That sounds like a villainous drink, Terr...

Licorice stick or licorice...whip.

I could work with a whip.

I don't even mind that she dissed Hector. He can handle it...

Nancy Northcott said...

Hi, Revengers and Jo! I am so looking forward to reading this book. That excerpt was creepy, but I like a villain with some depth.

I'm also struggling with keeping the hero of Book 1 in a supporting role in Book 2. I hope that'll be easier as I go farther into this heri and heroine's story.

For me, part of the pleasure of reading a series is getting to see familiar characters again, either h/h returning in secondary roles or secondary characters stepping to the fore.

Janga said...

Congrats, Jo, on the release of The Watcher. Even that excerpt is enough to give me nightmares. Wonderful writing--but creepy.

I'm a series addict, so of course I love seeing secondary characters get their own stories. I've waited years--not always patiently-- for some of my favorite secondary-characters-turned-hero books, such as Eloisa James's Pleasure for Pleasure (Mayne) and A Duke of Her Own (Villiers) and Jo Beverley's Devilish (Rothgar) and To Rescue a Rogue (Dare).

On the other hand, I hate it when the protagonists seems to pale in comparison to a secondary character. I recently read a romance by a fave author in which the secondary romance was sweet, funny, and different and I had some real problems with the hero. It was the secondary romance that kept me reading since I didn't think the hero deserved the heroine.

Mo, how lovely to see someone mention Curtiss Ann Matlock's books. I'm a fan too, and I think she's one of those authors who gets less attention than her work merits.

Brenda Novak said...

Hi Jo--

Great blog! I'm really looking forward to reading THE WATCHER. I just got a Kindle, so I need to figure out how to download it. LOL My kids can help. Can't be hard, right?


Bosun said...

Hello again, Ms. Brenda! There is a link at the bottom of the blog that will take you right to Jo's book on Amazon. I'm sure you can find the Kindle version that way. Thanks for gracing out decks!

Bosun said...

Hey there, Nancy. You need to get that character in check! Tell him what to do. We're in charge, as the writers, right?

I don't know why everyone is laughing.


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

AHOY Revergers!

Pass yer olde Aunty a few of those rum soaked licorice whips. I have a few ideas on ways to use them. ;-)

I too love the cover of Jo's book. It gives just the right amount of creepiness to prepare you for the story, which is very fast-paced, btw. You'll probably be able to finish it in one sitting. I'm sure you will WANT to finish it, coz the suspense is just too over-powering otherwise.


Patricia Rickrode said...

Very nice blog Jo! Have your book on my "to be ordered" list from Amazon. Sounds intriguing (and kind of scary). Keep up the good blogging!


Jo Robertson said...

Thanks for the compliment, Patricia. And for ordering my book. If you have an e-reader, be sure to wait for the Kindle download which will only be $2.99. I'm steering people that way because I LURVE my Kindle and want everyone to have that experience. No, I haven't started working for Amazon, even though they've tried to lure me there LOL.

Jo Robertson said...

Making perfect sense to me, MsHellion. I have to think that kid had some kind of problem before the actual violent event. But then, I've taught teenagers for 20 years and I can say with assurity that the years between 13-17 are INSANE! Most of them return to us, however. I think that's why I love teaching teens so much. My own experience (had had 5 teenagers in my house at one time!!! Crazy, I tell you!) made the able to see the potential in kids, the basic goodness in both of them. And no one can beat their enthusiasm for life!

The FBI has the trifecta of characteristics for killers (at least serial killers, which my character is): bedwetting, firestarting and torturing/killing animals. There definitely seems to be a pattern!

Jo Robertson said...

Bo'sun says, "Goodness, I had a lunch meeting and the whole ship blew up! Figuratively speaking of course. No real blowing things up unless LaDuchesse is here. LOL!"

I don't know. I think Aunty Cindy might've sneaked in an IED or something, but if Jeanne stops by, there's sure to be some fireworks!

I have to believe in the basic goodness of people, too. It seems the capacity for good and evil lies in all of us (HELLO, LORD OF THE FLIES, ANYONE?) and some people are more easily drawn to the Dark Side. Shiver.

Jo Robertson said...

LOL, Chance. Concoct something powerful for me, would ya, gal! When I was in Egypt many many years ago, Pharoah's Revenge bit me in the ass (literally)! But this is a case of good old food poisoning, I think. How about something STRONG to settle me tummy? I'm a teetotaler, but I think I could put that aside for the moment. Convenient conscience LOL.

Jo Robertson said...

If your memory's cheese, Bo'sun, mine's a sieve! Can't remember much of anything, including the name of me children. Of course, if Dr. Big (me hubby) hadn't been so randy, I might've had fewer to remember!

Hellion said...

bedwetting, firestarting and torturing/killing animals

Does the trifecta ever occur without the presence of abuse first, because I always thought that most bedwetting was a symptom or result of emotional or physical abuse, or molestation.

Jo Robertson said...

Bo'sun said, "We do need to create a drink in honor of Jo. Something scarlet red with a licorice stick."

Oooooh, yummy! I grew quite fond of pina coladas when I visited San Juan. Virgin. But I could be persuaded on the licorice whip LOL!

I'm sure Aunty Cindy will stop by and try to steal it, though. She's very "fond" of her collection of whips.

Jo Robertson said...

Hi, fellow Bandita Nancy! Thanks for stopping by. Yes, those secondary characters can be a bit much to handle.

I hope the "creepy" doesn't put off the fervent romance readers because Kate and Slater have a stormy, but tender relationship. I like that Slater's just the man to handle her, even though he has a painful past of his own.

2nd Chance said...

Well, I could mix up a batch of "Whippin' the Villain"...

jorobertson said...

Hellion said, "I always thought that most bedwetting was a symptom or result of emotional or physical abuse, or molestation."

Yes, I think there's usually some kind of real or perceived abuse, physcial, emotional, or sexual.

jorobertson said...

Hi, Janga, thanks for the compliment.

I adore Eloisa James' books. I think she's one of the top historical writers around today.

jorobertson said...

Hi, Brenda! Thanks for stopping by. We've known each other far longer than either of us wants to admit, right? No sense in revealing a lady's age.

Yay on the Kindle! That version will be out around the middle of the month, so be sure to wait for it. It's only $2.99!

jorobertson said...

Thanks for the additional compliments, Aunty Cindy. Uh, did you manage to snag one of those liquor-soaked whips? I'm afraid to even think of the ways you intend to use it (shudder).

jorobertson said...

Some of you have given great recommendations for secondary characters who show up in a series. I'm adding all those I haven't already read to my to-purchase list.

As many of you know, I'm an avid lover of JD Robb's "In Death" series. While it's not quite the same thing, because it's always Dallas and Roark's story, I do enjoy her secondary characters and how she's added to them over the life of the series.

Patricia Rickrode said...

Thanks Jo. I have a Kindle on my new phone, but honestly, I still prefer my paper books where I can turn pages and use a real book mark. Besides, this way there'll be something for you to sign the next time I see you at our meetings!


Bosun said...

This has been such a great day. Thanks again for joining us, Jo. You're going right to the top of our "favorite guests we must have back" list.

jorobertson said...

Great, Patricia! I appreciate the support!

jorobertson said...

Thanks to the wonderful Revengers -- Hellion, Chance, Bo'sun, and Donna for having me today. It was a great experience!

Bosun said...

You're a great guest, Jo. But then being a Bandita, we knew you would be.

I forgot to answer your question about Romance writers having happy marriages. That's an observation I've made before. The happiest marriages I've ever heard about are those of authors. Since I don't have a spouse, I admit I've wondered if that was required to actually make a go of this. LOL!

Hellion said...

Lord, I hope not or I'm definitely screwed!

2nd Chance said...

Well, me marriage is happy. Not slap happy, but moderately happy. We fit well.