Guest & Contest: Heather Thurmeier

Returning Characters

It’s never easy writing a series, but sometimes it can be downright tricky! In my Reality TV Romance trilogy, a few of the characters continue through the whole series, which is great for readers who love (or hate if we’re talking Zoe Oliver!) the characters from the first book. But for the writer, having return characters can add a whole level of complication to the writing process.

In Falling for You, we met Cassidy, Paige and Zoe as contestants on the reality TV show The One. And we also met some production people like Chip, Evan and Spencer. When I started writing the second book in the series Stuck on You, I thought it would make life easier to have these characters appear in the book. I mean I already knew who they were, and how they acted, and what they looked like.

Boy was I wrong.

Sure, I thought I had these characters all figured out, but in reality, I only really knew Cassidy and Evan. Every other returning character needed more development. I didn’t know nearly as much about them as I thought. What was their job? Where did they live? Did they have any quirks or pet peeves in the first book? Um, what color eyes did they have?! I couldn’t even remember the simple details I’d put into Falling for You.

There were so many things I had to remember and when I couldn’t, I had to research my own work! While writing Stuck on You, I referred back to Falling for You many, many times to fact check myself about different character related things. I researched everything I could about the characters I knew I would see again in Stuck on You and Lost Without You. Along the way, I made detailed notes about what I learned, then took a little time to fully develop each character so I wouldn’t have to stop again later when I wanted to be writing. By the time I wrote book 3, Lost Without You, writing was a breeze because I knew exactly who I was writing about and if I forgot anything, my notes were by my side. So much easier!

I know I’m not the only author who has had this issue while writing a series. I won’t name any names, but a pretty big time author I follow on social media recently asked her readers for some research help about her previous books in a series because she couldn’t remember all the little facts about her characters. I thought it was awesome that her readers responded quickly and were very knowledgeable about her characters, setting and plot points.

Loyal readers are the best!

So as a READER, have you ever caught mistakes in a series? Have you ever read a later book in a series and found characters with a wrong physical or personality trait? What about the wrong job or hometown? I *hope* you don’t say you’ve found that in Stuck on You!! LOL. But if you do, I blame my research expert. *ahem*

 

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Heather708twitterHeather Thurmeier is a lover of strawberry margaritas, a hater of spiders, and a reality TV junkie. Her passion is contemporary romance—writing stories filled with laugh out loud moments, uber-hunky heroes, sassy heroines, and always a happily ever after. Author of romantic comedies: Meadow Ridge Romance series, Bunny Hills and Bikinis, and the Reality TV Romance trilogy. You can find out more about Heather’s books, news and giveaways by visiting:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

 
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14 thoughts on “Guest & Contest: Heather Thurmeier

  1. erinf1 says:

    Congrats to Heather on her new release! I remember catching a few contiguity issues from some series I’ve read… small physical traits changing… past events not recalled “correctly”. Not enough for me to remember what series, but enough that it did jar me out of the story at the time. There was one series, and I wish I could remember what it was!, where a secondary character’s name completely changed. Then right when I was getting really confused, it changed back. I remember flipping pages and wondering how it hadn’t been caught in editing.

  2. Leanna H says:

    I have not caught a mistake in a series, but I was excited when I was reading Redwood Bend (Virgin River) and noticed that Walt from Summer in Sonoma was in Redwood Bend.

  3. bn100 says:

    can’t remember the series, but noticed there was one series where a character’s age changed, but it didn’t match up with the rest of the book

  4. Mary Preston says:

    I’ve never noticed any obvious mistakes, but since the book in a series usually come far apart, it’s possible to forget details.

  5. Wow, two of you found name errors in a series! That’s huge. I wonder if you read the same series?? You would think you’d catch that kind of mistake in editing, but I guess it’s possible to miss anything. After you’d read a manuscript so many times, it can be really hard to read the word that are *actually* on the page and not the ones you *think* are on the page.

    Thanks for stopping by to chat with me, ladies!

  6. Nancy Goldberg Levine says:

    I haven’t found mistakes like that, but my mistake was not getting the hero of the second book of my “Practically Perfect Heroes” series to get his feelings scross correctly. People see him as being forced into seeing that his best friend’s sister was in love with him since she was fifteen. Actually, he knew that and loved her, too, but every time he was ready to make a move, she was dating someone else. if I do a decond edition, I plan to make this clearer. And…the heroine doesn’t date friends, especially her brother’s friends.

  7. I remember one book I read—I can’t remember the title!—in which the character’s age switched back and forth, and there was no time progression… it annoyed me a little. It was something along the lines of “Jenna lost her parents at age 14” etc.. and then later in the middle of the novel she would say “I’ve was orphaned at age 15” and I would do a double take and say What??? Wasn’t it 14 a few chapters earlier? LOL!

  8. JoAnne says:

    I’m not aware of any errors in series but I have had errors in stand alone books where sometimes the author uses the wrong name for a character, wrong profession, etc. It’s a little disconcerting when that happens since I feel if we as readers get so vested in a book, the storyline and characters, then authors (and their assistants) should too.

    By far though, grammatical errors, typos and use of incorrect pronouns are my pet peeves.

    Look forward to reading this book. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Darlene Ysaguirre says:

    Ive noticed like setting mistakes before like they describe a place one way and then later on is described another but its hardly often that i spot huge mistakes

  10. Daniel M says:

    yes but i can’t think of a specific example at the moment, but it is annoying when the author can’t keep their own world consistent

  11. Jolene A says:

    Ya, I come across that every so often. I see it a lot in Indie books, but if I like the story, it’s not that big of a deal. I see it, it makes me pause, sometimes laugh for a second and then move on. I don’t see it as much in published paperbacks but every so often, one sneaks by and I usually catch it. It always makes me pause and I reread it, just to make sure I am seeing it correctly. The mix up on names and dates or certain events is what is the hardest to get over because it messes with the story. I read a book a few weeks ago where a secondary character was mentioned playing video games on the couch with another character and then a few pages later, that character that was seen playing video games was in a hospital bed in the infirmary, still unconcious and had been that way for a while. Things like that really take me out of the story and leaves me in confusion wondering if I missed something

  12. I found one in my own, but luckily caught it before the final edit. I used Grey as a last name and it should have been Gray. Oops. I don’t read that many series, mostly paranormal, and nothing glaring has popped out at me. I think if you rad them back to back you might be more likely to catch something. Congrats on your release!

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