When Minor Characters Come to Life . . .

SussexAndrea here, juggling a multitude of pressing deadlines, and so invoking the Wenchly privilege of posting an oldie but goodie blog from the past. It seemed worthy of repeat, given all the controversy concerning the current Duke of Sussex. So without further ado . . .

I'm musing today on minor characters in a story, and how they can surprise you. Take, for example, my Wrexford & Sloane mystery, Murder at Kensington Palace. In doing research for the book, I had come across a paragraph or two that mentioned scientific soirees were occasionally held at Kensington Palace during the Regency because King George III’s sixth son (and ninth child), Prince Augustus Frederick, lived in one of the state apartments and was very interested in science.

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When Minor Characters Come to Life . . .

SussexAndrea here, musing today on minor characters in a story, and how they can surprise you. Take, for example, my just-released mystery, Murder at Kensington Palace. In doing research for the book, I had come across a paragraph or two that mentioned scientific soirees were occasionally held at Kensington Palace during the Regency because King George III’s sixth son (and ninth child), Prince Augustus Frederick, lived in one of the state apartments and was very interested in science.

Prince_Augustus_in_1782Aha! I think—it’s the perfect place for my opening scene! So, I make a note of it, doubly happy because I now have a great title for the book. When it comes down to writing the scene, I shuffle through all my notes and photos from my visit to the palace, as well as research I’ve done on the real-life scientific scholars who might have attended, as I have fun putting a few small cameos of actual people interacting with my fictional characters. And course, I remind myself to made a very brief mention of Prince Augustus Frederick—or the Duke of Sussex, the title he was granted by his father in 1801.

Naturally, I imagine this will only take a minute down rabbit hole. I only intend to have him walk by, and then have a few other people comment on some of his habits to make him a little individuality . . . However, I ended up being really surprised by what an interesting man he was. I had always thought of George III’s sons as a rather undistinguished lot (if not downright dislikable fellows.) And for me, Augustus Frederick was sort of lost in the shuffle of the 15 children.

 

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