Once upon a time, I wrote a book--a nice Regency romance with a hero and a heroine, a cute kid, a lady villain (vanquished by the end of the book, of course), and a happily ever after. Title was David: Lord of Honor, and it fell about mid-way through the very long Lonely Lords series. Thereafter, I went about my business as an author, finishing out the series, writing new trilogies, but every so often, a reader would ask, "What about Daniel Banks?"
Daniel was a problem, that’s what about Daniel Banks. In David's book, Daniel had been married to the lady villain, a selfish brat of a disgrace of a wife. Because Daniel was also a Regency vicar (I pictured him somewhat like the image below of Daniel Day Lewis), I couldn't see prying him loose from that marriage. The best I could do was get Daniel and the disgrace separated by the end of the book. Daniel struggled nobly on alone, a sadder but wiser (and really good looking) sweet guy.
What about Daniel Banks? Another reader would ask. Never has a secondary character generated so much reader sympathy. So I asked Daniel, "Reverend Dude, you have any ideas? You're married, you're a vicar, you're poor, and you don't have a cute kid underfoot any more, 'cause you selflessly placed the boy in the wealthy viscount's household. The READERS are asking about you, though, so how 'bout you give an author a hint?"
He muttered something about missing the boy, and, "Aren't you the bestselling author, Grace?"
Nothing like a handsome, noble, devout, miserably married, good looking Regency vicar to conjure the fear of writer's block. But then another reader would ask, "When will you write a story for Daniel Banks?"
Well, alrighty, then. The readers had spoken, and Daniel deserved a happily ever after. His mistakes had been made in good faith, but they were mistakes all the same, marrying that woman foremost among them. A hero is a good guy who hasn't put his mistakes right yet... Scene led to scene, and Lady Kirsten Haddonfield had some great ideas where Daniel was concerned. Before long, I'm writing a book, and things are looking up for Daniel Banks. There are cut kids underfoot, love is in the air, and a happily ever after is only a few hundred pages away.
So what about Daniel Banks? Reader, I hero’d him. It took some research, some blind faith, some nudging from Lady Kirsten, but by the end of Daniel’s True Desire, there’s a terrific happily ever for all concerned… except the disgrace of course, and she does NOT deserve one. The readers are clear about that!
If you’d like to read an excerpt that link is here.
If you'd like a peek at David: Lord of Honor, that link is here.
Is there a character who has stuck with you long after the ending of a book or a movie? A sidekick, confidante, mentor, or secondary heroine—possibly even a former villain—that might be a candidate for a happily ever after?
To one commenter, I’ll send a signed copy of Daniel’s True Desire.