Friday, September 14, 2007

Revisiting Old Friends

by Tawny Weber

I was taking a mental vacation this afternoon (you know, those spaced out moments where your brain trips around without a map) and without intending to, revisited Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The scene with Dobby by the seaside cottage, to be exact. Which then sent my mind along the rest of the story, rereading it in my mind (and jonesing to reread it in real life... where is book one again?)

In Terri Garey’s interview the other day, she mentioned a quote by Louisa May Alcott that had the same effect. I revisted Jo and Beth in particular. Then I jumped on over to Little Men, when Jo is all grown up and raising her own kids. I love those books.

And I love revisiting characters. Not just in my own trippy little brain, but in stories. Both in series type stories like Harry Potter, where we held on by our fingernails waiting for our hero’s next year at Hogwarts, and in sequal type stories like Little Men, which I think came many years after Little Women and gave us a look at the ladies, all grown up. An adult example (can you tell school started and I’m in kid-book mode?) would be JD Robb’s Eve Dallas stories to revisit the ever-so-sexy Roarke, and her Chesapeake Bay series finale when we get to read Seth’s story and see what the brothers are doing all those years later.

Revisiting my own characters is always fun, too. In Does She Dare, I have a scene where the heroine, Isabel, goes to a party where Audra and Jesse are from Double Dare. It was so fun to visit, a couple years after their story was over, and show them as a couple. To see how Audra was still wild, how Jesse was still turned on, and how fun they still were.

How about you? What are some characters that just live on for you, long after you finish a book? You know the ones, they just pop into your head and say "hi".


Andrea said...

This is exactly why I love series....because it is like revisiting old friends. They almost become your family, in a way. I have so many favorite series, too.... The Malorys, the Bridgertons, the Rylands, the St. Johns, the Effingtons, the Cynsters, the Griffins, the Dennehy name a few.

Suzanne Ferrell said...

One of my most favorite fictional families is Johanna Lindsey's Malorys. Yummo. Especially James. (Who doesn't love a reformed pirate?)

And then there's Gabriel and Joanna from Julie Garwood's Saving Grace, my all time favorite book. I even love Auggie, the little old guy who chases a stone from one hole to another in a medieval invention of golf!

I adore all the Scotsmen in Sandy Blair's In A Kilt series. (Good thing since she's my critique partner!) And the fact that I get to revisit Duncan and Angus in A Theif In A Kilt to see how they were faring with their wee lasses is a boon.

Then there is the Black Dagger Brotherhood guys. J.R. Ward has established herself as a great series writer with those guys. Oh yeah, and the next installment comes out this month!! YIPPEE!!

Anonymous said...

Mmm, many of my favs have already had a mention. The Malorys (though I'm partial to Anthony, rather than James!) and the Bridgertons, absolutely. Oh, and the Bedwyns. Mary Balogh is incredible.

Then there's the whole world of Pern. I could read Dragonflight over and over.

I was also a Louisa May Alcott fan--Little Men was great, but I particularly adored Rose in Winter. One of those transformation stories I love so much!

thanks for the little walk down memory lane, Tawny!

Caren Crane said...

Tawny, I love this topic! Kirsten, thank you for mentioning the Bedwyns. Mary Balogh is a marvel! I also loved all Louisa May Alcott's books. I am a sucker for a series.

My first big, dedicated series read was the Dragonriders of Pern series by Anne McCaffrey. She defined what a series could be for me. Her characters were compelling, consistent and stayed true to themselves throughout dozens of stories!

I love to read series and I long to write them. Hopefully, I will be given the chance to create my own fictional families that readers adore. I know I am a fan of them, and obviously others are too!

Andrea said...

Kirsten, I'm partial to Anthony Malory myself. ;)

Anonymous said...

okay, Tender Rebel is seriously one of the best romance novels of all time! I do wish Lindsey weren't quite such a recluse. I would love to see her on an RWA panel someday!

Anonymous said...

You all will be proud to hear that even though it's Friday, I am steering clear of the donuts.


I mean, all bets are off for tomorrow, but TODAY I will be strong. :-)

jo robertson said...

My favorite series also is JR Ward's The Brotherhood. I feel like I'm in on the secret side of the now-secondary characters as each new brother's story unfolds. I KNOW what he's thinking, I tell myself. I know what she's going to do next.

I just finished reading Elizabeth Hoyt's The Serpent Prince and I loved seeing characters from the first two books playing roles. I was pleasantly surprised.

And Inara, I love your will power. If Krispy Kreme hadn't gone belly up (or whatever caused them to close), I'd be there every morning. Thank heavens for small favors.

Kate Carlisle said...

Hi Tawny -- Great topic! One character I think about every so often is Murphy Muldoon from Nora's Born In series. I swear, I'll be minding my own business and I'll hear his voice. I love that trilogy and reread it at least once a year.

The Malorys are another family I love! And SEP's Chicago Stars. Love those guys!

P.S. Kirsten, don't fight it. They'll find you wherever you hide. LOL

Trish Milburn said...

Add me to the list of fans of J.R. Ward's series. Only 11 days until Lover Unbound!

I also love the characters in Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series, the Harry Potter books, and I just finished reading The Golden Compass and can't wait to read the next to see what happens to Lyra and Pan.

Keira Soleore said...

1. Eliza Doolittle from My Fair Lady.
2. Phillip from To Sir Phillip with Love by Julia Quinn
3. Diane Gaston
4. Candice Hern
5. Brodick and Gillian from Ransom by Julie Garwood
6. Little Women and Jo's Boys
7. La Heyer
8. Mary Balogh
9. Lisa Kleypas
10. A ton of Enid Blyton characters, including Noddy, Mallory Towers, St. Clairs, Magic Faraway Tree
11. Hans Christen Anderson
12. Mythological tales from Ireland, Scandinavia, India, China

Unknown said...

Okay, I'll fess that I'm with Andrea and Kirsten on Anthony Mallory. For me, that was the best of her series.

And Kirsten, good luck with the donuts. That one of the good things about working from home.

Beth Andrews said...

Great topic,Tawny! And my older sister and I were named after characters in Little Women ;-)

I love series *g* The Malorys (I'm an Anthony fan as well) Nora's Chesapeake Bay series (actually, all of her connected stories *g*) and Suzanne Brockmann's SEALs to name a few.

Anna Sugden said...

I LOVE series and connected stories! Nora's MacGregors and the Three Sisters trilogy and of course the delicious Roarke! Susan Mallery's Buchanans and Marcellis, Christine Rimmer's Jones Gang, Maggie Shayne's Brands, Geralyn Dawson's McBrides and Judit Arnold's Blooms to name but a few. Then there's the sports teams - Deirdre Martin's NY Blades, SEP's Chicago Stars and Kate Angell's Bat Pack.

I also love Tess Gerritsen's series starting with The Surgeon, Suz Brockmann's navy Seals, Debra Webb's Colby Agency, Julie Miller's Precinct, Merline Lovelace's OMEGA and Lindsay McKenna's Morgan's Mercenaries.

Not surprising that my books are often connected too. My Burton Dale Brides (which contain my two GH finalists) and my New Jersey Ice Cats (yes, the hockey series *grin*).

Can't wait to read Does She Dare? Been waiting for it since Double Dare!

Tawny said...

Ooooh, its so cool seeing all these series here. Some I've read and forgotten how much I loved (helloooo Murphy) and others make me want to go read!

As a couple people mention, Pern was a magical world for me, too. I loved those books and revisiting the characters. The intriguing thing, I think, was seeing them from the newer characters POV... it was so much deeper.

btw- go Kirsten on the donuts LOL.

Beth... really? Sweet little Beth from Little Women. *beg* Thats interesting...

Anna, you're a doll LOL

Joan said...

Garrick Haardrad from "Fires of Winter" by Johanna Lindsey. Viking extraordinare...grrrrrr.

ANY and all of Nora's connected series. One hero and...oh, my gosh the name escapes me at the moment...but was in the trilogy about the three mortal women having a quest to complete in order to free three sisters. Was it Finn? Or was that his dog (who I also remember)LOL

I LOVE connected series and for my 3 Patrician books the other characters sort of demand that they play some role....

And darn it, I also LOVE to find out (for the historicals' anyway)to read about having babies etc. (sigh)

Tawny said...

LOL -Joan, Finn was the dog in the Key series.

and yes... fabulous stories.

I love reconnecting with characters best when its years later -- you know, proof that the relationship lasted, seeing kids or future pets or just... life :-) I think I'm just a sap for a happy ending and love to revisit it.

Caren Crane said...

Joan and Tawny, I'm a sucker for the future babies, too! I love an Epilogue and think they should be mandatory. *g* I know other people hate them, but they are such a lovely surprise when you finish a book that really satisfies you...then find out there is more!

I'm a glutton, I tell you. And I really should check out the Mallorys, I suppose. I've heard about them a hundred times and am not sure I ever read any of them. Of course, I haven't read any JR Ward, either. But I read all the Harry Potter books! *g*

Caren Crane said...

Kate, I meant to say that I also am drawn back to Nora's Irish trilogies again and again. For me it's the Jewels of the Sun, Tears of the Moon and Heart of the Sea one. I adore those! Though I loved the Born In series as well. La Nora, always a winner.

Hellie Sinclair said...

Oh, definitely Harry Potter.

The Taggerts & Montgomerys in Jude Deveraux's works...and I do adore Julie Garwood--and Nathan, Sara, and Pagan--and Colin and the Hunter and all the characters belonging in that group live for me.

Currently, Sherrilyn Kenyon's Darkhunters are very real for me. I can't get enough of them--and always want to know what is going on. (I also love her Lords of Avalon series too.)

Helen said...

I love books that are in a series as well, you become close to them and love to hear what is happening to them in the next book. When I was young I read all of Enid Blytons Secret Seven and Famous Five and I love the Harry Potter books and of course The Mallorys the Bedwyns the Bridgertons the Effingtons the Cynsters the Bastion club the Griffins. I am really drawn to books in a series for this reason. Great post Tawny
Have Fun

Christine Wells said...

I love series, too. Agree with you on the Bedwyns, Kirsten! Mary Balogh said she never intended to write a series about them when they popped up in A Summer to Remember (one of my all-time favourite books). But she is so wonderfully talented that you can read ASTR and the characters are fully formed and consistent with the way they're written in the series. That's a master writer at work.

Characters that live for me are Georgette Heyer's, without a doubt. There must be many more, including HP. Great post, Tawny!

Tawny said...

This is cool -I love knowing its not just "our" characters that chatter in our head and pop in and out at will LOL.

Its those great writing masters (stealing Christine's phrase) who create characters who are like friends who come to call once in awhile.

Anna Sugden said...

Roarke can visit me any time ;)

Tawny said...

LOL Anna... but Eve would soon follow and kick some butt.

Joan said...


I LOVE the Nora Irish trilogies. On my first visti, I took one of the Born In series with me. Imagine, reading the wonderful descriptions of Ireland and then being able to look out the window and SEE it!

God, I've got to get back there next year!

And mshellion, I HAD forgotten about the Montgomerys but as soon as I read the name..BOOM they were there!

Excuse me while I go dig around in some boxes for these titles. :-)

doglady said...

Sigh, love the Bedwyns. Mary Balogh is a genius. Of course, the Mallorys, the Effingtons, the Bridgertons and how about the characters in Lisa Kleypas's Wallflower series? Love St. Vincent and Evie!! Karen Hawkins's St.John family and Jillian Hunter's Boscastles. I could go on and on.

Keira Soleore said...

Christine, a tangent here...

I've now developed a heightened awareness of ducks. :) Thanks for a great read of SD.

Joan said...

LOL, Kiera!