What’s a story about a small town without those wonderful secondary characters? Especially when they have a vice? I have several well-established town gossips in my different series. Some of which do things that make the entire book!
Most of my gossips are women but I have some men too. In my town of Clear Creek, we have Fanny Fig. A classic gossip in every sense of the word. But then we also have Wilfred Dunnigan, who owns Dunnigan’s Mercantile. A hopeless romantic, he tries using gossip to bring people together.
In my town of Nowhere, in the Washington Territory, we have Nellie Davis, an ex-southern belle who isn’t happy about having to leave the South to come West. Stuck in a small town and with nothing better to do, she stirs up trouble by letting her tongue wag. Unfortunately, her gossiping ways get her into a lot of trouble, especially in my Mail-Order Bride Ink Series. In the first book in the series, Dear Mr. Weaver, she ends up having to perform community service after a judge deems her gossiping ways a crime
In my town of Independence, the worst gossip is the mayor, Horace Vander. With his booming voice, the man spreads news faster than the wind. Everyone in Independence knows that if you want to find out anything, just ask the mayor.
Stories of small towns, be they historical or contemporary, have certain types of characters authors use to add conflict to the story. Writers can give these secondary characters different vices and gossip is just one of the many.
One favorite such character, is Lady Whistledown, from Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton Series. The books are set in the Regency era and Lady Whistledown publishes a gossip sheet that talks about everyone having attended a ball or party that’s just been held. No one knows who she is, but she’s talking about everyone! Soon to be a show on Netflix, Julie Andrews will play the voice of Lady Whistledown.
Is there a secondary character in a book you’ve read whose habits have caused a ruckus for the hero or heroine? Tell me for a chance to win an ebook of mine of your choice!