RT Book Reviews announced today that my manuscript, Seducing Charlotte, has made it to the fourth round of Kensington/RT's Writing with the Stars contest. I am now one of four finalists left in the competition. That's just one round away from the final and a possible book deal. The person who receives the most online votes wins a book contract from Kensington.
THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO VOTED. I COULD NOT HAVE DONE IT WITHOUT YOUR INCREDIBLE SUPPORT!
Voting is now under way for Round 4: Best Secondary Character. Here is my entry:
SECONDARY CHARACTER: His was a masculine face etched in hard lines. Not particularly handsome, the duke possessed sharp-cut features which hinted of menace. He wore his black hair long, tying it fastidiously back at the nape of his neck. Though terribly out of fashion, the style somehow seemed to suit him, even as it emphasized the unforgiving angles of his profile. Everything about Hartwell, from the magnificent way he carried himself to his impeccable grooming, suggested a man of consequence. He managed to exude an air of command and abundance of charisma by simply walking across the room. Willa obviously adored him, but Charlotte felt distinctly uneasy in his presence.
MENTOR MARY WINE COMMENTS: This really grabbed my attention. There were only a few adjustments here because after reading this description I found a picture of this man in my imagination and I so want to know if Willa can knock him out of his polished shoes.
JUDGE’S TAKE: I can totally picture Hartwell here. I am guessing that he is generally a “good” character despite that hint of menace in his features. Actually, that hint of menace is one of the things that makes him interesting, instead of coming across like stock-titled man No. 4. Hartwell has a hero’s air about him in this description — he isn’t without flaw but the flaws you describe are ones that readers generally accept with their protagonists. It makes me wonder if he is being groomed to be the hero of another book. Even if he is, don’t be afraid to throw an elbow with a more wildly swinging character trait or two. You might be able to make this character 10 times juicier if you toss in a new angle … like this is his first appearance in society after being released from prison two days earlier. You don’t want your secondary characters to steal the story from your protagonists of course, but it is food for thought.