There's a moment when all the characters in your story are just characters - names on a page, maybe a mental image. Maybe even a personality that's been waltzing through your head for a while. But all the same, just a character. But once they start to walk on the pages, to tell the story on their own and make their own decisions, they come alive.
I'd like to say that characters, like my own children, are unique but equally loved. But when I write, there is always one that surprises me, and that I secretly fall in love with. One I can't wait each day until they enter a scene and I get to spend some time with them.
In Ocean Deep it was Tate. He was a main character, though. Someone I knew would steal both my heart and the heart of the other main character. In Some Kind of Normal, though, it was Logan; a supposedly minor character who I wrote into the manuscript because it would give the family greater depth to have another child. I had his name, but until he walked into the hospital room on his first appearance in the book, I had no idea how much I'd love him. By the second line of dialog, I was in love. The days I wrote when he was there were the most fun days to write.
And it's happened again.
This week while writing, Kat, my main character, walked into a coffee shop and there he was. The love of my book. A character I didn't even know was going to have but a passing part to play suddenly took hold of my heart.
Troy was just a name in a notebook until this week. He was a bio. A list of physical characteristics and a brief background.
And then, he leaned across the counter, smiled, said something funny, and Kat and I lost our hearts.
I love when that happens.