A Character like Aunt Perdie by Ann H. Gabhart
In the process of writing and publishing thirty-seven novels, I’ve come up with a truckload of characters. A big truckload. Each book has two or three major characters, several secondary characters and who knows how many characters that walk on stage for a few scenes or perhaps only a brief mention.
As the author and creator of those characters, I get to bring them to life through their thoughts and actions. The major characters get the most author treatment since the success of a story depends on the reader wanting to know what happens next with those story people. But the secondary characters add much to the stories too, and I love it when some interesting folks show up to help my story along.
Getting to know those additional characters is sort of like getting to know one’s extended family or friend circle. The same as any of us, characters have those extra people in their lives too. In many of my books, especially those I’ve published in the inspirational market, an older character with plenty of commonsense wisdom shows up to help my characters navigate their story trails.
In my Heart of Hollyhill books, Scent of Lilacs, Orchard of Hope, and Summer of Joy, Wes is an uncle/grandfather figure to my young character, Jocie. Aunt Hattie and Graham serve that same purpose for Kate in the Rosey Corner stories, Angel Sister, Small Town Girl, and Love Comes Home. Aunt Lindy is the character who keeps things on track for my deputy sheriff, Michael, in my Hidden Springs mysteries. Granny Em shares mountain wisdom with Fran in These Healing Hills.
In my current release, Along a Storied Trail, Perdita Sweet is that older character with a lot to say. She’s a little different from the other characters I mentioned in that she gets her turn to grab the story reins and share what’s happening from her viewpoint as she interacts with my packhorse librarian, Tansy Calhoun, and other characters. I really enjoyed jumping into Perdita’s skin whenever it was her time to step up as the main character on the story stage. She came to life with the first word I typed from her viewpoint.
Perdita is a contrary old mountain woman but at the same time she believes in the Lord and has always been ever ready to send up prayers of praise or for help. One of her promises to the Lord is that she will try to be less contrary. Not an easy task for Perdita. Everybody calls her Aunt Perdie even though, as she crankily points out, she is not an actual aunt to any of them. And it is easy to believe that plenty of Aunt Perdie stories circulate among the mountain folks.
As one of my other characters, Caleb says, once you meet Aunt Perdie, you aren’t likely to forget her. I sort of hope that’s true with those who pick up my book, Along a Storied Trail, and share her story.
Here’s a little extra about Aunt Perdie’s Christmas (https://www.annhgabhart.com/2020/12/23/christmas-with-perdita-sweet-from-along-a-storied-trail/ before the story starts in January if you’d like to see more about her.
Do you think characters like Aunt Perdie are fun to get to know in stories?
ANN H. GABHART has been called a storyteller, She’s lived up to the title with thirty-seven books published and more stories on the way. Ann likes wrapping her stories around interesting historical times and events in her home state of Kentucky. Her Shakers books, The Refuge, The Outsider and others are popular with readers. She’s headed to the Appalachian Mountains for These Healing Hills, An Appalachian Summer, and now Along a Storied Trail. She’s mined her family history for Angel Sister and Scent of Lilacs, found a feel good story, River to Redemption, set during the 1833 cholera epidemic in Springfield, Kentucky, and more. Even her cozy mysteries under the author name A.H. Gabhart take place in the little town of Hidden Springs, Kentucky. Ann keeps her keyboard warm out on her farm where she likes walking with her dogs or discovering the wonders of nature with her nine grandchildren. To find out more about Ann and her books visit www.annhgabhart.com.