On Writing Series Characters

A question I sometimes get asked is how I came up with my two main series characters, Brendan Healy (the Titan Series) and Tom Lange (Tom Lange Series). Here’s the truth:

It all started when I imagined this guy sitting in his car, smoking a cigarette, totally anxious about his first big case. When the senior investigator knocks on the window and asks, “You ready?” Brendan Healy practically swallows his tongue.

Brendan is a guy who had everything; he was on the cusp of the perfect life, and that all went away. He’s trying start over but keeps getting knocked down. Half the time, he does it to himself. He’s driven by things most of us — hopefully — will never have to face. But maybe we can understand him a little bit. Maybe we can see ourselves in him. Because after getting knocked down, like us, Brendan gets back up.

Unlike Brendan, who found his way into law enforcement through a friend, Tom Lange has wanted to be a cop since he was a troubled teenager in foster care. Growing up on the streets, he had some bad influences and some good influences. Luckily, the good ones inspired him to help people. 

Tom is troubled too, but when we meet him, he’s swimming his morning laps in the pool. He takes the skin off chicken, reads a book a week, and regularly hits the gym. If anything, he’s overcompensating. He got a perfect score on his SOCE and tries to do everything to perfection. He’s quiet, because he doesn’t want to say the wrong thing.

Over time, though, we see Tom loosen up a little bit, start to have some fun. Does some of his humor still mask his insecurity? Sure. Does he still get in the way of his own progress? Yes, but for different reasons. If you said that Tom Lange is further along in his recovery than Brendan Healy, you wouldn’t be wrong.

You can meet Brendan by reading HABIT, the first in the Titan Series. No matter what he puts himself through, he won’t stop until he solves the case; he won’t let you down. Though where he’s ultimately headed, is anyone’s guess. 

To find out what makes Tom tick; why he tries so hard, why any sort of violence against women drives him crazy, or why his older brother worries him so much, his first case is the book DEAD GONE.

Two men, each trying to do good in the world, failing often, hopefully getting it right when it matters.

As always, thank you so much for reading and reviewing. Your support means everything.