Wednesday, October 21, 2015

P is for Peter, my recurring character

Paula has a minor character who keeps popping up in her books!

Peter Stones made his first appearance in ‘Fragrance of Violets.’ He was the director who had given Abbey her first break by casting her as Jane Eyre in a TV drama, and now needs her as an emergency stand-in for a theatre production in London. After initially turning him down, Abbey changes her mind, and goes to London. Here she meets him at the rehearsal studio:

Peter Stones, the middle-aged director with receding dark hair and black-rimmed glasses, greeted her with a bear hug when she arrived at the studio. “Abigail, darling, you’re the answer to my prayers.”
She laughed. “Let’s hope you’re still saying that in a week’s time, Peter. I flew in from Paris yesterday, and I’ve driven down from Cumbria this morning, so please don’t expect miracles from me today.”
“No problem, darling. First, you’re going to meet the rest of the cast, and the Wardrobe Wendies are frantic to measure you for the costumes. We’ll do a quick table reading of your scenes, and tonight I’ll talk you through the set and the blocking. It’s similar to the Manchester set, except the stage is bigger. Come on, let’s make a start.”

In Irish Inheritance, Jenna goes for an audition (coincidentally, for a part in Jane Eyre), and guess who’s on the audition panel? Yes, it’s Peter Stones again. At the end of the audition, he introduces himself:
She held the pose for a couple of seconds before relaxing into her natural stance and giving the panel a quick smile.
“Thank you, Ms. Sutton,” the casting director said.
The other man on his left, with receding dark hair and black rimmed glasses, let his gaze rest on her. She recalled he’d leaned over to say something to the casting director during the audition. “I’m Peter Stones, the director, and I congratulate you on your performance, Ms. Sutton. Tell me, why do you want this role?”

I didn’t have any specific reason for introducing Peter Stones again. Somehow I think he just sneaked himself in!

At the end of Irish Inheritance, Jenna announced that Peter intended to make a 2-hour TV drama about the history of Mist Na Mara house, which led me very nicely on to Irish Intrigue.

In the 3 year time gap between the two stories, Charley had worked with Peter on other productions, and now he’s the director of the TV drama she is filming in Connemara. When he first appears in the story, he’s not happy:

Charley reached the area marked off for the rehearsal at the same time as Peter Stones, the director. She’d worked with him three times, but had never seen him so red-faced, right to the roots of his receding black hair. His lack of any greeting was evidence of his anger when he barked, “Charley, I want you to walk across the grass from the path to the gazebo, and Josh will—where the hell is Josh?”
“I’m here.”
Charley turned as Josh sauntered toward them. He appeared to be completely unfazed by the reprimand he’d just received from the director. “And I come round the gazebo to intercept her. Right, Peter?”
Peter nodded. “Right. Take normal steps, Charley, and we’ll count them.”

So far, Peter hasn’t appeared in my current WIP, but I have the feeling that he may pop up again in another story. And I must admit I wonder if my readers have noticed that he has had a cameo appearance in three of my books?


  1. I love characters that recur throughout an author's books. It seems more authentic to me.

    1. Several characters have reappeared in my 'Irish' books, of course, but this one somehow crossed over from a non-Irish book!

  2. This is so intriguing, Paula. Was it deliberate or did it simply happen? Sometimes I think writers have sixth senses and things happen almost without them being aware of it.

    1. When Peter reappeared in 'Irish Inheritance', somehow he was just there on the audition panel without me consciously putting him there! Even I didn't know it was him, until he introduced himself!
      His appearance in 'Irish Intrigue' was more deliberate, but by then he seemed like an old friend!

  3. I love that he keeps popping up in your stories. What a fun idea.

    Any plans to give him a story of his own? Although, I have to say, I kind of like him as just a background guy who keeps appearing. :)

    1. Not thought about giving him his own story, Debra, but maybe he deserves a more pivotal role in another story, rather than just being in the background. Hmm, now you've got me thinking!

  4. So when is he going to get a story of his own?

    1. See my previous reply to Debra, Ana! :-)