Sunday, July 08, 2007

Grievous: A human for all seasons

How many favorite recurring characters do you have? Or follow?

In a series, each sequel may have a different hero and heroine but quite often there is a secondary character who continues to play an important secondary role. Maybe she is a pet cat or dog that gets passed around, or a meddlesome matchmaker, or an authority figure --the mysterious older brother, the King of England, a secret society-- or maybe it is a magical artifact, or a robot.

I have the very human Grievous, who gets loaned out to a greater or lesser extent.

In FORCED MATE (my first book), the alien god-Prince Tarrant-Arragon made Grievous a job offer that he couldn't refuse.

He retains his job title of "Earthways Advisor" to god-Prince Tarrant-Arragon in INSUFFICIENT MATING MATERIAL but also acts as congenial jailer.

In my work-in-progress, KNIGHT'S FORK, Grievous is sent along on a quest, and is the first to blurt out a wisecrack when he thinks a plot element is suspect, or when an alien's behavior is out of order.

I drafted the following scene snippet over a year ago when I started thinking about the three books that will follow INSUFFICIENT MATING MATERIAL. At the time, I wasn't sure which book it would work best in (if at all). In my opinion, the trouble with combining a "Quest" story with a Romance is that quests require either a lot of characters (and more than one villain) or a lot of travel.


“Are those Earthgirls? They’re adorable, perfectly formed miniatures. Can I have one?”

Rhett translated Prince Thor-Quentin's remark for Grievous's enjoyment. A nod and hand wave from the human informed him that the courtesy was unnecessary.

“And by have you mean…?” he questioned Prince Thor-quentin diplomatically.

“To take home with me.”

“You don’t think that would be cruel?”

“What’s cruel?”

Rhett and Grievous exchanged glances.

“I want to talk to one of them.”

“Any one in particular?” Rhett drawled sarcastically.

Missing the point, Thor-Quentin studied the group of young women, like a tweenager on the wrong side of a pet shop window. “That one. No. All of them.”

“You do realize that Earthgirls don't speak Tigron, nor do they speak High Court?"

“They don’t?”


“Can’t we implant something in one of them?”

“Your dick, I dare say,” Grievous growled, under his breath, in English. “Arrogant little snot, isn’t he, Sir?”

“It is you who wishes to converse, Thor-Quentin. Perhaps we should put something in your ear.”

“A flea, I should say, Sir.” Grievous muttered.

“If I want one, I have to learn her barbarian language?” Thor-Quentin said with incredulity. He was catching on. “How?”

“Ask Grievous. Nicely.” Rhett said, bored of the conversation.


Until next time....
Rowena Cherry

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous8:17 AM EDT

    Oh, that dear, charming fellow Grievous! He's so astute, so cheeky, so politically incorrect -- ya gotta love him for all of that!