My third Andorra Pett novel, Andorra Pett and her Sister, is a bit of a departure for me, in more than one way.
Not only does it take place on Earth, and contain little in the way of Sci-fi, it also lacks the presence of one of the man characters from the first two books in the series.
This time, Cy has taken a holiday from the action, although to be fair he didn’t know that there would be any when he left. He’s headed back to the space station. As a result, Andorra is on her own when trouble strikes.
It means that I can’t use the dynamic of Andorra and Cy to bounce ideas around and be the butt of each other’s humour. As I once said, between them, they made about one half-decent detective. Of course, their value as far as the story was concerned was so much more than that.
Two complementary characters can be used in so many ways, I wrote a post about sidekicks last year, about how useful they could be and here I was ignoring my own advice and dispensing with one who had served me well.
I thought that Andorra being on her own would force her to develop more as a person, I thought that it would be good to get her to sort it all out on her own. I thought that it would stop the series of books becoming stale and predictable. And I thought that Cy would not fit in well with the rest of the plot, he was likely to go and do something unnecessary, Earth had as many bad memories for him as it did for Andorra.
I had reckoned without Andi’s insecurity, especially around her elder sister, Tia. As I wrote, I found that the story wasn’t working with her by herself.
In short, Andi needed a sidekick. Someone who could deflect Tia’s “big-sisterliness” And I had shot myself in the foot by sending hers eight-hundred million miles away. I could get him back but it would involve a lot of messing around, and it turned out that he had a part to play on the station as well
There was only one thing for it, Andorra needed a new partner to help her solve this particular crime. It couldn’t be her sister, they had already established a relationship, and it was more like an uneasy truce than a Batman and Robin type partnership.
Not only that, I could use the third person as a way of introducing even more tension between them.
I had my big idea, Andi could acquire a temporary sidekick, just for this book. And it could be someone that her sister knew. It was brilliant, Tia, being who she was, has a certain personality. Anabelle (the new character), could be a source of all the things about her that Tia didn’t want to be known. Which would mean that Tia was constantly on guard, hoping that Anabelle wouldn’t spill the beans to Andorra on anything too embarrassing. If you see what I mean.
I found that it was fun to develop a new foil for Andorra, I could do the things with them that I couldn’t do with Cy. And the mysterious part of it all is this; Anabelle was waiting, fully formed in some recess of my mind. All that was needed was to summon her and she turned up and joined in the fun. And once I started developing the relationship, by letting the three of them hold a conversation in my head (I know it sounds weird!), they worked out some sort of hierarchy between themselves. I just wrote it all down.
Andorra Pett and her Sister is now about half written, I hope to have it finished later this year. And my online course in fantasy world-building, which explains a lot more about how to create realistic settings, plots and characters, is currently being uploaded. It should be ready for beta testing soon.
Don’t forget, there will be another Indie Showcase on Thursday, another chance for an up-and-coming author to talk about…, wait and see! And all previous Showcase posts are now available from a single page, just use the Indie Showcase tab on any page, or click here.
If you would like to be featured in a future Showcase, where you can write about whatever (within reason) you want, then please let me know. Use the comment box below and I’ll get back to you.