Meet Jonathan Fields — Crossover Character in The Deception and The Stalker

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Once again I’m bringing a character from an earlier novel into a more recent one. This time it’s Jonathan Fields.

We first meet Jonathan in The Deception as an Internet security and forensics expert who helps identify the person responsible for framing leading lady Carrie for something she did not do. As the story continues, a new and surprising connection between Jonathan and Carrie is revealed.

Jonathan was one of those characters whom I really liked. He’s smart, he’s sexy, and he’s an unlikely hero with plenty of potential for me to work with. So I brought him back in The Stalker. This time around he’s Shane’s boss, and, just like in The Deception, he helps leading lady Rachel identify an enemy out to destroy her.

Like most of my characters, Jonathan is fictitious and not based on anyone I know personally. There are, without a doubt, many real-life Jonathans out there, working quietly behind the scenes to make cyberspace safer for all of us.

MM

Meet Allison Santiago, Supporting Character from THE DECEPTION

Allison Photo
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One of the readers reviewing The Deception commented about how we should all be so lucky to have friends like Steve and Allison, two of the supporting characters. Well, guess what? I really do have friends who are just like Steve and Allison, that’s why I’m paying homage to them in the book.

Allison Santiago has known Carrie Daniels, the leading lady, since high school, and their friendship has lasted into adulthood. That friendship, however, will be soon put to the test when Allison introduces Carrie to Scott, a man she’s also known for several years. Allison thinks he might be a good match for Carrie, who’s recently ended a long-term relationship. But unbeknownst to Allison, Scott has a secret, and it could be Carrie’s undoing.

Allison was inspired by several of my friends, but she resembles one woman in particular. The two of us have literally traveled the world together, and, much like her literary counterpart as she’s been a steadfastly loyal friend for over ten years now, and she’s someone I can always count on. Friends like her may be hard to find, but they really are out there.

MM

Meet Billie Hughes, Supporting Character in THE DECEPTION

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If there were an unsung heroine in The Deception, it would have to be Billie Hughes. A former model turned FBI agent, Billie and Carrie, a former child model, quickly form a strong bond. Her specialty is white-collar crimes, and she’s one of the agents in charge of the investigation when Carrie’s identity is stolen. Billie is in her forties, and, while not mentioned in the final manuscript, she’s also the mother of a grown son.

Billie is a purely fictitious character, but she and her partner, Agent O’Dell, are inspired by, and loosely based, on a neighbor I had many years ago who was also an FBI agent. He was a hardworking professional who put his life on the line each and every day to help make the world a safer place for the rest of us.

MM

Meet Samantha Walsh, Supporting Character in THE REUNION

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They say there are no small roles, only small actors, and I think the same can be said for characters in a novel. And while Samantha may not have a huge role, she’s one of the more memorable characters in The Reunion, as well as one of my personal favorites.

Samantha is the best friend of Gillian, the leading lady. We first meet Samantha in the flashback chapters, early in the novel. Set in the mid-1980s, Samantha is introduced as a twenty-something whose apartment is a few doors down from Gillian’s. While good friends, the two young women are remarkably different from one another. Gillian comes from a well-to-do family in Phoenix, and is studying art at Arizona State University. Samantha, on the other hand, comes from a working-class family in a small mining town in eastern Arizona. (I wasn’t able to include this detail in the novel, but it’s in my character notes.) And while Gillian may be a bit naive, Samantha is more worldly. She’d been studying to be a nurse until she ran out of money, so now she’s working as a waitress at a truck-stop diner where she makes good tips. Her goal is to return to school to complete her degree, once she gets her finances in order.

Along with her down-to-earth personality, Samantha is described as having above average looks. In fact, Ryan Knight, the antagonist in the flashback chapters, makes a rather crass remark about Samantha when he says, “With her looks, I’m sure she turns more than just tables.” But not to worry, Samantha will soon make him regret his choice of words.

Samantha returns, rather unexpectedly, later in the novel. By then the characters are middle-aged, and the story is set in the year 2010. She’s aged well, and she introduces her adult daughter, Cassie. Cassie will soon fall for Jeremy, the son of Ian, the leading man, and they’re also the two leading characters in The Journey.

Samantha was inspired by a neighbor I had when I was in college. Her apartment was a few doors down from mine, and while not a student, she worked at the dog track. She was a real kick in the pants, but she soon moved away, and I never heard from her again. Even after all these years, I still think of her from time to time, and I think she’d be pleased, and honored, with the Samantha character.

MM

Meet George McCormick, Crossover Character from THE DECEPTION

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As I write more novels I find myself getting into the habit of using crossover characters, meaning I’ll take a supporting character from one book, and use him or her in another novel. Must be a habit I picked up a few years ago when I wrote a series of children’s books under a different name. The same two kids appeared in all the books, so I got comfortable with the idea of carrying characters from one book to another.

George McCormick, from The Deception character, was my first crossover character. A crusty ex homicide detective turned private investigator in The Deception, George is hired by Alex to prove Carrie’s innocence after she’s wrongly accused of plagiarism and copyright infringement. Later on, when Alex disappears, Carrie sends George to search for him.

George went on to appear in my next novel, The Journey. This time around he’s been hired by an insurance company to investigate the disappearance and apparent murder of Jeremy Palmer. While not as big of a role this time around, George nonetheless plays a pivotal part in the story.

Crossover characters make the novels more fun. Readers will recognize those characters from other novels, and it’s a nice way to interconnect my stories. Look for more crossover characters in future novels.

Enjoy.

MM