You know, creating despicable villains really is too much fun. Ryan Knight from The Reunion is a great example. He certainly got my editor’s, and my proofreader’s, dander up.
Ryan only appears in the flashback chapters, but he makes an impact. Ryan is a college student about to graduate and embark on his career as an architect. He and the young Gillian have been dating for the past couple of years, but their relationship has become strained. Ryan is putting in a lot of overtime in the architecture building. He says he’s working late on class projects. Gillian, however, has her doubts.
A few days after his graduation, Ryan asks Gillian to stop by his apartment. He has news he wants to share with her. Gillian believes he’s going to propose to her, but Ryan’s idea of a proposal is the last thing she expectes.
Ryan was based on several real life men I’ve known; my ex-husband, a moody ex-boyfriend, and a good friend’s ex-husband. With a cocktail like that, you know you’ll have a real monster on your hands.
My editor commented that Ryan was, “a bit mental.” I also worried that my proofreader would quit on me. Ryan had certainly made her angry. So much so that I had to keep reassuring her that he only appeared in the flashback chapters. He would make his exit in chapter six. After that, his name would rarely be mentioned. Thankfully, she stayed on board.
I’ll conclude by saying that in fiction, conflict creates the drama, and Ryan certainly knows how to create some conflict.
Gillian Matthews, the female lead in my romance novel, The Reunion, has had a successful career as an artist and a little fame to go along with it. Her personal life, however, has been a disappointment. She has a knack for getting involved with the wrong men. That will change when travels to Denver for a gallery opening, and man from her past will suddenly reappears.
Ian Palmer is the one man she never got over. They soon resume their relationship, but her world will shatter once again when something unexpected occurs behind the scenes. She’ll later become the object of affection from a new, and much younger man, while Ian attempts to win her back for a third time.
Gillian is based on a real person. Me. I was a graphic designer before I became a writer, and we’ll just say that my personal life given me some great fodder to work with.
Architect Ian Palmer first appears in most of my romance novel, The Reunion, as a middle-aged man. He’s had a successful career, working his way to a prestigious position with a large firm. His personal life, however, has been less than stellar. Ian married the wrong woman for the wrong reasons, and the marriage ended badly. Now his life is about to change. He has a second chance with Gillian, his long-lost love, but his new-found happiness will soon be put to the test. Ian struggles to balance Gillian, parenthood, and his career, which is about to come to an unexpected and untimely end.
Ian also appears in the story as a young man. During the flashback chapters he’s an outgoing but ambitious college student who meets Gillian, the girlfriend of one of his classmates. The two quickly become friends. Later on, they become more than friends. Unfortunately, Ian’s ambition and desire to succeed will be their undoing.
The inspiration for this younger Ian come from someone I once knew, years ago. His real life inspiration really was an architecture student at Arizona State University, and we really did meet in the college library. This scene is very similar to the real-life event. This is why Ian will always be one of my favorite characters and he’ll always be near and dear to my. There are some people who we never forget.
And by the way, in case you’re wondering, Ian Palmer wasn’t his real name. It’s not even close. After all, I have to keep a few secrets.