I’m still gutted that for my first title with Totally Bound, the only two female characters in my story invariably wound up at odds. I’m not entirely sure how it happened. Maybe it’s because female rivalry is ingrained into my psyche as an easy source of conflict. Maybe it’s because I think the better foil to a female character is another female character (and, I guess implicitly, that male villains are too easy to beat).

Maybe I just have a love-hate relationship with female friendships.

It goes without saying that not every story needs a big cast. Sometimes the more concise the manuscript, the more we, as authors, have to rely on characters pulling double duty—they can be lover and foil, hero and friend—or move along a spectrum as stories evolve. I’m a big believer in letting storylines dictate a character’s role rather than trying to shoehorn a subplot for the sake of hitting a particular theme. Read more