“Pretty much all the honest truth telling there is in the world is done by children.”
When children appear in books for adults they are often the voice of conscience, the sound of a prophet, the whisper of innocence. It is the child who points out that the emperor has no clothes.
In romance novel, children take the role of a number of plot devices. They may introduce the hero and heroine or bring them together. They may complicate the relationship. They may throw hurdles on the road to happily ever after. What they always do is shed light on character. Readers learn a lot about the hero, the heroine and the villain by the way they treat children. A writer can signal villainy early on simply but having a character be cold or rude to a child.
My stories, at heart, are all about the creation of family. Therefore it should come as no surprise that alll of them have children, some more than others. Isabella is a pivotal character in Dangerous Secrets. The children appear late in Dangerous Weakness, but they are there.
Children are on my mind this week in particular because my novella,
A Dangerous Nativity, is part of Mistletoe, Marriage, and Mayhem, an anthology from the Bluestocking Belles. It includes three boys who account for most of the mayhem. Two are brothers, Randy and Freddy Wheatly. Randy, aged 10, is a sweet soul who loves animals and growing things. Freddy, at 12, is the leader of the pair with a never-ending supply of creative ideas for trouble. Freddy is horse-mad. The third boy is Charles Wheatly, Duke of Murnane, aged 10. The surname, you will note, is the same because the boys are cousins. Once they discover each other, the brothers draw the over protected Charles out of his silken cocoon and into their plots and plans. All three provide a sounding board for the hero (Charles’s uncle) and the heroine (Freddy and Randy’s sister) to resolve the differences in their circumstances and find true love.
Children are the best tool in an authors tool box! They also give me ideas for the heroes of my next series.