Creating characters is like making new friends. You get to know them by spending days, weeks and months together. Eventually, you have to say farewell for a time, but you never forget them. When you get back together, it’s like you were never apart and you quickly become reacquainted. You learn what things have been happening in their lives since you last spoke. You’re happy for their successes and sad for their losses.
When I wrote Hidden Poppies in the Lei Crime Kindle World series, the character I chose to use from Toby Neal’s stable was Ken Yamada, an FBI Special Agent. I put Ken on a case where he ran into Major Charles Mathews, an Army officer Ken met ten years before. They’d been lovers briefly, but because of their careers and their hidden sexuality, they knew a relationship was impossible for them at the time.
Fast forward to today, when the Army’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy is repealed, when gay couples can marry and when the LGBT community is able to live their lives with less fear than ever before, and Ken and Chuck no longer have a reason to stay apart. So, they don’t. They come together in a beautiful and engaging way.
Over the last several months I’ve been getting reacquainted with Ken and Chuck. I didn’t realize how much I missed them. I love these two men. They’re so right for each other. Both have careers they love, both were willing to sacrifice the possibility of love and family to keep their jobs. And now, both realize they don’t have to make those sacrifices anymore. It makes my heart sing every time I think about how alone each of them had been for so long and now, they don’t have to be.
Hidden Designs is coming soon. Here’s the cover. I can’t wait to let Chuck and Ken be reintroduced to the world. Don’t miss the first book, Hidden Poppies. And a whole slew of new Lei Crime Kindle World novellas have just been released. I’ll be reviewing a couple of them soon.