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Behind the scenes: Rose

“For the life of me, I do not understand why every parent is so sure that a promise ring is going to work.” ~Rose Kingsbrier Cavanaugh, Eric (The kingsbrier Quintuplets no.1)

I wrote this line unthinking. Rose was sick of biting her tongue. She looked to defend someone and coming to Ginny’s defense was the first opportunity. In the final draft, I stared it down. What born-and-bred southern woman would callously throw out a one-liner like this? Aren’t parents all about protecting the virtues their daughters? Did Ross have it wrong and the quints ran roughshod over their mother? Did she hold her sons to different standards, allowing Ginny to be Eric’s plaything and considering herself above Mr. Adair’s Christian values?

For as unhappy as Rose is about the situation Eric and Ginny find themselves in, in later chapters she mothers her son's girlfriend, providing the guidance and love that Ginny’s mother is unable to give. Someone had to have done this for Rose. But who?

“As for your momma, she is ‘sweet as pie’ now. Where do you think that streak comes from? How the hell do you think she managed to stand her ground with all those kids for eighteen years?”

~Drew Newhouse, Brier (The kingsbrier Quintuplets no.2)

Drew’s simple comment was intended to explain why he willingly put up with Brier antics. His mother and Miss Rose are long-time friends. Of course, he’d have grown up listening in on conversations between his parents. He knows the stock Brier comes from. He understands that her behavior could be worse. Sometimes backstories emerge for secondary characters that writers never intended to breath life into. It just happens.

When I began compiling notes and joining errant scenes jotted down over eight months to truly begin writing Daveigh, there was no intention of bringing Rose and Ross to the forefront. I diminutively paralleled a few points in their relationship with Cris and Daveigh’s to help you understand why Ross, and Rose for that matter, would show a young Cris such kindness. It wasn’t until Chapter #43 that I realized there was more to the story. That I’d built Rose up to a point that she was no longer simply a secondary character in her children’s lives, but worthy of main character status. She gives both her daughters similar advice and neither of the girls fully comprehend that it’s counsel Rose wishes that she would have been given, let alone taken.

“It’s your business, Brier. I won’t pry. But don’t cheat yourself by going sneaking around with a good man while trying to convince yourself otherwise.” “It's a good thing to be able to say out loud, isn't it? Don't cheat yourself out of loving a good man by being obstinate. Don't convince yourself that Cris doesn't love you because he disagrees with you.”

Some of this happened organically. Parts are happy happenstance that the dialogue and plot lines intertwined so well. Even I go back and realize there are undercurrents written in that were never intentional. That’s the point when I pat myself on the back for a job well done. It’s not easy keeping all these kites in the air ;)

If you’re interested to know more about The kingsbrier Quintuplets series character development feel free to follow my Pinterest boards. I also have a private Facebook group where I share more of what I’m working.

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