Should Lady Frinfrock Have Her Own Twitter Handle?
The character of Lady Frinfrock is named after family friends, altered by one letter. The wife of this family later told me how she relished the idea of appearing in a romance novel as a beautiful, cover-mode-style heroine…only to discover that the character bearing her name was the elderly neighborhood busybody.
Lady Frinfrock was originally conceived to give acceptance to Piety from “the establishment.” She does this, I suppose, but Lady Frinfrock really took on a life of her own as I was writing the scene where she challenges Piety about her African maid. I was all set to have Lady Frinfrock be insensitive about the maid, but as the dialogue appeared on the page, the grand dame would not cooperate. Lady Frinfrock wasn’t insensitive, she was compassionate and interested and progressive. When she sought the maid’s authentic friendship rather than being afraid of her, Lady F. became far more interesting and the character really came alive. She is easily my favorite character ever to write (tied possibly with Piety herself).
Readers seem to love her as much as I do, and one reader even Tweeted about her. I have since tried to create a unifying character in other trilogies—someone comic and colorful who appears across all three books in a series—but I’m not sure we’ll ever meet a character as effective and entertaining as Lady F.