Now that I've got my protagonist down on paper, I need to flesh out the secondary characters. These are the people Kensing will interact with on a day-to-day basis; turn to for help, advice or a shoulder to cry on.
Kensing is a neophyte caterer. This means she'll need help not only with catering knowledge, but also with legal/police matters in order to solve the mysteries she'll face. And, of course, we need a potential love interest. What's life without love?
To that end, she is going to meet her future business partner, Abby, early in the first book. At the same time, she will be meeting her second partner, AnneLise, a French woman who just happens to be married to the local District Attorney.
Love interest? How about a handsome, unattached police captain? Maybe several years older than Kensing, but still young enough to give her a run for her money. Friction between the two can gradually shift to grudging admiration/approval before moving on to something more meaningful. This is stock fare for traditional mysteries, but then again, that's what makes them enjoyable reading. The challenge is to add some unexpected twists and turns to their relationship, to make the tried and true new again.
Kensing's parents are globe-trotters, always off in some remote country, ironing out global economic problems. This may be a good thing, as neither parent approves of her current business venture. Indeed, both would be happy to see her married, pregnant, and settled. I'd tell you what Kensing thinks of that idea, but bad language is not used in traditional mysteries.
In loco parentis, Kensing will turn to her paternal grandmother, Nanny, the matriarch of the family. Her advanced age and physical frailty may restrict her movements to her Boston brownstone, but her wide circle of knowledgeable and influential friends will benefit Kensing .
Whimsy will be provided by Kensing's neighbour, Felicity, a middle-aged flower child and practicing member of a local coven -- white magic, only.
And let's not forget the obligatory pet. In this case, a Golden Retrieve modeled after my own pampered pooch. Unfortunately, the mystery world already has a Golden called Clue (mine's real name, as in "hasn't got a ….."), so her alter ego has been renamed Bailey (as in Irish Cream). Here's the real one!