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During this year’s A to Z Challenge, I am writing about my latest novel, Escape Plan by giving you all little snippets about the characters, inspiration, and lessons learned while writing my third novel.

I like to read books about the art and craft of writing. Many of them talk about how minor characters and their story arcs can propel the main story forward. The character of Debbie Manning does just that in both Overlook and Escape Plan. Debbie is part of the clique of Overlook moms that has nothing better to do with their time than gossip about each other. She’s part of Kitty’s round-robin tennis tournament, she carpools, and walks her dog along the lake shore, until she gets cancer and the other Lookers put her out of their minds. I spent a significant amount of time exploring Debbie’s backstory and could have written a book revolving around her, but didn’t. Debbie was relegated to the role of a minor character who acts as a catalyst for the main characters’ plot lines.

In Overlook, Debbie has been out of the gossip loop due to her illness and inadvertently tells Kitty that her husband is sleeping with her tennis partner, and spurs Kitty to change course. Once Debbie said the words, Kitty could no longer pretend to not know. In Escape Plan, Debbie is the catalyst that brings Kitty and Stacia back together and helps them restore their focus on what is truly important in life. Looking back over the writing of these two books, it’s interesting to see how the character of Debbie Manning is only in a handful of chapters but played an important role in both books.

See you tomorrow!

Escape Plan by Elizabeth Hein (100x150)To celebrate the release of Escape Plan coinciding with the A to Z Challenge, I am giving away a $10 Barnes & Noble gift card and 3 copies of Escape Plan. All you have to do is leave a comment with a way to reach you when you win.

Also, if you sign-up to receive my newsletter, I will send you a free copy of Overlook, the prequel to Escape Plan.

Why not check out some of the other blogs participating in the A to Z Challenge by clicking on the logo below.