Monday, June 18, 2012

A Genealogy Chart for Characters?

The Camerons of Texas
Have you ever created a genealogy chart for a fictional family you invented for novels? If no one says 'yes,' I may feel a little foolish. I did just that after I'd written and published three  Western Historical novels under the subtitle--The Camerons of Texas.

In each couple's story, the hero and heroine were not the only characters in the books. There were parents,  stepchildren, adopted children, brothers, sisters, and cousins. A large clan of Camerons. In my mind, I had enough material for about a dozen more stories. Today, I'm at least making a dent in my list.

In TEXAS BLUE, the hero Buck Cameron, had two sisters who appeared in the story. The first was Charlotte who had married William Garrison. Their two children were Maximilian and Katherine--Max and Kat.

~*~I used a grown-up Max in a novella "Dime Novel" titled Angel and the Cowboy.

~*~I used Charlotte in another  "Dime Novel" titled Charlotte and the Tenderfoot.

~*~Now, Kat and the U.S. Marshal is submitted as another Dime Novel and I'm waiting on a release date.  Kat is Max's sister from Angel and the Cowboy.
I agree this can be confusing, and that's the reason I made the chart. We authors feel like normal people, don't we? Even though we have characters in our heads and hearts that are very real. Any non-author cannot understand this, and so I don't talk about it to anyone except others such as I.

Unless I get a serious mental block, I have a list of characters for future novels or novellas.
For Example:
~*~Lee Cameron King--he appeared in Texas Blue as a small boy who picked his nose and rode imaginary horses around the yard. I'd like to make him an early 20th Century entrepreneur  during the oil boom in Texas--a wildcatter, a risk taker, a rich man with money to make money, a tough businessman who has a big sense of humor. I'd have him run into a real buzz-saw, a serious woman who is investigating oil company monopolies for a New York newspaper.

~*~Jackson Rene Deleon--he was the baby boy in Texas True. I see Jackson grown up and the heir to the great Deleon fortune. At a young age, he becomes the head of an empire consisting of ranching in Texas, gold and silver mines in Colorado, and shipping lines out of Houston. I'd have him meet a titled British lady whom he must convince to marry him and live in South Texas on the ranch--the headquarters for the Texas Star Corporation his father formed.

~*~Lacy Deleon--she was the little niece of Sam Deleon in Texas True, born in the Flats in Austin, a prostitution area where she and her little brother, Antonio, were born and lived. When True Cameron married Sam Deleon, she found the small girl and boy and brought them home, causing a huge problem. But True was determined to raise them as their own children. Lacy, now grown into a proper young lady, discovers her lurid birthplace and challenges the local government to do something. She would meet a brash, young attorney/senator and entice him to help her.

~*~Antonio Deleon--Lacy's wild little brother in Texas True. He was a hellion as a kid, although lovable and good-hearted. But he didn't understand the word "no." I see him grown and sowing too many wild oats and getting in trouble. I'd like him to meet a strong-willed female rancher who challenges him to straighten up and learn to be a man.

~*~Laura Lynn Paxton--Jo King's half-niece in Texas Promise .  Beauty Laura Lynn has such a horrible past she knows little about, but sets out to find the burial place of her prostitution mother in New Mexico. In doing so, she hires a tracker to help her.

~*~Alexander King--son of Dalton and Jo King in Texas Promise. I have high hopes for the darling child. Just look at his name. He has it all--handsome, rich, smart, educated, adored by the entire family...and takes it all for granted. Until...what? His story will require much thought.

NOTE: Texas Promise and Texas True have a new home at Publishing by Rebecca J. Vickery. Both will be re-released by September, with new covers, and available in ebook as well as prints. I am thrilled with this development for these two stories. Thank you. 
Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas
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  1. Celia, I just did a genealogy chart for the characters in my cozy mystery Heather Cameron series. The Camerons are a large family and that's the only way I can be certain I keep everyone straight.

    I look forward to reading about your other characters, especially Lacy and Antonio. Keep those stories coming!

  2. I hadn't thought of making a genealogy chart for my stories. Three are sisters and two are brothers. I guess they all seem so familiar to me that so far I haven't confused the. BUT, I just may try it. Thanks for the idea, Celia.

  3. Yes! You are not alone, Celia.
    I don't know how else a writer could keep up with who is who in a family saga or series.
    I've done it twice: The Hazard Wyoming series and my paranormal Legend of Valmora series.
    Your books look amazing.

  4. A genealogy chart is the only way to go. So, nope, you aren't alone. :)

  5. Caroline--oh, you have a Cameron family, too! Brilliant minds, and all that. My family began with the patriarch, Ryan Cameron back in the mid 1850's. Ryan and Olivia were only mentioned once, and that was in my first book, Texas Blue--about their only son (the had two daughters, also) Jeffry "Buck" Cameron.
    I'd love to write some of these other stories before my brain fizzles out!

  6. Paisley--I knew well, too, but even I confused some of them after a while. So, I made out the chart. It was also for my characters to know to whom they were related and how. I still refer to it!

  7. Sarah--thank you. I know authors like Jodi Thomas and others make story boards and have cards for their characters. For me, that's a little too much trouble. This works better for me.

  8. Karen--I'm glad to that someone else understands.

  9. Hi Celia I don't make story boards or use cards but I guess I ought to LOL.

    My editor has suggested a family tree so we'll see what happens.

    Good post.

  10. Tanya--a family tree is easy to make and understand. I had so many characters, mainly children, I couldn't keep track of.


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