Rolf. What can I say.
An author better love their creations because they are stuck with them for the rest of their life. I fell hard for Rolf.
He was supposed to be just a one-scene character. Skittering across the hood of a jeep to snag a bite of apple. Charming the heck out of everyone.
Done. The story moves on, Rolf disappears.
I had NO idea he was skulking around on the side lines, watching everything, waiting for
‘The Dramatic Entrance’ every character yearns for. And, unwittingly, I gave it to him.
[SPOILERS BELOW if you have not read book]
Only a short while later he was bounding out into the road after an ambush that took down his young owner, barking at the killers. Katrinka and the Jed team are there, and as Josef dies in Katrinka’s arms, she honours his last request to take care of Rolf.
Unfortunately, when a new character is added to the mix, some of the other characters take umbrage, have prejudices against the newcomer, and definitely do not want him around. Nye becomes terribly upset and uncharacteristically loses his temper, to the point of grabbing Rolf out of Katrinka’s arms and throwing him into the road. (NOT a very auspicious beginning for those two).
But Rolf has already charmed Katrinka, so despite what THIS author had been planning, Katrinka wallops Nye a good one across the kisser, and runs off down the road with Rolf.
God only knows where she thought she was going, but I was rooting for them both.
So, Rolf not only ended up staying, but actually received a coveted cameo on the cover of my book. Not bad for a hairy, smelly upstart from the gutter.
P.S. This is not the first time my characters stepped in and decided what THEY wanted, as opposed to what I wanted. We will get to the topic of "characters running amok" in a later post.