Gone, but definitely not forgotten.by Clare O'Donohue
Have you ever killed off a character you loved?
Yes, and the odd part is, I didn't start loving him until after he was dead.
In the first book of my Kate Conway series, MISSING PERSONS, there is a death very early on - Kate's estranged, philandering, underachieving husband, Frank.
Good riddance, right? Kate would be suspected of having some hand in it, plot complications would ensue, and it would be all tied together with a fun subplot about Frank's mistress wanting to be friends. Lovely.
Except, here's the thing. As I wrote about Kate, not quite a widow, not quite an ex-wife, Frank changed. Kate was dealing with the realities of his death - from planning his funeral to giving family heirlooms back to his parents. She was angry, she was hurt, she was sad, she had regrets.... and somewhere underneath it all, she still loved him.
I found that as I wrote, a more nuanced Frank emerged. A man of passion, with amazing talent, great dreams - and, okay, zero follow-through. Like all relationships, theirs became complicated, with blame on both sides, and good memories that somehow, nearly, made up for the bad. Frank become someone I wanted to protect and, at times, punch in the stomach.
But I couldn't. Frank was dead. He is dead. And even though I've never met him - I killed him off the page - I sometimes, honestly, feel sad about that.