Reader Friday: What Makes Your Main Character Special?

Are the creative juices flowing on this fine Friday? Great! Tell us…

If we were to read your WIP or last published book, who would we meet for a main character? 

Or tell us about the main character in the book you’re reading.

Why should we care what happens to the MC? What makes them special?

If you’re struggling for an answer, think: logline or elevator pitch.

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About Sue Coletta

Sue Coletta is an award-winning crime writer and an active member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers. Feedspot and named her Murder Blog as “Best 100 Crime Blogs on the Net.” She also blogs at the Kill Zone (Writer's Digest "101 Best Websites for Writers") and Writers Helping Writers. Sue lives with her husband in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire and writes two psychological thriller series, Mayhem Series and Grafton County Series (Tirgearr Publishing) and is the true crime/narrative nonfiction author of PRETTY EVIL NEW ENGLAND: True Stories of Violent Vixens and Murderous Matriarchs (Rowman & Littlefield Group). Currently on submission, her latest true crime project revolves around a grisly local homicide. For the spring 2022 semester, Sue will be teaching a virtual course about serial killers at EdAdvance in CT and a condensed version for the Central Virginia Chapter and National Sisters In Crime. Equally fun was when she appeared on the Emmy award-winning true crime series, Storm of Suspicion. Learn more about Sue and her books at

53 thoughts on “Reader Friday: What Makes Your Main Character Special?

  1. Good morning, Sue! It’s a head-hopping monster. Thanks for asking and have a great weekend. Hope you dig out soonest!

  2. I just completed a novelette for my Patreon community featuring William “Wild Bill” Armbrewster, a “troubleshooter” for a Hollywood studio in the 1940s. It is #6 in a series. Gives me a chance to do classic pulp style and classic L.A. settings. Bette Davis shows up in this one…

  3. Bolt, the red-headed daredevil on crutches, has Becker muscular dystrophy with weak legs, but shoulder strength maintained. He leads the Mad River Magic gang of cousins as they ride magic flying barrel carts, practice Indian light magic, swim in the glow-in-the-dark magic pond, and explore their enchanted forest, where they spend each summer with Gram and Gramps. And when disasters appear in the Mad River Valley, they look for portals and travel to other worlds to take on the bad guys.

    “Clean” Teen and Young Adult fantasy adventures that parents and grandparents approve of, and young people enjoy.

  4. My WIP is book 1 in a western series. Book title is Snake Oil Blues and series is called Lawman For Hire, which says it all (almost). Cash Morgan, my MC, is not a sheriff, not a deputy, and not exactly a proper bounty hunter. He’s a man who lost his young family to a tragedy back east and drifted west in search of passive suicide. What he found was a reason to live: picking up a Colt and a rifle as his lance to be a knight errant of the wild west. He’s Jack Reacher in Stetson.

    You should care about Cash because he’s doing the dirty jobs no one else wants to do. And we’re not talking about shoeing horses, we’re talking scraping scum from the burgeoning societies of the frontier. We want him to save the innocent, but at the same time we wish he’d find peace and settle down.

  5. What makes my sleuth Cuttlefish interesting (to me, anyway) is:

    – He earned a PhD from MIT but has chosen to be a private investigator who specializes in solving murder cases.
    – He is 6’5″ tall and of indeterminate ethnic heritage.
    – His specialty is retrieving information and confessions by extensively preparing for interviews and creating bonds with interviewees. Often, he chooses an interview outfit that complements an interviewee’s style or station in life.

  6. I’m halfway through Book 2 of the “Trailer Park Warlock” series– an urban fantasy set mainly in rural Oklahoma. The hero is a nice guy with just enough magic to get in trouble despite his best efforts but not enough to get him out, and he’s caught in the middle of a fae war while an evil druid is going after his family.

  7. My WIP is A Shush Before Dying, the first in my Meg Booker Librarian Mysteries series set in the 1980s:

    Fir Grove Library, Portland, Oregon, 1985: Big hair. Leggings. Card catalogs. Kicking kids with giant boom boxes out of the library. Meg’s got it all handled—until her boss takes off on a way-too-long vacation and leaves her in charge.

    When a universally reviled patron turns up dead in the library conference room, the police say it’s natural causes, but Meg suspects murder and sets out to prove what really happened.

    I love Meg because she loves helping others, especially those in great need. She’s observant and makes connections others might miss. Like any good librarian, she wants to provide answers. In this case, who killed a hated library patron and why?

    She also has a great sense of humor and loves people for who they are. Hard to beat that in my book 🙂

  8. WIP 1: Annie, mother of four, is convinced she will be dead in twenty-four hours . . .

    WIP 2: Tom must overcome past war demons to rescue a teenage girl who has demons of her own . . .

  9. Late to the party, once again. I love this site!!

    WIQ: Part-time poet and full-time rascal, Tenirax enlivens Zaragoza with his antics: correcting his vindictive rival’s poetry recitation, slipping a cleverly insulting poem beneath the Bishop’s door in the drunk of night, dashing naked across the plaza during a Holy Day celebration, he continually courts disaster. But it is his counterfeit relic, “the Holy Loincloth of San Juan de Sagrada Nada,” that risks drawing the attention of the Inquisition, itself.

  10. Lisa, orphaned at five, widowed at nineteen, and left with a six-month-old baby, needs to find her father and learn who murdered her mother. Despite her low self-confidence, will her determination and creativity, along with a little help from her friends, carry her through?

  11. Twenty-six year old Libby Hartt is reluctant to delve too deeply into details surrounding her mother’s mysterious disappearance 20 years ago. Taken in by her mother’s parents, Libby was raised to move on and not dwell on the past which can never be changed. But when a chance visit to see the home she shared with the mother she barely remembers yields new information, Libby begins to question what really happened on that snowy night so long ago . . . I love the idea of an Everyman rising to accept the challenge of going on a Hero’s Journey and setting right the wrongs of the past.

  12. An ex-bootlegger turned mob sleuth charged with finding the murderer of a casino owner’s mistress. 1925-26. A job he doesn’t want, but no one says no to the casino owner.

    1st of a series. The 2nd is due out this Spring.

  13. When Alexandra (Alex) Stone is sworn in as interim sheriff for Apacola County, Tennessee, she barely has her nameplate on the door when she’s thrown into a murder case involving a new arrival to the area. What looks like a Breaking and Entering gone wrong turns into the first of four murders with the same MO.

  14. In my soon to be published novel, “Z’s Legacy,” the sequel to “Legacy 627,” Cascadian Intelligence Mission Agent, Zakaya Kalu—better known as “Z”—travels to the United States to visit her mother. But when her young friend, Zeena, sees the men who took her two years earlier and soon disappears, Z vows to find her and bring a ring of human traffickers to justice.

    In this sequel to Legacy 627, Z finds herself teamed with, and attracted to, a man she does not entirely trust in order to assist the local police in solving strange murders by a suspect known only as the Kind Killer. By agreeing to assist in this case, Z demands access to evidence in cases she believes will lead to the rescue of Zeena.

    Still wanted by the Americans for her part in destroying a dangerous chemical they hoped to weaponize, Z must guard her connection to CIMA and tread carefully as she poses as an ordinary police detective and closes in on the traffickers.

    Through it all, Z learns one valuable lesson: No matter who they are or what they have…

    Everyone leaves a legacy.

    (This is the blurb that appears on the cover of “Z’s Legacy.”)

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