Wednesday, May 2, 2018


Memorable Characters

What makes a character memorable? Most of the time it’s an eccentricity, something odd about their appearance, or something out of the ordinary they say or do.

For example, the mad Miss Havisham from Great Expectations wears her wedding dress every day, her trunks still packed for the honeymoon she never experienced. Time stopped for this poor woman when she was dumped by her fiancée.

Boo Radley, a strange recluse in “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

Janet Evanovich created Stephanie Plum whose idea of a meal is to eat a bowl of Cheerios over her sink.

The main character in my Curl Up and Dye series, Hilde Higgins, loves SPAM.

Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe rarely leaves his brownstone where he grows and tends to his orchids. He sends his partner, Archie Goodwin, out to do the leg work needed in their cases.

Kojack, a TV detective, is almost sucking on a lollipop.

Monk, a detective with OCD, has to work around his compulsions to solve mysteries.

These are just a few examples of memorable characters. Can you name a character that sticks out in your mind? Who is it and why?

Someone will win a Kindle copy of one of the books in my Defenders of Justice Series!

Book three, BLIND BETRAYAL, was just released. Here’s a little something about it:


Deputy U.S. Marshal Casey Sloane has worked at the St. Louis Marshals office for two years and is given a routine assignment to help transport a reporter to D.C. to testify before a grand jury. Valerie, the reporter, was writing a story about an up-and-coming environmentalist who suddenly disappeared and, she later discovered, whose backers purportedly have ties to a terrorist.

When the seemingly ordinary assignment suddenly takes a shocking turn, Casey is forced to put aside her own feelings about the unexpected reappearance of a man from her past as she and two other Marshals take Valerie on the run. And as it becomes dangerously clear Valerie's testimony has even bigger implications than they knew, they'll do whatever it takes to make it out alive.

Nancy Mehl


  1. For me, most of the time what makes a character memorable is how the character connects with another character(s). For example, I love NCIS (the older cast) of Gibbs, Tony, Ziva, Tim & Abby. Each had idiosyncrasies that played out wonderfully as a group that I truly enjoyed watching.

  2. I so agree with Nicolmom!
    And Blind Betrayal is SO good! It kept me reading past midnight!

  3. The TV detective Colombo comes to mind because of his rain coat and somewhat disheveled appearance. Many people dismissed his keen ability to see through their alibis!

  4. I agree with Connie (Columbo, and Monk, are 2 of my favorite TV characters, although, my husband would vote for NCIS), and I agree with Patricia Bradley. Blind Betrayal is exceptional. Two of my long time favorite characters in books, though, were Jane Eyre...not beautiful, struggled with insecurities and a horrid childhood, but overcame. Another is from Green Dolphin Street. Marianne Patourel and Timothy Haslam. Neither is "perfect." Marianne although beautiful is selfish, and meanspirited initially, and Timothy...sigh...well, he was my first real crush on a fictional character. LOL I love imperfect characters. Ones who aren't always beautiful, or physically perfect, or, if they are "perfect," then lacking integrity, or possessing some personality/ character flaw, but always redeemed, at least in some manner, by the end of the story. I also loved the character, Lincoln Rhyme, in the (too gruesome) book/ movie, by Jeffrey Deaver, The Bone Collector. He is so not perfect, but what an overcomer. :)

  5. The odd characters stay in our minds because they are not like everyday ordinary people. I read a book where the main female character rode a bicycle everywhere and carried her pet rabbit in the front basket.

  6. I loved Monk. An underdog character who struggles, yet still manages to astonish people by overcoming and solving the case. I just read an arc for Michelle Griep's new book The Captured Bride, and the heroine in there has the ability to see really far and sense danger. She is an underdog type person too because of her background and working in the man dominated field of being a scout for the army back in the 1750's. Would love to be able to focus like that. Love a character who overcomes. Your new book sounds very good.

  7. Brick Heck from The Middle (a TV show). He's the youngest sibling and an avid reader with a handful of quirks. His most consistent quirk is the last word he says in a sentence, he repeats in a whisper with his head down.

    I love Monk, too.

  8. I can't wait to read Blind Betrayal!

  9. Not from a TV show....but book character Cole Russell (Tox) from Ronie Kendig’s Tox Files series is memorable. His sheer strength, ingenuity, and loyalty has made him one of my all-time favorite fictional heroes.

  10. I enjoyed the descriptions of memorable characters.I enjoyed TV shows like Murder She Wrote, Columbo, NCIS and Kojak. They each had a strong character and supporting characters whose idiosyncrasies made the show interesting.

  11. how they're written
    bn100candg at hotmail dot com