In 2012 my NaNo novel was a rewritten version of a third person novel I'd written earlier in the year, not once, but two or three times. I scrapped the third person and wrote it from Bryce Briscoe's first person viewpoint, having Bryce tell her story. It worked better that way.
I'd had an idea about a doctor, a medical examiner- an icy, cold, rude man with virtually little personality. He is practically inhuman. Added to the mix was a young woman who has never fit in, who has been sensitive to the supernatural all her life, who has been labeled a 'freak' by her own family members because she is not like them. She leaves home after attending community college, moves to the city, finds a tiny studio apartment, has a part time job in a secondhand clothing store and is also taking additional classes to better her chances of landing a better job. She meets a young man in class who tells her about a job at the city morgue as night desk clerk. It's a job right up her alley since she has never fit in well with people, so she applies, but she is so different and so young the HR woman turns her away. She meets a kind elderly man on the front steps of City Hall who invites her to have tea and toast with him. Unknown to her, he is the current ME. He manages to get her hired. Right off the bat she and Dr. Giles Talon, the younger ME who is also a pathologist at Central Hospital, rub one another the wrong way. He's harsh and critical. She is struggling to find herself and survive in the world. Dr. Everett, the old ME befriends her and they quickly develop a close relationship but it ends far too soon leaving Bryce struggling even harder to find her way. But, she is drawn to Dr. Giles Talon despite his iciness toward her. Events from her childhood and adolescence haunt her. Is he the same chilly MD who treated her in the ER when she was five years old? The same doctor who saved her life when she was twelve? And then there is the fact that the grim reaper has been a part of her life since as far back as she can remember. He's still shadowing her. Well...turns out Bryce is more than she would have ever imagined she was, and Dr. Talon is more than he appears to be. They're supposed to be partners, but it's a long, difficult journey for Bryce before she finds her place in the world and in the supernatural world as well.
A five star reviewer commented that she loved the character development in this novel. Bryce is riddled with insecurities and issues that she struggles with continually. Her life has not been easy. She wants to be loved. She wants to be happy, but things keep happening because her training has been interrupted, her reaper distracted from his properly training her and preparing her to be his portal. And then there's the fact that Bryce is more than she appears to be, even to him. She is unlike any other portal he's had, so he's also finding it difficult to deal with her, and the brand new emotions, human emotions he's experiencing, which are entirely unknown to him.
All the characters are growing, developing, discovering things about themselves and shifting, finding their places in the whole scheme of things that develop throughout the book. These developing and shifting relationships continue through books 2and 3 in the series. Book 4 is set in the future and is abut their daughter's struggle to find herself as she graduates from college.
I've read each book about seven or eight times in the past five years. This coming year, I think I want to begin giving them one last polishing up to fix a few technical issues (hyphenated words in the middle of sentences from changing things that weren't caught in the review phase). These books shine in the relationship development arena and also have a lot of action and romance in them. Dr. Giles Talon, the icy cold ME, is in fact a red hot, passionate grim reaper who meets his match in the five foot tall package of insecurities and fiery passion named Bryce Briscoe- she melts his heart and he holds hers in his strong hand.
I really need to do something more with this series in 2018.