Once upon a time, when I was a young high school student, I was writing something about a character named Jul. (We won’t go into any more detail than that.) I had to wander away from my computer for a bit, and when I returned, my sister had inserted a line about the beautiful woman looking into Jul’s ugly yellow hair.
Needless to say, I was appalled. None of my characters had ugly yellow hair! What did that even mean? And, of course, in the spirit of little sister’s everywhere, my sister latched onto my horror and proceeded to add snippets about Jul and his ugly yellow hair to every document I dared leave alone in the house. The high point was when she inserted a sentence into one of my English papers comparing Jul’s hair to that of my teacher’s. The comparison was fair, but definitely not something I wanted him to read. Fortunately, I got the bit deleted in time.
Eventually, I came to accept the humor inherent in the situation. I even wrote a book with a Jul with ugly yellow hair, but I killed him off in the prologue. My sister and I got to wondering about how, if he died, he managed to appear in everything else I wrote, at least until I removed him. We concluded he must be a dimension-hopping vampire, then added some other details to his life, mostly that his vampire friend Marie was in love with him, while he was in love with a country singer named Jo-Lee.
Eventually we made a deal with each other: One day, when we were both famous fantasy authors, we would make sure that Jul appeared in every one of our stories. And then, after we had many books in many worlds, we would jointly write The Adventures of Jul, which would explain how he got into each story and why he interacted with our characters.
Flash forward ten years later, and I’ve actually become a fantasy author. Okay, so I’m not famous—yet—but I’m definitely further along the path than I expected to be when my sister and I made the arrangement. Jul has had a cameo in both my novels, and I know where he’s going in both my current works-in-progress. (I’m not going to tell you where, though. You have to find him. Fortunately, the ugly yellow hair is pretty easy to spot.)
I had some worries during development that my editors would make me take Jul out, but he passed by without a hitch. When my novel made it through editing, the first thing I did was text my sister to let her know that Jul got to stay. She had, of course, been waiting on this news since editing started. Now I keep telling her that she has to hold up her end of the bargain and write some fantasy books featuring our favorite vampire.
So who knows? Maybe someday you will see a novel about a vampire with ugly yellow hair penned by two Corrigans. Then you can find out whether Jul chooses Marie or Jo-Lee, or at least whether Jo-Lee ever gives him the time of day.
Get your copy of Raising Chaos to see if you can spot Jul's cameo from Amazon US (paper or ebook), Amazon UK (paper or ebook), or Barnes & Noble. And be sure to enter the rafflecoptor giveaway below.