By Sue Ann Jaffarian

Gino Costello, the famous crime writer, came down the front steps of the farmhouse, taking them two at a time, to greet his guests. That’s the opening line of my latest Ghost of Granny Apples book, The Ghosts of Misty Hollow, in which Gino plays a major part.

Gino first showed up by name in The Silent Ghost, a digital novella. He is the father of Tanisha Costello, the best friend of Kelly Whitecastle, Emma Whitecastle’s daughter. For those who don’t follow this series, Emma is the main protagonist and a medium. Tanisha also debuted in The Silent Ghost. Gino is mentioned from time to time since and in The Ghost in the Guacamole has a speaking role via a telephone call. But it’s in The Ghosts of Misty Hollow where we actually meet Gino in person and get to know him. He’s a big man with a big and affable personality, but not without considerable flaws.

I love adding new characters to my different series. It brings a freshness to a set stage of personalities and also opens up new and interesting plot possibilities. Sometimes these new characters start off having minor roles, as did Gino, but their personalities demand more page time. When this happens, I gladly step out of the way and let them lead. And I haven’t been disappointed yet.

In Ghost in the Guacamole, Jeremiah Jones was introduced. He is a PI friend of Gino’s who encounters Emma Whitecastle purely by chance when they find themselves on the same case. Jeremiah turned out to be such a rich character that I made him the star of The Ghost of Mistletoe Mary, another novella. And I’m sure that’s not the last readers will see of him.

Unless an author kills off a character, all characters become a deep well upon which the writer can draw for future stories. I mean, why make up new people, when you have well-drawn characters waiting to appear again? I’ve done it in most of my series with great success.

I hope Gino hits it off with readers, as I see more books involving him down the road. Who knows? Maybe even a spinoff series!