So I’m waist deep in writing On a Pale Horse. A lot has happened to Will Diaz, his department, and his friends. One of the biggest is that Will is now the Sheriff, and that’s a position he really doesn’t care to have.

Sheriff Tony Madril developed cancer, and was spending so much time in treatment that it became apparent he wasn’t returning anytime soon. The commissioners saddled Will with the job.

When Tony Madril goes into remission, Will looks at it as though he’s being sprung from a job he really didn’t want.

Problem is, Tony has no intention of sitting down in the big chair anytime soon. So Will talks him into a part time gig of running Internal Affairs.

Internal Affairs is the department watchdog. As such, Tony is responsible for investigating incidents involving officers. The problem is, I wanted something a little juicy for him to work on.

This morning, I got it.

Enter a character named Tom Sorenson. I’d put a lot of work into Tom, and he was just too good a character. Problem was, he was a little redundant. What I’d done, with Will moving out of the Detective division, I’d have Tom move up to help RJ with the case load.

He just wasn’t working out there. When a writer runs into this, he has a couple of choices.

One is to just march on and hope things get better (they usually don’t).

The other is to leave the character in the literary desert to die.

Or recycle him or her.

Reluctant to leave the character, I decided to recycle him. I made it so he was never part of the detective team, but a new patrol deputy. He’s pretty high speed, low drag, and Will has expectations that he’ll go far.

He’s also a good looking kid, and it’s not long before trouble starts. In this case, it’s with the wife of another officer. When an officer on another department is injured in the line of duty, Tony is asked to assist (it happened in the county jurisdiction anyway).

I suddenly found myself fixing two issues with a simple change. I kept the character and gave Tony a really good juicy case to work. The case also address a problem that plagues cops.

So stay tuned.