We all have them from time to time. How often have you seen an inanimate object play a prime role in a novel? Some notable lifeless characters that come to mind are Wilson, the volleyball and even Linus's blanket.
As a child, the believability of inanimate characters is nurtured by fantasy. Herbie the Lovebug seemed completely feasible to me at the time, and my brother will testify that the General Lee from Dukes of Hazzard far out-acted the leading characters.
In romantic suspense, heroes or heroines sometime host inanimate characters. Perhaps a doll that holds enough significance to warrant its own spotlight-or even a gun that is used with enough frequency to be referenced by name. Some people have pet dogs...who is to say our characters don't have pet weapons?
In ENDLESS NIGHT, my upcoming Carina release, a house shares equal billing with the two main characters. Wakefield House sits on a rocky Maine cliff like a gargoyle with its claws sunk into the bedrock. It is riddled with wraith-like sounds and offers the charm and enthusiasm of a funeral home.
As a fan of gothic romances, the house was critical to me. Do you know what they list as the fundamental element of a Gothic romance? "The setting is in a castle, preferably connected to or near caves." I'm glad they got specific on that!!! Well, I don't have a castle, nor do I have any caves, but Wakefield House offers enough atmosphere to qualify. It definitely would not be the first time a building took top-billing. Perhaps the best example would be the hotel in the "Shining", although one could make the argument that "The Overlook" was indeed alive.