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Posted by on Apr 10, 2013 in Thoughts on Writing | 4 comments

H is for Hidden Identities

A Prism of Shadows: Self-portrait in Front of A Brick WallAh-ha! Little did she know that the man who saved her life during the ferris wheel accident was secretly her long-lost twin brother who set up the accident to steal her inheritance!

Oh…wait…no. I write books, not soap opera scripts.

But even still, I love a good hidden identity in books. I especially love it when I, as the reader, get to know their true identity loads of pages before the main characters do. Doesn’t take much to make me feel special, I suppose.

Anyway, hidden identities are sort of an ongoing theme in the Undercover Series. Let’s explore that, shall we?

Hidden identities in Agents of Deceit

While we have a bad guy pretending he’s not a lunatic and a partner pretending he’s competent at his job, the major hidden identity in my debut book is undercover agent Jackson Caldwell. But really, as far as hidden identities go, his was pretty weak since he’s the same guy undercover that he is when he’s overtly doing his job (by design, not by oversight). I didn’t even give him a cool undercover name or anything.

Bad author…bad.

Then again, it’s a lot easier to keep track of characters when they don’t all have 50 aliases going on. Don’t believe me? Read on, y’all.

Hidden identities in The Shattered Alliance

In The Shattered Alliance (available in May 2013), we hop across the line of right and wrong to see how criminals seek justice. Everyone and their dog gets an alias. The main three you need to know about are:

  1. Skylar Montgomery aka Songbird
  2. Parker Ramsey aka Jonathan Price aka other names I can’t reveal
  3. Raptor aka…oh, did you really think I was going to give away the killer’s real name and spoil the mystery? Y’all don’t know me at all.

There are some other dual identities, but let’s not spoil all the fun before the book even comes out.

Why I love hidden identities

While I admit most soap operas went a little too far with the number of characters using fake identities and harboring deadly secrets, I think it’s practically a requirement in the suspense/mystery/thriller genre. When people have hidden identities, it usually means their true motives are also concealed.

And few things ratchet up the suspense like trying to figure out what a character is really up to.

I’m also a big fan of getting to see the villain working on all their uber evil little plans throughout the book. If I’m supposed to stay in the dark about their real identity until the super-awesome big reveal near the end, having a bad guy with a fake name is useful. The use of pronouns and no names in whole chapters can get a bit tedious, in my opinion.

Even more so when we don’t get to know whether we’re dealing with a man or a woman and it’s all they this and the killer that.

Since I can’t get too much more into the hidden identities that will be revealed in the Undercover Series without spoiling the surprise of who lives to appear in another book and who dies, it’s your turn. Are you a fan of hidden identities in books or on the screen? Are there any that just drive you nuts?

Next up: I is for Inspiration

© 2013 – 2015, Sydney Katt. All rights reserved.

photo by: DerrickT
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4 Comments

  1. I LOVE hidden identities :)

    Especially ones that completely surprise me…

    Or ones that cause major betrayal and angst ;)

  2. I love secret identities. Sidney Bristow’s from Alias were some of my favorites.

    • I LOVED that show. I’m still a little bummed that I never got to see the series finale. I didn’t realize they changed the day it was on until after it aired, so I totally missed it.

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