E. J. Noyes talks about how her character Lexie Martin is an author’s Dream

Loyalty by E. J. Noyes

When I first decided I was going to write a book about a Not-Spy (who was a Spy in my early plot daydreams), I imagined just putting out one book, dusting my hands off, and moving on with the next project that took my fancy. Until I realised Lexie Martin needed more books and I…planned a series. I know, I know, I still feel weird even saying that. Planned. Me. Planning. But, I did, in my own way. I wrote out a little mini synopsis for each book and smashed them all together to make it a series synopsis. And then I, of course, went off the synopsis rails on the whole thing. But hey, we’re here at Loyalty: Book Three in the Halcyon Series (a.k.a. The Book Formerly Known As Fortitude) and geez it feels good.

I’ve mentioned that Integrity, the first book in the Halcyon Division Series poured out of me like it was already written and my job was just to make it a physical rather than mental thing. Writing Loyalty was similar experience. Loyalty was one of those writing journeys that I dream of, that I crave, that I beg my brain to give me. Everything about it felt easy, even when I had to fix all the pantsing threads that’d unraveled from when I went along in my usual “I have an idea, and I’m going to write what I want, facts be damned!” story creation path. I floated in a bubble of authorial contentment from start to finish.

And that contentment bubble was mostly because of my main character. Lexie Martin is an author’s dream. Or at least, she’s this author’s dream. Fun, funny, dedicated, smart, sometimes not smart, irreverent, dedicated, flawed. I think being in Lexie’s head was what made writing this series such a joy—her voice has always been so clear, and reminded me a lot of creating the Ask, Tell Series. Lexie is one of the most real characters I’ve ever had the pleasure of writing, someone who genuinely wants to do the best and be the best she can. But she sometimes, very humanly, just…fucks up, which oh boy do I relate to.

Another paroxysm of joy for Loyalty was when an idea I’d had about the main plot and the path of antagonism suddenly hit me like the proverbial lightning bolt, energizing me into action rather than frying my creative bits, and everything suddenly became crystal clear. I realized what these books were actually about underneath all the intelligence analyst stuff and whatnot.

Of course the Halcyon Series has a mini-plot for each of the books, a plot that exists alongside Lexie’s three-part story, but there were other overarching things that I really wanted to touch on and resolve. And it always seemed to come back to relationships—Lexie’s relationship with Sophia, her relationship with her parents, and her relationship with her job and Halcyon. And relationship unravelling can be tough, especially because one of the hardest things for me as an author is character self-reflection and introspection—I tend to avoid such things for myself like they’re a plague, which means writing them is one of my struggle points. But I had to dive deep into the reasons why and how all those relationships created Lexie Martin.

Annnnd, I wish I could tell you about those whys and hows now. But I can’t… Sorry. If I share too much about my experience with the plot of Loyalty, it’ll give too much away. And we can’t have that.
I know I left you all dangling on the edge of a cliffhanger at the end of Leverage (I had a safety harness clipped onto you, don’t worry), and I hope this novel more than makes up for that. I hope your questions are answered, your hearts and minds are satisfied, your imaginations are working overtime.

So, for now, the Halcyon Division Series has reached a natural stopping point, but it’s not a firm stopping point. There is absolutely room for more Lexie Martin, even though in my little series synopsis back in 2022, I wrote at the end, verbatim: “And hopefully everyone realizes there’s no more room for a book 4, because this plot nearly killed me.” I’d like to retract my very petulant plotting grumble (which was for sure just a grumble about plotting) because there IS room for a Book Four in the Halcyon Division Series, and perhaps more beyond. Though, for now, I just don’t know if Lexie wants to deal with any more shitfuckery (as she would call it).
But if she does, then I’ll be the first to know about it, and I’ll be all over it. I promise.

You can find all three books in the Halcyon Series available here