5 Authors Who Write Mind-Blowing Recurring Characters

For some authors, it's not enough to create a great character. They have to take it to the next level allow their creations to hop the border from book to book. These easter eggs fill us with uncontainable excitement. There’s nothing like discovering a beloved character in a totally unrelated novel. The result is an intricate web we are more-than-thrilled to dissect.

We’ve rounded up a handful of author magicians who love to revive their characters in totally new books. We can’t blame them for not wanting to let them go.

David Mitchell

Mitchell’s writing has been regarded as the future of fiction. He’s known for weaving intricate stories within stories in Russian doll fashion, and his characters tend to pop up in more than one book. Background characters from one book play a more significant role in others, like the elusive Hugo Lamb. Not to mention Marinus, who is all over the place, flitting around Mitchell’s work.


Madeleine LEngle

A Wrinkle in Time is one of those books that will forever live in our hearts, tucked up in a big ball of nostalgia. In addition to The Time Quintet series, L’Engle has a ton of crossover characters. They show up all over the place. With over twenty novels, you have to think that universe web is pretty intense. Check this out. Marine biologist Adam Eddington appears in both The Arm of the Starfish and Troubling a Star, and Frank Rowan shows up in Camilla Dickinson and again in A House Like a Lotus.


Kurt Vonnegut

Can you say Kilgore Trout? This deadbeat science fiction writer shows up in almost everything Vonnegut has written. At least, his work does. Man, has Kilgore written a lot of books and short stories. Books within books within books. Although Vonnegut’s novels are stand-alone, Kilgore is mentioned in many of them, linking Vonnegut’s work in a majorly cool way.


Haruki Murakami

Instead of a whole bunch of crossovers, Murakami’s overlapping character plays a relatively small role. But this makes it all the more fun for his readers when they find the connection. Ushikawa, who is continually described as an ugly, sad bastard, shows up in both The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and 1Q84, to the delight of Murakami fans.


Stephen King

Stephen King is a master at connecting worlds, not only by characters, but by location and plot as well. Castle Rock, Maine is home to The Dark Half,  Cujo, The Dead Zone, and Needful Things. Mr. Randall Flagg appears in The Dark Tower, Insomnia, Black House, and more. The characters in Desperation and The Regulators are the same characters in different realities. And wait. Did Eddie Kaspbrak’s family (from It) live next door to Paul Sheldon’s family (from Misery)? Yeah, they did. Seriously, we can’t name them all. The Stephen King crossover web is so, so mind blowing. Everything is connected.


Know other authors who write amazing recurring characters? Tell us about them at @QuirkBooks!



Christina Schillaci

Christina Schillaci

Christina is the voice behind Quirk’s social media channels and editor-in-chief of the blog. She graduated from Rowan University with her M.A. in Writing and joined Quirk in 2016. She loves weekend cooking projects, Cape May in the winter, and her dog, Rocket. Say hi on Twitter @quirkbooks or @saychristina!