Sunday, November 13, 2011

One of My Characters Tells Me Off!

Sarah Cafferty is one of two amateur sleuths in my Logan and Cafferty mystery series. She's not her usual self in Murder on the Interstate and I want to know why.

Author: Sarah, why are you so cranky? You’ve shown good humor in the previous two books and you're  too old for PMS.

Sarah: Cranky? What do you expect? You send a killer to stalk us and cause Dana to crash our motorhome to escape. Then we're nearly swept away in a flash flood. The downpour scared me so badly that I irrigated my underwear.

Author: I’m sorry, Sarah. I know it was traumatic, but you have to admit that it was suspenseful.

Sarah: Where were you while we were nearly drowned? Sitting in your comfortable chair thinking up ways to get us in deeper trouble?

Author: That’s my job.Would you rather I replaced you with a younger sleuth?

Sarah: Dana and I are only 60. Not some elderly widows with walkers. We can do everything that younger sleuths can do.

Author: Well—

Sarah: With the possible exception of skateboarding and scaling tall buildings.

Author: I was thinking of having you bungee jump in the next novel.

Sarah: Unless you’re joking, Dana and I are taking a hiatus from your mystery series.

Author: What about our readers? You don’t want to disappoint them, do you?

Sarah: Haven’t we done enough? In The Village Shatered you send a serial killer after us, in Diary of Murder a vicious drug gang. In Murder on the Inteerstate you have a homegrown terrorist group kidnap us while they’re planning to take down the entire country. How can you possibly top that?

Author: I’ve got some ideas that will knock your socks off.

Sarah: That settles it! You can email us in Brazil. That’s where we’re going on vacation. If we don’t answer, you’ll know that some other novelist has decided to adopt us and treat us fairly.

Author: You’ll be bored within a week and out of a job in a month. Novelists that are nice to their protagonists don’t last long in the publishing business. Readers want suspense as well as mystery.

Sarah: I’ve got a great idea. You take my place and I’ll write you into some mysterious and suspenseful situations. You’ll love bungee jumping over a crocodile pit or waking up with rattlesnakes. I can think of lots of exciting situations to place you in.

Author:  Point taken, Sarah. From now on we’ll concentrate on mystery and go easy on the suspense.

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