With every new book release I release comes an onslaught of awkward questions I’d prefer not to answer.
No, they’re not asking my weight or age or any of those things that make many women squirm. I’ll cheerfully answer questions like that anytime you like.
What I’m talking about is the inevitable question about which celebrities most closely resemble my hero and heroine. Every other author seems capable of trotting out names and internet photos, and I always feel a jealous.
Because my problem is that I live in a cave. Well, not literally (though how could would that be? I’d never have to vacuum or wash windows).
There’s a television in my home, but I have no idea how to operate it. I honestly can’t tell you the last time I stayed awake for an entire movie. While we do sometimes stream TV programs, it’s only to show the kids reruns of the Cosby Show.
It goes without saying that I’m a little out-of-touch with pop culture, which is why I always struggle to come up with the names of actors and actresses who could play my characters.
So now I’m here to tell you that I actually do have someone in mind for Kelli in Fiancée for Hire. It’s possible you’re not familiar with this particular celebrity, and also possible she’s not a celebrity to anyone who doesn’t poop in the grass and drink from the toilet. The celebrity I’m talking about is my veterinarian, Dr. Emily.
When I first wrote the character of Kelli in Marine for Hire, I didn’t plan for her to become the heroine of her own book. She was just Sheri’s funny sidekick, and since I made her a veterinarian, I naturally pictured my own vet.
But a funny thing happened with Kelli. My editor adored her in an early draft, and suggested she be paired with Mac to star in the next book. Readers had the same reaction. If I had a nickel for every Marine for Hire fan who emailed to ask if Kelli and Mac’s story would be next, I’d make a giant wall of pennies to serve as the door for my cave.
While readers loving a character is obviously not problematic, it is disconcerting to find yourself writing sex scenes for the woman who just removed cheatgrass from your dog’s ear.
On the bright side, Dr. Emily proved to be an integral part in making sure the veterinary details of Fiancée for Hire are as accurate as possible. Who knew cat testicles are plucked, rather than shaved? Dr. Emily, that’s who.
Well, and Kelli. I look forward to having you meet her on the pages of Fiancée for Hire.
Oh, and for the record, I weigh 125 pounds and I’ll turn 40 on August 12. In case you’re looking for a thoughtful birthday gift, I’d be ever-so-grateful if you bought a copy of Fiancée for Hire. Just throwing that out there.
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