Claire Croxton asks this week’s question:
We’ve all written numerous short stories and/or novels with tons of interesting and fascinating characters. Who is your favorite character from all your writing? Tell us about him/her and the qualities that you admire about them.
JAN: To me, asking which is my favorite character is like asking which is my favorite child. But if held to the fire, I suppose I would have to choose Sachi, my eight-year old character from Broken Dolls. Though she is a fictional character based on my mother’s true story, (see my blog post about my mom and Sachi), she is also a make-believe character created around many of the things I am not. All the things I was not allowed to feel, or was afraid to feel, as a child, Sachi feels. In Broken Dolls, Sachi longs to be accepted at a time when Japanese-Americans were outcasts. Yet, she does not let that stop her pursuit, and in the end, she finds acceptance by accepting others who are also “different,” like her black friend, Jubie. In the end, she realizes it’s okay to be different.
For me, this is the joy of being a writer. I can take a character to places I’ve always wanted to go, make her say things I’ve been afraid to say, do things I might never do. Sometimes, it helps me understand myself a little better. And, if I can help someone else understand something about herself in the process, it’s the icing on the cake. Oh, wait . . . how cliché. It’s the wind in my sails. The A-1 on my steak. The cool side of the pillow. You get the picture.
RUTH: Black as midnight, mysterious as death, Madame Katanga from The Rook and The Raven is without a doubt, my most favorite character I’ve ever created. As soon as her name popped into my mind, the witchy-haired Jamaican clairvoyant possessed my being. I couldn’t read a scene without slipping into her accent and surrendering myself completely to her will.
Madame Katanga knows many things and can predict the future with one toss of the chicken bones. But for all her wisdom, she is also vulnerable; her greatest fear being that because of her dappling in all things supernatural, her granddaughter will be lost from her forever. Never-the-less she stands firm in her spiritual beliefs and while she would never be found in church at high mass, she would never ridicule the ones that are because all peoples are the children of The Creator.
Madame Katanga is as wild as a Louisiana hurricane and has a heart as big as her bosoms that her alligator-toothed necklace rests upon. She stirs the the witchy woman in me. One story is not enough for this wonderful, colorful character. Perhaps a sequel to The Rook and The Raven can be found in my future?
PAM: My favorite character is Robert Lee Johnson, better known as Bubba. He hails from Noisy Creek, a little bitty town in South Georgia where two of my earlier books are set, Redneck Goddess and Noisy Creek. Bubba relocates to the Pacific Northwest and is the good friend of Samantha, the protagonist in Bigfoot Blues and Limited Visibility. Straight-forward, honest, with a heart as big as Dixie, Bubba is rough-edged socially and all you’ll ever need in a friend or in a lover.
Bubba is my favorite character because, in flannel shirts, jeans and work boots, he’s a true southern gentleman. An honorable man who listens to Samantha and gives her what she wants and needs before she knows she wants it. Other men may bring flowers and candy, swear they’ll walk through fire for her, but Bubba brings Samantha’s favorite coffee. On a cold, rainy night, it’s Bubba who lays a fire ready for the match. And, when Samantha is in an impossible situation, it’s good-ole-boy Bubba who steps up and shows her he’s right there, his hand firmly in hers.
I may not write romance, but honey, can I build me a man or what?
LINDA: I have written several short stories about a little boy named Charley. He is based on true experiences of my daddy, Charles Diehl. Charley makes me laugh and I love his attitude. He is the typical eleven-year-old country boy during the 1930’s, doing the typical country boy devilment. It is an innocent time where the worst things kids did was moving the church outhouse a foot behind the “pit” for the evening services.
I like all my protagonists because they embody those close to me. My antagonists are all the things wrong with the world wrapped up in a personality.
CLAIRE: When I first pondered the answer to this question, the heroine of Redneck Ex came to in mind. Then, I stewed a bit and realized that even though I think Dr. Summer Leigh Johnson is an absolute delight, (see her interview on Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews on April 14th!) I’m in love with a secondary character from Redneck Ex: Joshua Elmer McRoy.
Josh started out in this world as a bit character, someone to occupy Summer Leigh’s time while she got her bearings. She had flown to Germany at the request of her ex-father-in-law to check on her ex-husband, Dwight Sullivan, who had been injured in a car bombing in Iraq. Josh and Dwight are roommates at the hospital. I fell in love with him instantly. Seriously, the first words out of his mouth made me smile.
Josh is a young, good-old-boy. Without question, you’d trust him with your deepest, darkest secret. He’s the type of guy you want around during a crisis—mechanical, level-headed, intelligent, savvy. Lord knows, he’d never think of himself as intelligent! He’d kick the ground and blush if you suggested such a thing. So, I guess that makes him humble too, huh? And, that boy has a big heart—melts at the sight of a puppy.
I was surprised that so many readers have commented on his storyline in Redneck Ex. I was in love with the guy, but I didn’t think everyone else would be too. Obviously, he’s lovable.
Let me know what you think about him.