Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Book Readers Helped Me Build

by Leann

Last year, as I plotted the book that debuts on Tuesday--The Cat, The Lady and The Liar--I asked for a little help. I needed a name for a very special cat, one who was pampered and spoiled and full of herself. You picked the name Isis and Isis she is! Long black hair, green eyes and on arrival in the story, she is wearing a diamond collar. Fitting for a goddess, don't you think?

That name helped me picture her and develop her character--because as any cat lover knows, each cat has their own unique character. I hope in the coming weeks, you will send me feedback about what you think of Isis. I like to believe that my cat characters parallel humans with similar traits. Isis feels entitled and I'm sure you know a few folks exactly like her.

I interact quite a bit on CozyArmchair, a yahoo cozy discussion group. One particular member is a strong animal supporter and her name just seemed to fit the rich southern lady from the title. Yes, Ritaestelle, came to life with the help of that woman's name. Of course I have no idea what the real Ritaestelle looks like or if she has enough money to pay the Bill of Rights like my fictional creation. But the name was perfect. So thank you parents of Ritaestelle. You helped me--and Ritaestelle, I thank you for letting me borrow your name.

There are more "borrowed" names in my series. My real life sister's name is Candace Carson. My daughter's name is Jillian. My son's name is Shawn. My husband's name is Mike. If I'm going to leave something of myself behind, they belong there with me. Now, I believe in the book I am currently writing, I must name a cat Agatha Christie, after my own sick baby. I don't know if she will be with me when the The Cat, The Wife and The Weapon (working title) comes out next year. But she will be in my heart forever.

I have no questions this week, just many thanks for all the support I receive from readers every single day. Thank you for buying my books. It means so much.

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Leann might be too shy to say it, but the rest of the Chicks aren't, and we want you to know that The Cat, The Lady and the Liar comes out on Tuesday (April 5th) in print and as an ebook.  It's available on Amazon, from Barnes & Noble, and from regular independent and mystery bookstores.