Writers will ask themselves questions when drawing memorable, well-developed characters. A few sample questions: What does the character look like? How old? Religion? Age? Family? Friends?
I thought this week I’d again turn the blog over to Veronica Walsh from All Things Murder to answer some of the questions I posed when creating Veronica and her cozy world. It’s part Marcel Proust questionnaire, part James Lipton/Inside the Actor’s Studio interview, and part yours truly having fun.
Where do you live?
I recently moved back to my hometown of Barton, New York, a small village in the Adirondacks.
What is your occupation?
I am a soap opera actress. Unemployed, I hate to say, since my show was canceled.
How old are you?
What is your astrological sign?
What do you look like?
I’m brunette, about 5’7″, have more-or-less a slender frame.
Do you have siblings?
What was your childhood like?
I had a wonderful childhood growing up in Barton. My parents opened a bookstore, Orchard Street Books, in the early 1960’s. I’d go there every day after school. In the beginning, I’d clean up the children’s section after I had taken a good number of books off the shelves to read them. As I got older, my dad made me responsible for the Mystery and Travel sections as well. I’d also help customers and my mother and I would alternate hosting Story Time for the kids.
I attended Catholic school for sixteen years. The acting bug bit me in the second grade, when I got to play the Virgin Mary in the school’s Christmas pageant. I participated in the drama club, performing in shows such as The Sound of Music, West Side Story, and South Pacific.
What are your closest relationships?
I have a wonderful bond with my mother, Nancy. Though we like to tease each other, we never had the antagonistic relationship many mothers and daughters have. Not even when I was a teenager. She and my father always told me I could do whatever I wanted if I worked hard for it. They supported my dream to be an actress, though they insisted I take a second major in college, Business, just in case acting didn’t work out.
Carol Emerson has been my best friend since our first day of kindergarten. She owns a fabulous flower shop that I often visit for some girl talk and floral therapy. She always gives me great advice and is a calming presence when I get a bit freaked out.
Mark Burke is another friend I’ve had since my school days at Saint Augustine elementary school. He’s now a history professor at nearby Arden College. Mark is an intelligent, sweet, solid man who is always there for his friends.
And then there’s Alex Shelby. He was my leading man on Days and Nights. Our characters were married three times! Alex is a good guy, though he’s a bit distracted by himself, in a charming sort of way. Like me, Alex is having a bit of trouble letting go of the soap.
What is your current state of mind?
Worried. Not only am I unemployed, but I live next door to a murder scene. I won’t rest easy until the killer is behind bars. And I get a job.
What is something no one knows about you?
Carol, Mark, and Alex know this, but I’m trying to keep it hush-hush that I’m investigating my neighbor’s murder. I don’t want to paint a target on my back.
What profession would you not like to do?
Pathologist. I found my neighbor’s body. That was as close to a corpse as I ever want to get.
Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
I have recently developed a deep appreciation of Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple. I could use her crime-solving expertise.
What is your favorite curse word?
Have a great week, everyone!