I stayed away from giving characters in All Things Murder the names of people I know. I didn’t want anyone saying to me, “So that’s what you really think of me,” or “You want me dead, don’t you?” I know I won’t be able to do this forever—I have three siblings and eighteen first cousins; they have spouses and kids and those kids are starting to have kids. So nothing personal, Kevin, Eileen, and Betsy, if a character bearing your name someday shoots a gun or is pushed down a long flight of stairs. Though from the reactions I have received, friends and relatives might be thrilled to see their names in a future book. My niece Shannon has indicated she wants to be a character in a Veronica Walsh mystery. As does my cousin Laura, who asked for a great scene or two before her “demise”.
I did unwittingly give a few characters the names of people in my life. In my defense, two of the individuals are not Ella and Sandy to me but Grandma and Mrs. Ferguson. I didn’t realize the coincidences until I was halfway through All Things Murder; by then the characters were who they were and changing their names wasn’t a consideration. So when you read the book, know that my grandmother was nothing like Ella (except my grandmother was once Ella’s age), and Mrs. Ferguson really isn’t as fussy as Sandy Jenkins, though she is just as sweet and kind. Also, Veronica’s agent and my cousin share the same name-Barbara. That’s all they share. Cousin Barbara is much younger, prettier, and funnier than Agent Barbara.
Enjoy the weekend!