Sheila Lowe has graciously invited me to the “Meet My Character” blog hop today. Like her fictional character, Claudia Rose in the award-winning Forensic Handwriting Mysteries series, Sheila Lowe is a real-life forensic handwriting expert who testifies in handwriting-related cases. Her latest release is Inkslingers Ball. She also authored the internationally acclaimed The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Handwriting Analysis and Handwriting of the Famous & Infamous. You can learn even more about her at www.claudiarose series.com and at www.superceu.com.
My character, Miram Leonard, was created for the third book in the Soup Lovers Mystery series, A Roux of Revenge. Miriam is a completely fictional woman, but there are elements of her personality and her life that are universal to all women, especially women who have struggled merely to survive.
Miriam first visited me as a little voice whispering in my head, just as I was starting to plan A Roux of Revenge. The voice whispered, “Janie and her mother . . . Janie and her mother.” Well, Janie already existed in Snowflake, Vermont. She is one of the young waitresses at the By the Spoonful Soup Shop, and to be honest, I hadn’t given a lot of thought to Janie’s background or her family.
So I had no idea why my muse, if you will, was sending me messages. I wasn’t at all sure what “Janie and her mother,” meant, but I’m awfully glad I listened. Maybe some idea was percolating just below the level of consciousness, or maybe this was true inspiration from the universe, I didn’t know, but I really had no choice. I had to pay attention. These were characters who obviously needed to tell their stories. So I set aside the plot I had been planning, and decided to give these people some room.
Miriam spent all of her adult life in the village of Snowflake, Vermont. Twenty years earlier, she had been on the run, abandoned by the man she loved and forced to escape her family. Starving and destitute, it was a chance encounter with Doug Leonard, a man from the village, that offered Miriam a new identity and a new life.
Janie, Miriam’s daughter, now grown, has appeared in all three books of the series, but in A Roux of Revenge, Janie takes center stage when a stranger arrives in town and begins to follow her. Janie sees him every place she goes. When Janie tells her mother about the strange man she suspects is stalking her, Miriam realizes with horror that her former life, her life before marrying Doug Leonard, will be revealed. She has no choice but to finally tell the truth about her past and confess her lies to her daughter.
There is no more important person in Miriam’s life than her daughter Janie. Miriam had hoped to protect her from the past and the people who might be searching for them. Now, all she can do is hope and pray that Janie will forgive all the lies and find some compassion in her heart for the things her mother was forced to do to survive.
I hope you’ll read all about Miriam’s fascinating story in A Roux of Revenge. And then be sure to check out the following fabulous authors joining in next week, August 28th, in the “Meet My Character” Blog Hop:
Sparkle Abbey is the nom de plume of Mary Lee Woods and Anita Carter who together write the Pampered Pets Mystery series: Desperate Housedogs, Get Fluffy, Kitty Kitty Bang Bang, Yip/Tuck , Project Dogway in the Here We Go Again Collection, and Fifty Shades of Greyhound (Out now!) Their pen name combines the names of their rescued pets (Sparkle is Mary Lee’s cat and Abbey is Anita’s dog).
Diann Adamson is an award-winning author with a mystery-Midwest Noir novel Admit to Mayhem, the first in the Lillian Dove series, coming out in September 2014 and another novella Jake’s Story coming out as a four-part serial December 2014. Diann teaches writing at two Los Angeles Colleges. Along with her husband and two Welsh Terriers, she makes her home in Southern California.
Maria Alexander‘s stories have appeared in publications such as Chiaroscuro Magazine, Gothic.net and Paradox, as well as numerous acclaimed anthologies. Her debut novel, Mr. Wicker, comes out September 16, 2014 from Raw Dog Screaming Press.
Sally Carpenter is the author of the Sandy Fairfax Teen Idol series about a former pop star who finds that making a comeback can be murder. The Baffled Beatlemaniac Caper was a Eureka! Award finalist for best first mystery novel. Cozy Cat Press released The Sinister Sitcom Caper and will soon publish The Cunning Cruise Ship Caper. Sally is a former Hoosier now living in Southern California. She blogs at Sandy Fairfax and can be found on Facebook.