Glad to be visiting your blog today, Patricia. You’ve asked me to write about one of my characters. I usually feel the closest to my latest protagonist and fictional “friends” (all my books are standalones), but Mitch Malone, Wendy Gager’s protagonist already grilled my dear Margot Madison-Cross from Lies of Convenience on her blog. And Marilyn Meredith asked me to interview one of my characters, and I chose Neil Knight, a supporting character from Reticence of Ravens that I’ve become quite fond of.
In thinking further about my characters, I realized I often slight intrepid Jada Beaudine, the heroine in Death of a Perfect Man, my second novel. So, I’m putting Jada in the spotlight for this blog. Here’s a short synopsis of her adventure:
Jada Beaudine has lost her husband Terry in a tragic and mysterious boating accident--and she badly needs a change. She leaves her home in Puget Sound to get away from the horror, the memories, and the relentless glare of publicity that surrounded her husband’s death.
Alone, she drives south and by the second evening finds herself taking a wrong turn in the stark Mojave high desert of interior Southern California. While mesmerized by the bigger-than-life beauty of a desert sunset, she nearly runs out of gas in the middle of nowhere. Amid mounting apprehension, she manages to find the odd “Red Rock Inn & Café,” a lost, creepy old resort from some other place and time--where, Irina, a strange emerald-eyed woman materializes and convinces her to stay the night.
She’ll check out early in the morning and be on her way, right?
But by morning, events unravel quickly and Jada finds herself pulled straight into the scene of a bizarre murder. As she reluctantly tries to make sense of this murder, it’s soon followed by yet another. And all the while, Jada is being followed by people with varied, surprising, and even sinister agendas of their own.
Yes, she may have a knack for solving murders—as psychic Irina seems to know—but in this off-kilter scenario, Jada has her own powerful hunch that the next victim will be her. And every time she tries to leave this otherworldly place, she finds that somehow she can’t…
A side note—Jada is a potter, the first victim is a potter, and I also dabble. I wrote this novel while moving from Washington State and house-hunting in Southern California. We (husband and two dogs) were on the road a lot, and a particular collection of structures on a particular stretch of Highway 395/I-14 kept catching my eye—actually called out quite strongly to me—and Death of a Perfect Man and Jada Beaudine were born.
To your question, is my character a composite of people I know? Gosh, I sure hope not. If feels to me like people-reality does go into my brain, but what comes out in my stories—I think and hope—is unconnected bits-and-pieces of reality melded into “something” unique. For better or worse, the characters that appear are the result of some kind of “fictional chemistry experiment.” I can’t point to one character that I can identify as a particular person I’ve met or known—including myself.
Thanks so much, Patricia, it’s been great visiting with you today. Especially since this is the last day of our tour, and I’m sort of melancholy about that; so I’m glad I’m saying goodbye with you, a past tour-friend!
Madeline (M.M.) Gornell has four published mystery novels—PSWA awarding winning Uncle Si’s Secret (2008); Death of a Perfect Man (2009); Eric Hoffer Fiction finalist and Honorary Mention winner, the da Vinci Eye finalist, and Montaigne Medalist finalist Reticence of Ravens (2011); and PSWA award winner and Hollywood Book Festival Honorary Mention Lies of Convenience (2012). Both Reticence of Ravens and Lies of Convenience are Route 66 mysteries.
Madeline is also a potter with a fondness for stoneware and reduction firing. She lives with her husband and assorted canines in the Mojave Desert in a town on internationally revered Route 66.
Madeline’s books are available at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com, and Smashwords, in paper and e-book formats. You can visit her online at her website http://www.mmgornell.com , or her BLOG http://www.mmgornell.wordpress.com or email her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Buster, Dobie, and Mugs (the latest) are each drawing a name from comments for free copies of Lies of Convenience (or a M.M. Gornell title of your choosing)
Buy link for Lies of Convenience: