Author Guest Post
Creating a Series Protagonist: The Importance of Gal Pals
The Eve Appel Mysteries contain mystery, a bit of romance, humorous scenes, dialogue and adventures, but best of all the close relationship between the protagonist and her best friend. I write in first person so the story is told from Eve’s point of view, and although she is honest to a fault, I like having a character who knows Eve well and can provide another perspective on Eve’s life. That person is Madeleine Boudreau Wilson, Eve’s best friend since sixth grade.
I introduce the reader to numerous characters who in their interactions with Eve all provide intersecting and unique perceptions of my main character. Eve’s grandmother (Grandy) for example raised Eve when her parents died in a boating accident. Grandy is in a position to provide us with the evolution of Eve from childhood into adulthood. From Grandy we come to understand how Eve has always been a renegade, never fitting in with other children and never wanting to fit in, but insistent upon going her own way. Most importantly the reader comes to understand how heavily influenced Eve has been by her grandmother, how much like her Eve is and why their relationship is so close despite the differences in their ages. Eve’s independent ways have been fostered by Grandy, sometimes to her regret when Eve gets herself into tight places. Because Grandy has taught Eve the value of loyalty, the series also charts Eve’s growth from a woman who foolheartedly does things on her own to one who comes to depend upon friends to help her out.
But the most significant change in Eve’s person is clearly the outcome of her friendship with Madeleine. The friends appear to be opposites of each other in physical nature and in their personalities. Madeleine is sweet, ladylike, socially sensitive and most of all patient. I knew I could never make bold, sassy Eve into a lady nor did I want to take away her mouthy nature, but I did want to smooth out some of Eve’s rough edges, and Madeleine was the perfect character to help Eve with this. Early in Eve’s development in the series, Madeleine is there as the charming counterweight to Eve’s often tough Yankee ways in their new southern home. Slowly, Eve comes to realize that a bit of honey does help in social situations and even in getting key people to reveal what they know that will help Eve solve the crime.
Learning a new way to address issues is not a one-way street for Madeleine and Eve. We know that when they first met in grade school that Eve had to teach Madeleine some spunk to help her combat the kids who were bullying Madeleine. It’s a lesson Madeline learned well and carried with her into adulthood and is especially valuable when dealing with her twins, Evie and David, Jr. Madeleine chose to name her daughter after Eve, never suspecting that the little girl would grow into a child as hardheaded and sassy as her name sake. When Madeleine is required to put her foot down with Evie, she does so with the authority of a general giving order. Where do you think she got that ability?
In matters of the heart, Eve learns that honesty and kindness are as important in a man as they are in a friend. Seeing how much Madeleine loves David, Eve wants that kind of relationship for herself. When she meets Sammy Egret, a member of the Miccosukee tribe, she and he tangle like wild cats, but she respects his independence and his unwillingness to be cowed by her. Soon she realizes that not only is she swept away by his looks, but she loves his feelings about the importance of family, something she aches to have in her life. She had already learned from Madeleine that family can encompass more than blood relatives and, when she and Sammy decide to adopt three Miccosukee boys, Eve and Sammy create a family of their own. In Nearly Departed Eve and Sammy have added to their family with the birth of their daughter Nettie.
Madeleine is now more than Eve’s friend. She is Eve’s sister, so when Madeleine’s favorite uncle and only biological relative is threatened, Eve is anxious to put her sleuthing skills to work to identify the would-be killer and protect the uncle. Eve knows this is not just another case. It’s Madeleine’s family, and by extension, her own. Eve will put her life at risk for Madeleine. It is what friends do for each other.
About Nearly Departed
Nearly Departed (An Eve Appel Mystery)
7th in Series
Publisher: Epicenter Press (January 14, 2020)
Print Length: 180 pages
Digital ASIN: B083G9GDJY
Tired of sitting surveillance on insurance fraud, apprentice PI Eve Apple Egret gets her first big case, one where the outcome is important and personal. Eve’s best friend Madeleine has few relatives, so her Uncle Shamus is special, but someone is determined to kill him and has tried several times. Eve is certain she can identify who is after him, but this time she may have taken on more than even our self-confident Eve can handle. Coping with a growing toddler and a teenager, devoting time to the consignment shop and finding someone who can go undercover in a sexual harassment case all vie for Eve’s attention. Eve knows she cannot fail Madeleine. This is more than her favorite uncle’s life. His death would mean devastating loss for Madeleine and call into question Eve’s commitment as a friend and her ability as a PI.
About the Author
Cows, Lesley learned as a child growing up on a farm, have a twisted sense of humor. They chased her when she went to the field to herd them in for milking, and one ate the lovely red mitten her grandmother knitted for her. Determining that agriculture wasn’t her career path, she took a job as a stripper, book cover stripper for a publishing company, that is. Now after many years as a college professor and university administrator, she has returned to the world of books and uses her country roots and her training to concoct stories designed to make people laugh in the face of murder. “A good chuckle,” says Lesley,” keeps us emotionally well-oiled long into our old age.”
Website – www.lesleyadiehl.com
Blog – www.lesleyadiehl.com/blog
Facebook – www.facebook.com/lesley.diehl.1
facebook Author Page – www.facebook.com/Lesley-A-Diehl522270901254754
GoodReads – www.goodreads.com/3414925.Lesley_A_Diehl
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