Originally Published at www.girlfriendsbookclub.org
This month we’re blogging about our characters dossier with the idea that they’re filling out an online dating profile. My series, the Carrie Mae Mysteries, features an all female spy organization run by a make-up company with the goal of women everywhere. My main character, Nikki Lanier, a top level Carrie Mae agent, also happens to be dating a CIA agent. And with all those spies running around, I had to create dossiers on my characters just to keep track of their cover stories. Go to Top Secret, to get the inside scoop on all things Carrie Mae – from characters dossiers to gadgets.
But as I sat down to type up Nikki’s details for this blog I started to wonder, just how strong was my dossier? I think I’ve created a very real character, but how good a job have I done? So in the interest of “science” I went to chemistry.com and took their free personality test as Nicole Lanier. And it came back that Nikki is (drumroll please): A negotiator / director. (See below for further explanation). Which I think nailed the character pretty well. Of course, if I were really interested in “science” I’d set up one for her boyfriend and see if the computer god’s matched them up…
THE NEGOTIATOR (PRIMARY TYPE): You are imaginative. You are emotionally expressive and share your feelings. The big picture is what interests you most, and you like to assemble facts and focus on larger concepts. When you make decisions, you often think things through very carefully, weighing all the options before deciding what to do. People are important to you and you prefer to build intimate attachments with others, connecting on a deeply personal level.
Agreeable and unassuming, you can be very intuitive, and you generally prefer win-win situations that protect social harmony. You are very good at reading people, and this includes facial expressions as well as vocal inflections. You excel at what scientists call synthesizing, which means you collect lots of data and then find patterns that lead to larger concepts.
THE DIRECTOR (SECONDARY TYPE): You are very independent and admire self-control. Analytical, skeptical and exacting, you can be tough-minded and decisive. You enjoy competing and achieving, and you are usually mathematically or mechanically skilled. You generally have a few very close friends, rather than a big social circle.
Recently my daughter learned to crawl. She’s six months old, so basically any time she learns something it’s “recently”. But as she learns new tricks she forces my husband and I to adapt (and hopefully overcome). Sadly, in our sleep deprived state we find ourselves relying on the training we did with our previous “child.”
As she learns new things my mind reaches out for words that will get the result I want. Ack! She’s chewing on a power cord! Drop it! It works on the dog, so my brain now auto selects for those oh, so useful training phrases. Sadly, the phrases mean less than nothing to my daughter. The only one she obeys is “stay” and that’s only if she’s strapped in the car seat. As a result my dog, Kato, thinks I got the runty, stupid puppy of the litter. I can practically see the thought bubble over his head. “Look human puppy, I am demonstrating what to do. Figure it out!” The tiny daughter’s thought bubble says, “Look at those shiny eyeballs; if I could pluck them out, it might be fantastic. Why is the fuzzy one leaving?” Which is a terrible way to treat a dog who is trying his best to be supportive.
Kato performs many important baby related jobs. There is the “I alert you to the fact that the baby is crying.” (Believe me Kato, we know.) There is the extremely useful butt check. Kato, would you like to smell this butt? Oh, you would? Must be time for a diaper change. And the adorable guard dog duty. He is not quite sure why the human puppy hasn’t been weaned to dog food, but if I’m going to insist on breastfeeding her, then he will do his best to guard us while we’re vulnerable.
But she is learning. She now knows her name and his name, and she knows where the dog food is and how delightful it is to spill it all over the floor. So while the dog thinks she’s dumb, I can see the day coming when he will realize that her little monkey fingers are useful to help him get the delicious human food he desires. Hopefully, by then she will also know what “sit,” “stay” and “drop it” mean.
Originally Published at www.girlfriendsbookclub.org
This is my first blog on the Girlfriends Book Club! I’m excited to be on the same “team” with so many fun authors, and hopefully they’ll think I’m a good addition to the blog.
I’ll start with a little bit about me. I write what I call women’s action-adventure. It’s a good amount of mystery, a little bit of romance, a lot feminist, and of course, totally incomplete without action and adventure. Did you ever see an action movie and think, “Why does the girl scream a lot and then fall down?” Well, if I made movies, they’d be a lot shorter. Scary man in a mask, calling from inside the house? Bam. Yes, officer, I appear to have shot a deranged psycho hiding in my attic, please send a coroner. The End. None of this waiting for the hunky hero to come save the girl; my heroines save themselves, and possibly the hunky hero too.
My first two books Bulletproof Mascara and Compact with the Devil form the basis for my Carrie Mae Mystery series. (Coming in 2015 – High Caliber Concealer!) They feature Nikki Lanier a twenty-something red-head who, in desperation, decides to sell make-up to make some cash, only to discover that the at home make-up sales giant Carrie Mae is also running a clandestine militant wing staffed by all women with the lofty goal of helping women everywhere.
If you just laughed while reading that, then you’ll know exactly what my friends did when I told them the idea. (They also promptly made up the Carrie Mae salute – chest thump into a mascara flip.) But I knew that I could write that book and that I could make it work. I knew that it would be funny, feminine, and feminist, and I could choreograph some awesome fight scenes.
I’ve written other things, and there have been books that I intended to write because they sounded like a good idea, but when I find the book that I have to write… have you ever heard the sound a metal pan makes when you take it off the burner and it starts to cool down? That little tiny ting? That’s what I hear when my brain produces a freshly baked perfect novel premise. And that’s what I heard the day I realized that at home make-up sales were an incredibly cut-throat business.
So hopefully you’ll join me as I search for the next tiny little auditory hallucination that tells me it’s time to sit down at a computer and make some stuff up.