Just last week, my very favorite Nurse, Barrett, tagged me in the great 2014 Meet My Character Blog Tour.
Of course, whatever Nurse asks for, Nurse gets….
If you are not familiar with Nurse Barrett’s books and stories, swing over to Amazon and check them out: Damaged in Service, Defying Gravity, Dispatched with Cause, Windy City Mistletoe, Balefire, and Flights of Fancy.
And, if you’re heading out to Portland for the 2014 Golden Crown Literary Society’s annual conference, Nurse Barrett will be participaing in panels and chats, so you can meet her.
Now, on with the show….
What is the name of your character? Is he/she fictional or a historic person?
They say that the definition of insanity is doing the same things and expecting different results. That aphorism must be true because I seem to keep doing the same things and ending up with the same result: chaos. Of course, some might argue that chaos actually works out for me….
Whichever side of the paradigm you inhabit, it does appear to be true that I find myself attracted to quirky characters and themes that are sometimes…unusual.
So apropos of that, I’d like to introduce you to one of my latest creations: Phoebe, a cranky and irreverent largemouth bass. And while she is fictional, she certainly is historical—at least in her own mind. Phoebe is the elusive and iconic bass who has tempted and tormented professional anglers on Vermont’s Lake Champlain for more than a century.
And, she is a central character in my opus work, Backcast.
When and where is the story set?
The story takes place at a country inn in the Hero Islands of northern Vermont—a place next to godliness, in my view. Thirteen authors (who we first met in my novella, “Bottle Rocket”) congregate there to work on companion narratives to an NEA-funded sculpture exhibition called “Transitions.” While they are there, they enter a tournament bass fishing competition.
I think you can intuit the rest….
What should we know about her?
Phoebe, a twenty-five pound bass, is the stuff of legend. Anglers say she has been swimming the waters of Lake Champlain since the Civil War. She was named for a 19th century axe murderer, Phoebe Campbell—the last woman to be hanged in Canada. Although Phoebe’s disposition may rival that of her namesake, Junior Ladd is quick to point out that “she ain’t never been caught.”
What is the main conflict? What messes up her life?
Phoebe strikes up a curious, mentor-like relationship with BDSM author, Quinn Glatfelter. Quinn is determined to catch Phoebe for murky and undefined reasons that are greater than the $25,000 tournament purse. It’s unclear whether Phoebe will allow herself to be “brung up” or not. She may just be tired enough or curious enough to see what happens if someone actually succeeds in hooking her.
What is the personal goal of the character?
Phoebe seems content to swim the waters of the ancient lake, making random appearances and dispensing unsolicited prognostications about the meaning of life, and where to get the best fried clam strips. She also has a beat on where to find any remaining barrels of illegal hooch, deep-sixed by rum runners working to avoid capture on the waterways between Montreal and New York during Prohibition.
Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it?
Yes. The book is called Backcast—a double entendre for fishing, and for what happens behind the scenes—where most of the real action takes place. I’ve been writing it for nearly eighteen months now, and I am determined to wrap it up this summer. It soon will be in the capable hands of The Great Kelly Smith™ at Bywater Books.
I did hear what I pray was a spurious rumor that she’d recently laid in stores of red pens….
With luck, Backcast should be published in the autumn of 2015.
But as soon as Backcast is on its way across the pond, I’ll be hard at work on Patriarch, for Bedazzled Ink Publishing.
Patriarch is the next book in the Jericho series. It’s time to check in with these southwest Virginia residents. David has been left on his own for too long….