Therapy for Uncooperative Characters
Ever have characters who won’t cooperate? Well, I have...and it’s no picnic. One day while writing Tempest in the Tea Leaves, I’d finally had enough. So I cornered my characters and dragged them kicking and screaming into a room with four white walls, a card table in the middle, and two chairs on opposite sides.
“Wh-what are you doing?” Sunshine Meadows the local fortune teller asked, a startled look on her pale pixie face.
“What am I doing you ask?” I laughed harshly. “That’s a joke. I should be the one asking what you are doing. I have a deadline, you know, yet you aren’t cooperating at all.”
“Ha! Told you this was all your fault, Tink,” Detective Mitch Stone responded with a smirk.
“Oh, no you don’t, bucko!” I snapped, thrusting my finger in his wide chest until he stiffened those broad shoulders of his. “You’re no better than she is.”
“Double ‘Ha!’,” Sunny spat. “And quit calling me Tink, Mr. Grumpy Pants.”
“Enough.” I swiped my hand through the air. “I am going to lock you both in here until you learn to get along. Call it therapy.”
“That’s not therapy. That’s insane.” Sunny stomped her foot and crossed her arms over her peace-sign T-shirt. “I’m not the problem. He is.” She jerked her head in the detective’s direction, her pale green eyes sizzling with indignation. “He thinks I’m a quack, and he sure as heck doesn’t treat me like an equal. I won’t stop until I make him a true believer.”
“Equal?” Mitch frowned, his dark eyes narrowing and the jagged scar along his whiskered jawline pulsing as he towered over her until she looked up. To her credit, she didn’t step back. “You know nothing about detective work, and half of your so-called hunches are pure luck. One of these days I’ll prove you’re a fraud. You’ll see.”
“And now I hope you both see why you’ve left me with no choice,” I butted in, then I stepped out the door, closed it behind me, and turned the lock.
“Wait!” Sunny pounded on the door. “Give us another chance.”
“You had your chance,” I responded as I moved to the two way mirror. I could see them both, but neither one could see me.
“I can have you arrested for this,” Mitch boomed with his hands on his hips.
“I can write you out of the book,” I added. “I win.”
They both grumbled and paced the room for several minutes, then finally sat in the chairs facing each other.
Sunny took a deep breath and spoke first. “Look, I know you don’t like the fact that Mayor Cromwell up for re-election and wants us to work together to solve crime in Divinity, or that Chief Spencer and Captain Walker’s hands are tied, but that’s not my fault. None of this is my fault.”
“Says you.” He swiped a hand through his thick, black wavy hair and then slapped it down on the table. “If you’d kept your nose out of places it didn’t belong, we wouldn’t be in this mess right now.”
Sunny flinched, and then snapped her spine straight, thrusting her face into his. “I don’t stick my nose into people’s business ... they come to me. If they need my help, then it’s my duty to comply. You just don’t like that I’m better than you are.”
He chuckled humorlessly. “In your dreams, Pixie Girl.”
“Easy there, Spanky. If you don’t learn to play nice in the sandbox, then dreaming is all you’re going to get to do from now on. Do you really think Kari is going to writer you any more fascinating cases to solve? I think not, if you continue to be a grump butt.”
He huffed out a frustrated breath. “Fine. Truce?”
“Truce,” she responded, looking supremely satisfied.
“How’s that go? Oh, yeah, easy there, Miss Bubbles. We still have a case to solve, and you’re still my number one suspect. Kind of takes the pixie dust out of your wings, doesn’t it?”
She ground her teeth, ignoring him, and knocked on the door.
“You two ready?” I asked as I opened the door. “Because I need answers like yesterday.”
“Don’t worry. You’ll get them. The sooner this case is put to bed, the better,” Tink said.
“Sorry, Tink, but I don’t sleep with my assistants.” Mitch tweaked her nose as he pushed past us and left the building, hollering over his shoulder, “We’re burning daylight. Let’s move it.”
Sunny just rolled her eyes and stomped off after him.
I sighed. It wasn’t exactly what I’d had in mind, but it was a start.
A little about the author:
Kari Lee Townsend lives in Central New York with her very understanding husband, her three busy boys, and her oh-so-dramatic daughter, who keep her grounded and make everything she does worthwhile…not to mention provide her with loads of material for her books. Kari is a longtime lover of reading and writing, with a masters in English education, who spends her days trying to figure out whodunit. Funny how no one at home will confess any more than the characters in her mysteries!
Kari writes fun and exciting stories for any age, set in small towns, with mystical elements and quirky characters. You can find out more about her on her website www.karileetownsend.com and also on the group mystery blog she cohosts, called Mysteries and Margaritas, at www.mysteriesandmargaritasblogspot.com
TEMPEST IN THE TEA LEAVES: A Fortune Teller Mystery
In the fortune telling business there are a lot of pretenders, but Sunshine Meadows is the real deal—and her predictions can be lethally accurate…
Sunny is a big city psychic who moves to the quaint town of Divinity, NY to open her fortune-telling business in an ancient Victorian house, inheriting the strange cat residing within. Sunny gives her first reading to the frazzled librarian and discovers the woman is going to die. When the woman flees in terror, Sunny calls the police, only she’s too late. The ruggedly handsome, hard-nosed detective is a ”non-believer.” He finds the librarian dead, and Sunny becomes his number one suspect, forcing her to prove her innocence before the real killer can put an end to the psychic’s future.
To enter the giveaway:
One entry per person. You do NOT have to read a book in order to enter this giveaway, you just have to be participating in this challenge. Contest will close on August 31st at midnight (central time).