An Introduction/Explanation of my Characters:
Linda – Linda is the woman I have always wanted to be. Based strongly on my own wishes of being a hot mechanic, and also the amazing Catherine Moennig (sigh), Linda is my heart's desire. She is who I've always imagined myself to be, and I think we can all say that there's nothing better than a hot (female) mechanic.
Katie – Katie is based on a cute blonde I saw passing by in a pizza parlor. She hurried by, but totally caught my eye. That night, my mind began to just imagine this story of me being the woman I want to be (Linda) and who/what that cute little blonde was (Katie). She became a vet student based on all my years in animal rescue (my mother volunteers at an animal shelter, I've worked at several shelters, have a TON of veterinary connections, etc.). I placed her at U Penn because I knew so many people there, so it was an easy setting for her to go into.
Thus, Linda and Katie were "born."
Donna – Donna is loosely based off someone I used to work with. The only similarities are their name, the curly blonde hair & their sexual identity. Donna is a strong, powerful cop with an amazing vulnerability. She cares so deeply for the people in her life, and would do anything for them (a trait for which I am infamous). She also has a lot of insecurities. I didn't plan on her having such issues, they just came out. I think there's a great dichotomy to her, and that's a bit of a mystery, even to me.
Liz & Jen – These 2 are an interesting pair. They have been characters that have been residing in my mind since about 2003. Liz was ALWAYS an outspoken southern Lesbian, and Jen was always the quiet one. I loved how the names Liz & Jen just seemed to go together. Liz became a bit more of a reality when I acquired my 1977 Chevy pick-up & named it after her. Although I still had no story for them yet, Liz and Jen would always pop up in my mind, reminding me of their presence. When I began writing these stories, I realized that this was where they were meant to be. I honored the '77 Chevy in the story as well, because by this point it was too much an integral part of their identities.
Maria – Maria is heavily based on a dear friend of mine, as well as my own identity as a Puerto Rican. Some of her family members are named after my own family members. Her quiet demeanor, her wisdom and talent are all based on one wonderful friend.
Stephania – Steph came around because Maria needed a partner. I wanted an unusual name, and Stephania (Steph-AHN-ya) came about. I had no job, no personality, no direction for Steph at all. I was very nervous about how I was going to create a story around her and Maria. I got really lucky, and the story told itself. Stephania's own personality and behavior totally came out on its own. I'll admit, I was even surprised by some of the things she says and does. She's still very mysterious to me, and I think she's a phenomenal and memorable character.
It's important to note here, that I always thought I had 5 stories (in my head) with this batch. Clearly not a mathematician; once I really started working on these stories, I realized I was short one story. I needed a 5th, undoubtedly. I also needed a medium to tie up all the loose ends. That's when Brynn, someone who was supposed to be a minor character, suddenly became a key player.
Brynn – Again, Brynn was very unexpected for me. I did not expect her to be more than just a passing name. As I wrote, I found her creeping her way forward into the front of my mind. Suddenly, there was a fully developed character: my FINAL character. Her story, similar to Steph's, just kind of came out. It just flowed. I had more direction with Brynn than I did Stephania, but it was still surprising to see her turn into this wonderful, full-fledged character.
Brynn was my unexpected character.
I've been writing since childhood, but I had taken a great deal of time off from writing fiction. It has been an amazing experience to get back into it, and it was a lot of fun to see where all these different characters were going to lead me. I hope that you, as the reader, feel the same way. I hope that these stories and people are as real to you as they are to me. I hope that they make you think, make you feel, and make you enjoy your journey into their lives. Writing this book has been a tremendous experience for me, and I hope it is for you as well.