Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Finley is so not me!



 I’ve heard that a lot since the debut of my of the Finley Anderson Tanner series.  I can’t attest to how much she and I are alike.  Yes, Finley and I share the same sense of humor and I suppose her moral code mirrors my own.  That’s pretty much where the similarities end.  Well, excluding the fact that she’s blonde and short.  That’s a function of practicality.  Being blonde and short myself, I know how to dress Finley (fairly high heels are important) and the physicality of the character’s actions reflect the fact that unless she started dating Michael J. Fox, she’d never know what it felt like to dance with her head resting on a guy’s shoulder. 

In all other aspects, Finley and I couldn’t be less alike. 

She’s a shopper, something I personally loathe.  I’d rather remove a kidney than go to a mall.  The whole idea of window-shopping makes me want to stick pencils in my eyes.  Finley’s also heavily in debt, another personal taboo of mine.  But the biggest difference is that she’s an underachiever by choice.  I’m so much of an overachiever that I probably could benefit from lengthy therapy.

Crafting a character is never easy – nor should it be – and there will always be a sprinkling of the author’s personality and/or personal experiences in his or her characters.  Figuring out where to draw the line can be tough, especially when doing an on-going series. 

Knowing Finley needed room to grow, so I gave her some hefty flaws.  In KNOCK OFF, she takes her first foray into the realm of solving a crime.  She isn’t all that adept in the beginning, but by the end of the book, she’s learned a few things, although she’s a long way from attaining the moniker of amateur sleuth.  At best, she’s an accidental sleuth. 

In the second book, KNOCK ‘EM DEAD, she builds on what she learned in the first book, though she’s still a long way from a crime-solving whiz. By FAT CHANCE and SLIGHTLY IRREGULAR she’s hit her crime-solving stride.

Finley marked a detour in my career.  After writing more than 25 romantic suspense novels under my pseudonym Kelsey Roberts, I wondered how books penned by Rhonda Pollero would be received.  Different name, and different flavor. Was there enough mystery to satisfy mystery fans?   
Was the sizzle between Finley and Liam enough of a subplot to draw fans of my romantic suspense?  I honestly didn’t have a clue and after a lot of angst filled soul-searching, I decided I had to put those concerns on the back burner and just tell the story. 

I’m glad I took the chance. People seem to love Finley as much as I do.

And that’s the bottom line, isn’t it?  A writer is a storyteller; everything else is just window dressing.

Happy Writing . . .  Rhonda

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