Author Q&A with character Augusta Saint James, Merry Acres Widows Waltz
Q You’re not the protagonist. How do you feel about that?
A. What are you, Nan, a shrink? I’ll tell you how I feel, I’m proud I’m not Georgiana Duncan. Who makes things happen? Me, that’s who.
Q Several characters, especially Georgina, would strongly disagree. This is, after all a women’s fiction mystery—
(Augusta interrupts. “What exactly does that mean?”)
(Author replies: “It means, Au-gust-a, the story is as much about Georgiana’s journey overcoming a broken marriage and learning the identity of her birth mother-although she was given up with the best of intentions and the worst of outcomes-as well as solving a murder mystery.)
Q There are several red herrings; you are but one, Augusta. Agreed?
A Yeah, “the” one.
Q Let’s move on. What techniques did you employ to influence my fleshing out your particular personality?
A That was fun! I won’t give away all my secrets, a smart character would never do so, and I am a smart character, but a few hints: First, I whispered in your ear—
(Author interrupts: “That wasn’t tinnitus?)
A Augusta barks, “No. Back to the question. Next, I troubled your sleep. Mostly though, I interjected attributes of silver screen goddesses you’ve admired into your subconscious during waking hours, projecting how their characteristics might work through me. I refer to Eve Arden (never got her due) and Rosalind Russell (Front Page). Naturally, I added my own touches.
Q Indeed, you did. Cost you, too, didn’t it?
A Nah. Like the fabled phoenix, I’ll rise from the ash of this novel. Whether morphing into a different character, sex, or finally the protagonist.