Evolving Character

colt3.FullSizeRender-3A blue moon ago I wrote a 17 year old girl named Lily Van Slyke into Blue Heaven. At the time, she was very troubled, but she didn’t have a gun. When Blue Heaven became the first of The Blue Lake Series, I knew I’d bring her back someday. And back she came, in book three (Spring 2015). It’s five  years later, so she’s legal and lethal. She has her reasons. And this time, she really got to me. I mean, she did before, but I was able to give her closure. This time, she didn’t want shit to do with my plans for her. She didn’t want closure, she wanted her own series. That was not going to happen; I’m still writing the Blue Lake books.

But Lily managed to almost maybe steal the book from the intended main characters. I still have to see about that. I might have to cut her down to size some. For now. Because I found myself doing odd things, like researching the kind of gun she would buy for self-protection. It’s not the vintage 38 Colt above, it’s a tiny new girly gun. 9 mm. Even though that’s my hand holding one, I don’t know much about guns. But Lily does, so I will have to learn. Got my first lesson this weekend. 1. Make sure the bullet holder thingy is empty before pointing. 2. Unlock the safety. 3. Do not put the gun up next to your eye to “sight” the target. 4. Be prepared for a loud bang and some kind of recoil that sends your arm flying up after you shoot.

But that’s with the Colt, which belonged to Al’s grandfather. He was a private investigator. That is the only job he ever had in his entire life. He was also a single dad who raised Al’s mom on his own. Quite a guy. I only just found out about him this weekend. It was like Lily was saying “See? You can do this. It’s in the family.” Well, yeah, but…

The gun was not the first thing that Lily pushed me into…she has an answer for every objection I come up with. Like the whole mystery writing thing. This summer, I signed up for a conference in Florida (I live in Michigan) for mystery writers and I kept thinking “I have until December to cancel because I am not a mystery writer.” It’s almost December. I still have not cancelled. Also, when registering for the conference, you had to choose what kind of mystery writer you were. I had no idea. So I checked off P.I.

Random? I just don’t know. I have pieces of Lily’s first book written down. Most of it is in my head. I’m not going to talk about it. I’m still waiting to see if this whole thing will blow over and I can go back to writing domestic dramas. But sometimes, characters evolve and writers have to follow.