Guest post by Leeann Betts
Readers—and writers, too, for that matter—often ask me where I get characters for my stories. In Missing Deposits, I had a couple of friends I wanted to include without actually including them, if that makes sense.
The couple who hosts Carly and Mike on their working vacation are named after very good friends—first names, only. Their last name came from a desire to design a brand that I could draw. A Lazy L, in brand terms, is one that lies horizontally.
I had a picture in my mind of what the host couple looked like—surprisingly like my friends. Except I couldn’t find a picture online of what these people really looked like, until I found a photo of a man who was stocky and a woman who was slender, both wearing old time revolvers on their hips. I had my couple.
One of the characters, who I started out not really liking at all, is named after somebody I used to know who was really difficult to get to know. One of this person’s defense mechanism was to hold people at arm’s length. I thought this character would make a really good suspect or villain. Funny how things change once we know why people act the way they do.
The hippie couple, Kenny and Melody, came from nowhere. Or at least, that’s how it seemed. Yet I could see them as clearly as if they were sitting across the desk from me. And while Melody looks like the ringleader, we get to the real essence of her character by the end of the story. People are not always how they first seem.
The marshal was another instance of not know who but knowing what. By that I mean I needed a lawman with good investigative skills who’s on the tail end of his career and doesn’t really want to break a sweat to solve what’s obviously an open-and-shut case. Think Jesse Stone on his worst day. Except, unlike Jesse, Marshal Minot doesn’t have a good side.
About Missing Deposits: Carly looks forward to a vacation when Mike is hired to assist a rancher in western Colorado catalogue his mineral rights following the discovery of several large deposits. However, Carly soon learns that the real wealth—and the real danger—aren’t below ground. Someone is out to keep a secret bigger and more profitable than gold and copper. And they’re willing to kill for it.
About Leeann: Leeann Betts writes contemporary romantic suspense, while her real-life persona, Donna Schlachter, pens historical romantic suspense. In the Money is the tenth title in her cozy mystery series, and together she and Donna have published more than 30 novellas and full-length novels. They ghostwrite, judge writing contests, edit, facilitate a critique group, and are members of American Christian Fiction Writers, Writers on the Rock, and Sisters in Crime. Leeann travels extensively to research her stories, and is proud to be represented by Terrie Wolf of AKA Literary LLC.
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