A Multicultural View
With each book I feel I’m learning more about what I want to do with my writing but especially what I want to say. The town of Leeward is peopled with a variety of personalities, races, religions and ethnicities, much like the community where I live. I want it to represent my home but more importantly, I want to represent the place it could be.
In Janie’s Secrets I introduce two characters, one, an older lady whom I say is from southern Asia without being specific and her granddaughter who is half-Cambodian. My eldest daughter-in-law is Cambodian, a beautiful and amazing woman. I want to portray a character with similar attributes without infringing too much on the privacy of my DIL. Y’all know I use family and friends to influence my characters. Sometimes it might be in how they look, other times it is an attitude or aptitude that I need to borrow but while the character maybe inspired by my friend or family member, they aren’t that person. I take one or two pieces and create a character who is uniquely their own.
But in my warped mind it just made sense that Chanthou would be the muse for Sothy Chhan because her husband, my oldest son is the muse for my character Remy Harrell. Before those of you who know Dustin, start giving me lip because Remy is sort of the bad guy, remember the keyword is muse. As the older brother Dustin could be bossy, he is also very analytical, he has a strong personality and he tends to take charge. These are not all bad attributes but add in a little JR Ewing from the 1970-80’s television drama Dallas, a little imagination and we have Remy Harrell. Remy isn’t bad, but he has learned that sometimes you have to do bad things to get the results you want. He often makes the gray choice for the greater good. I think Remy is basically a good guy who has to live in a bad world. He’ll try it the right way, then he’ll get it done.
Remy and Sothy will have their stories later but for now, I hope you will enjoy Janie’s Secrets.
Those of you who receive my newsletter know there is a second chance romance at play here between librarian, Janie Harrell and Leeward’s Police chief, Mike McKenzie. The story-line from The Leeward Files continues but now we are focusing on one family in The Harrell Family Chronicles.