Mystery author Joanna Campbell Slan shares what she has in common with her cozy series heroine, Kiki Lowenstein.
Once upon a time, a writing coach gave my critique group this sterling piece of advice: “Never, ever use your own life as the basis for a protagonist. Trust me. You’re just not that interesting.”
Since she was the expert and I was the beginner, I did the logical thing. I ignored her. I created Kiki Lowenstein, a spunky and good-hearted woman who regularly finds trouble stuck to the bottom of her shoes.
You see, I think most of us actually DO have interesting lives. And so I use my personal foibles regularly for material that (with a little tweaking) perfectly illustrates Kiki’s lack of pretensiousness.
For example, one day while on carpool duty, I drove away from a gas pump with the hose still attached. (Yeah, it was a real parenting low point. Or highpoint, depending on your sense of humor.) One of my son’s friends in the back seat tapped me on the shoulder and stuttered, “Uh…Mrs. Slan? Uh…there’s a…a hose hooked up to the car.”
“Whose car?” I asked.