Steve Martaindale

Author of the JP Weiscarver Mystery Series

Name search continues

Experience preferred

Creating a fictional character sometimes means stepping out of one’s comfort zone. Go ahead, it’s worth it. But don’t look down.

Truth is, I’m not near the point of writing about the next fan-named character in my new book, so nominations remain open. With apologies to the two contributors I’ve heard from so far, I know from experience there are more coming.

The idea, should you be new to this, is that every one of my first five JP Weiscarver Mystery Series books contains someone whose name and character description was suggested by a reader.

In the next book, “The Reporter and the Apricot,” the character for whom I’m soliciting a name is a newspaper carrier, which means he or she delivers papers between about midnight and 5 a.m. What you contribute is a name (many people add nicknames, but that really isn’t necessary unless the character deserves it) and, most importantly, information about this character. That can include physical description, other work, hobbies, family, proclivities, history … just about anything.

In this instance, the description you give me will primarily provide elements for discussion between JP and the carrier while the reporter is doing a ride-along to write a story about the Odds and Ends carriers. Something might work its way into solving the murder; one never knows.

If I select your contribution, the reward is having your name included on the acknowledgments page of the book and receiving a personalized and autographed copy of the paperback.

Send your nomination to me via personal message or email.

To give you a further idea of how far you can go, here is the winning contribution for “The Reporter and the Sloth”:

Matt “Matty” Davis

He pitched the Oldport High School baseball team to the state finals his senior year and was drafted by the Chicago Cubs. After working through three years in the minors, mostly as a starter, he was a September call-up, pitching 6.2 innings in relief in four appearances, striking out five and walking none. He was hit by a drunk driver the following New Year’s morning, which shattered his arm and his career. He had protected his money and used it to open a sports store. He also coaches and officiates various youth leagues, and he talks to high school students about drinking and driving. He’s 6’3 and still in decent shape, though a little more than the 200 pounds he was in high school. Married a first-grade teacher he met while pitching AAA. No kids though they tried, but he’s got a ton of kids through the youth leagues. And he secretly provides free gloves and cleats to poor kids through the YMCA. He also enjoys a cold beer, watching games at the local sports bar, and playing pool (on which he’s been known to win a few bucks). His baseball career kept him from extending his education beyond high school, but he’s an obviously intelligent person, who is well-read and keeps up to date.

Obviously, not all of that was used in the book, but it gave me plenty to work with. And you never know what will happen. In “Marmot,” the character suggested for a car saleswoman became a central figure in the story.

That’s all. Get creative.

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One response to “Name search continues

  1. Pingback: Final warning | Steve Martaindale

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