Sunday, February 13, 2011

What Would Odelia Do ... That Sue Ann Won't

When thinking about this week’s question, I didn’t have to think twice about which of the protagonists from my three series I would write about. It fell naturally to Odelia Grey, the often cranky, sassy amateur sleuth of my Odelia Grey mystery series.

Book 6 in the series
If there is one character I write about that my readers identify most with me personally, it is Odelia.  She is a middle-aged, plus size paralegal. In addition to being a writer, I am a middle-aged, plus size paralegal. People who know me say they hear my voice when they read the books, which are written in first person. Odelia can be snarky (guilty), grumpy (guilty), given to emotional eating (guilty), loves cats (guilty) and is too nosey for her own good (yeah, that too).  Although, I confess, Odelia dresses better and swears less, and anyone who knows me will back that up.

But is there something Odelia would do that I would not do?  

That’s easy … Pretty much everything.

For one thing, because of the frequency with which she finds or becomes involved with bodies, Odelia’s friends have nicked named her “corpse magnet.”  I’d probably pee my granny panties if I ever stumbled upon a dead body.

And finding them isn’t enough. Odelia has to go on the hunt to find out all about them – how they got there, why and by who’s hand.  Me? I’d be punching up 9-1-1 so fast, I’d break a nail. And while I am curious by nature (preferred over “nosey”), I would never sneak around under windows, in bathroom stalls, or stow away in closets to find out what’s going on. She also lies like a rug to get her information, something I wouldn’t do. Not so much out of a sense of morality – though there’s that, too – but more because I’m a lousy liar and I’d rather people think I’m an idiot than a chronic and horribly bad fibber.

Then there’s the danger thing. Odelia is always knowingly putting herself in danger. It’s not that she’s stupid, but that the urge to get to the bottom of things is more powerful than her instinct to survive. She’s an optimist. No matter how bad the bad guys or how dangerous the situation, she trusts that somehow justice will win the day and she’ll be fine.

Yeah, right. I operate on the theory that unless you have Foster Farms or Purdue stamped on your thigh, chickens definitely live longer.

Then again, I’m positive there are lots of things I’ve done that Odelia would NEVER do.

But that information is best left for a different post.

Sue Ann Jaffarian


Hannah Dennison said...

I love Odelia. She's one of my favorite characters - she's smart, feisty and self-assured with a great sense of humor. I'm now curious about what Sue Ann won't do and suggest we meet for a bottle of wine. Soon.

Rebecca Cantrell said...

Great post! But now I want to read the second one. The one where we find out what you do that Odelia wouldn't. Hmmm....

Michael Wiley said...

Great post, Sue Ann. I like that Odelia willingly puts herself in dangerous situations. That's the mark of an exciting protagonist. We all shout, "Don't go into the basement." But she or he heads straight down the stairs.

Diana James said...

Rebecca - I have kept a list of the things Sue Ann has done that Odelia has not... it's a long one. Saving it for my tell-all book though!