Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Clare Vengel's Bad Habits

This week’s question: What bad habits does your protagonist have, and do you share them?

Clare Vengel drives too fast, she weaves through traffic on her motorcycle.

I drive a motorcycle, but I prefer backroads with low speed limits and I would never weave through traffic. At Clare's age I took more risks, though. When I think of some of them I cringe and feel lucky to be alive.

Clare smokes.

I smoked through my 20s; now I'm going for long term health.

Clare drinks too much. She drinks when she's angry, bored, frustrated, or just because it's night.

I love alcohol, but I couldn't drink a tenth of what Clare can. Even at her age, I would have had trouble.

Clare sleeps with lots of men.

I'm married, so I don't. But I share her attitude toward sex. When you're committed, you're committed--there's nothing good that can come from lying to your partner or cheating on them. When you're not, it makes sense to play the field as enthusiastically as possible, because how will you find real love if you're not open to exploring?

Clare gets hall passes from her relationships back home so that her cover character is free to pursue all leads in any case. She will happily jump into bed with a hot suspect.

My marriage has no such hall passes.

Clare swears because she likes the sound of it.

I swear because I like the sound of it too, but in my old age (she's 24; I'm 38) I temper my language based on my audience. For example, I try my hardest to speak cleanly around my mother-in-law.

Clare blocks people from getting too close to her.

I used to try to be emotionally contained, like Clare. But I think this is another function of age: I've loosened up a lot and prefer to connect with people more fully. I'm enjoying life a lot more now, and so will Clare once she gets there.

In cool other news:

I'm releasing Dead Politician Society as a free e-serial on Wattpad. The first three chapters went live yesterday, and I'll be adding chunks each Monday until the book is complete.


Barry Knister said...

I was never a wild and crazy guy, but when young I had my moments. The central character in my Brenda Contay mystery series is a little like Clare Vengel. But in The Anything Goes Girl, Brenda's wild days are now back story. In this sense, she is like me. She has no regrets about her "bad-girl" past, but is happy to have mellowed.

Susan C Shea said...

Wild and crazy, huh? Not you, of course. I meant your protagonist. ;-)