Last week I was at a business meeting. During a break in the agenda, someone asked me about writing fiction. We talked briefly about the mysteries I enjoy reading and writing. Then they asked me about favorite characters. Specifically, they wanted to know about one I created and one I always enjoyed reading about.
In my teens, I got hooked on the stories of John D. MacDonald, particularly the Travis McGee series. McGee was not your traditional hero. His job was as a 'salvage consultant'. If someone stole half a million dollars in precious stones from you, he'd work out a deal to get them back. Whatever he recovered, you split fifty-fifty. Hey, a quarter of a million is better than nothing. McGee was big on friendship, living the good life in Florida and enjoying nature. Once he finished a job, he went into 'retirement', living off the money until another opportunity came his way.
It's difficult to pick one favorite of my own creations. But for the sake of the conversation, I chose Jefferson Chene. He's the protagonist for "Why 319?". Chene was abandoned at birth and was discovered near the intersection of Jefferson Avenue and Chene Street near downtown Detroit. A clerical error ended up tagging him with that name. As an adult, Chene is plagued with insomnia, uncertainty over his own heritage and a cynical nature that makes trust an issue. He has a small circle of friends and little success with romance. But he's a good cop. As I work on the sequel, it's a challenge fleshing out more details about his character. But that's part of the fun.
Here's a picture of what Chene might look like.
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