21 Nov 2013

PI Sasha Jackson: She’s a Beautiful Mess, but You Should See the Other Guy...

By guest author Jill Edmondson

At the risk of offending everyone from the get-go, I think the pithiest description of my heroine Private Investigator Sasha Jackson came from my agent Angela. When she read my first book, Angela’s comment on Sasha was: “Girls want to BE her, guys want to DO her.” Except Angela used a different work than “do”.
I loved that comment because in so many ways it captures what I was going for when I began writing the Sasha Jackson Mysteries. My mental checklist included a whole bunch of top-drawer adjectives (attributes we all wish to apply to ourselves):
Sasha is indeed all of those things. She’s a hot blond, 5’9” and weighs about 125 lbs She has loyal friends, a close family, three guys in love with her, she’s well travelled, and she sings and plays the drums.
But wouldn’t a character who has it all together like that be annoying? And hard to believe?
So, I balanced things by making her flawed in a few different ways. First of all, she became a Private Eye when her first career choice – her passion – hit a brick wall. The backstory is that Sasha was a singer, doing the bar scene, playing county fairs and the odd corporate gig. But as her thirtieth birthday approached, she realized she was never going to be at the top of the charts, so she finally accepted the fact that music would never be a full time career for her. Failure in the music biz is part of what pushes her to succeed n her new PI gig. Thus, there is a layer of insecurity behind that veneer of confidence.
Secondly, while Sasha is astute, clever and street-smart, having her solve cases too easily would be annoying. It wouldn’t keep readers guessing (and it would have made the books really short!) In each case, Sasha screws up in such a way that she either puts herself in jeopardy, or does something that gets the right result, but the wrong way... and usually causes her a bit of embarrassment. For instance, she splits her jeans when she hops a fence to check out a villain, she gets pooped on by a pigeon when she’s enjoying a drink on a sidewalk cafe, she sets her hair on fire, her pink lace bra becomes a piece of evidence, she ends up in a nearly naked fist-fight, and she drunk dials her new boyfriend at three in the morning. Not only does she drunk dial him, but she says “I love you”... and he hasn’t said it yet! They’ve only been dating for about a month!
So, that’s a bit about Sasha. I have a great time writing her; it’s like getting together with one of the girls. In fact, if she were a real person, I’d be happy to hang out with her and grab a beer somewhere. Just not at a sidewalk cafe.

Misc. Info:
Twitter @JillEdmondson
Website www.jilledmondson.com
Blog www.jilledmondson.blogspot.com
Link to me & my stuff on AMAZON

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