Today we welcome an old friend back to the blog: NYT Bestselling author Victoria Laurie!
Victoria is the author of the NYT bestselling Psychic Eye series, featuring Abby Cooper, and the Ghost Hunter series featuring MJ Holliday! Her latest release in the Psychic Eye series, FATAL FORTUNE, debuts today in bookstores (and Kindles and Nooks) everywhere!)
So, without any further adieu...here's Victoria!
Who’s The Real Watson, Sherlock?
One of the biggest dilemmas for any mystery writer to tackle is not so much the fleshing out of the protagonist, (that part is relatively easy as it’s often simply the author’s alter-ego), but the creation of the perfect plucky sidekick.
Sidekicks come with certain requirements; namely, they must be able to think on their own but not overshadow or outthink the protagonist. They must also be willing to put up with the quirks, eccentricities, and character flaws of the protagonist, and they must do that with no small amount of enthusiasm, understanding, and loyalty.
In other words, they’re there to assist with helping to round out the central character, offer assistance, understanding, and every once in a while, even save the day.
But by definition, their personality is typically muted compared to the central character. They’re colored in shades of grey rather than the primary pallet of the protagonist. That’s what makes them such a challenge to write, because they have to remain somewhat neutral while still being interesting.
I will readily admit that it took me a few books to come up with a suitable sidekick for Abby Cooper, my protagonist in the Psychic Eye Mysteries, and when I finally settled on P.I. Candice Fusco, I did so with the thought that, should I ever need someone a little more vibrant, I could ditch Candice and make the switch.
And then a funny thing happened as I continued with the series. Candice’s greys became more and more intriguing. I liked that her background was a bit mysterious and full of unconventional experiences. In fact, I purposely gave my fans glimpses at a history that asked more questions than it answered, which also allowed Candice a wealth of experiences to draw from, and honed her personality to be the deep thinker between the Abby/Candice duo. By making Candice such a strong sleuth in her own right, she became the perfect counterpart for Abby, who doesn’t so much think as sense. And I was delighted when, after pairing Abby and Candice up for several books, the duo gradually became more than the sum of their parts.
Still, to be honest, I’ve always held back on revealing more about Candice than I could have…until now.
Fatal Fortune, the twelfth installment in my Psychic Eye Mysteries debuts with a murder committed by Abby’s beloved, trusted sidekick and delves into much more about Candice’s persona and all that fans thought they knew about her. In writing the story I found that it was a wonderful opportunity to dive into the darker side of a very private and mysterious character and one I truly couldn’t pass up because I didn’t think anything could rattle Abby more than discovering that her BFF might not be the really good person – or close friend – she’s portrayed herself to be throughout the books.
As I wrote the story I kept thinking about everyone’s favorite original sleuth, Mr. Holmes, and what he would do if he discovered Watson to be a cold-blooded killer. How far would he have gone to try to clear Watson’s name and discover the truth, even if it led him to a conclusion that would break his heart.
So I hope you enjoy this installment of the Psychic Eye Mysteries – Fatal Fortune, (available July 1st, 2014). And perhaps you’ll come away with a much deeper understanding of one of my favorite sidekicks.
Or not… J