I am running this cute puppy photo as a cheap device to get you to read what I really DID write about today, which is how characters are defined by their "stuff." I hope it works ...
By Shane Gericke
Hi, ho! (Or is it, Heigh, ho!? I can never remember.) Rebecca is painting her nails today--er, nailing the final dramatic scene in her next book!--so you're stuck with me again.
Today, we are to discuss how clothes, cars, gadgets and other "stuff" help define our characters. But first, something fun, which is, believe it or not, related to the topic at hand:
It's a Colt revolver in .38 Special. It's covered in shiny silvery nickel, with handsome walnut grips. It belongs to Al Capone. The Al Capone of Chicago/gangsters/The Untouchables fame.
It's for sale.
Here's the link to the auction: http://www.christies.com/LotFinder/lot_details.aspx?from=searchresults&intObjectID=5459315&sid=b819d24b-5bbe-4ac1-99aa-5d77b3056b90
Yep, you could be the proud owner of one of Bad Al's famed "heaters." Since Criminal Minds readers are wealthy beyond measure, I thought you'd want to pick up this little six-shooter for yourself. And, then, mail it to me. Because Criminal Minds authors are NOT wealthy, and I'd desperately like to have this little "equalizer" for my cell in the word factory.
Which leads me to how this item is actually related to this week's topic . . .
My protag, police detective Emily Marie Thompson, is a regular kinda gal. She wears jeans with casual tops and Nike sneakers. She keeps her long chestnut hair (with natural henna highlights) in a purple scrunchie. She drives a black Honda Accord sedan, or did until her boyfriend, Marty Benedetti, smashed it into flinders (isn't that a great old-timey word, flinders?) while trying to rescue her from the clutches of a serial killer. She replaced it with a new Accord. In the first book, BLOWN AWAY, she carried a nondescript cellphone. In the third and current book, TORN APART, she's upgraded to an iPhone.
All nice and regular-ish, but not particularly memorable. Fortunately, there are three things that really DO define our Em:
1. She eats French vanilla ice cream every night (and the occasional morning). She uses a spoon from her childhood, because it's symbolic of her Dad. French vanilla was her father's favorite ice cream, because he was badly wounded in World War II, and French farmers saved his life by hiding him from the Nazis till he could walk again. Ever since he extolled all things French, from fries to films, and he gobbled down some French vanilla ice cream every night with his beloved daughter, Emily. After he died, she continued the tradition--and used his silver spoon.
2. When she's not driving her Accord, she's goosing a high-speed, low-drag Dodge Charger. It can do 160 mph on the straightaway, which generally is a rural stretch of interstate west of her home in the Chicago suburb of Naperville. She and the aforementioned Marty, a fellow police officer, are amateur racers, crazy about cars, and together with a friend who appears in TORN APART, turned her Charger into a street-racing muscle machine. She listens to head-banging metal music while she flies, windows down to feel the howl and rush in her ears. It makes her come alive.
3. But mostly, Emily Thompson is defined by her gun. She carries a one-of-a-kind Glock Model 17, a 9-mm. semiautomatic pistol that's one of the finest combat handguns ever made. She had it customized with night sights, hand-hugging grips, exquisitely sensitive trigger, polished mechanicals, the whole enchilada. As a cop battling ferocious serial killers, she's put it to very good use. Here's a photo, which I took after she sent it to me for safekeeping (just as you will that Capone pistol). Try not to drool:
Because as my dear pal and uber-novelist Toni McGee Causey likes to say, Girls Just Gotta Have Guns.
OW OW OW OW OW OW OWWWWWWWW!
Since we're talking guns, I thought I'd show this video, which features people to whom you should never, ever send a Capone pistol or anything else that goes "bang" or even "dribble."
Thanks for letting me play here today, and see you next time a CM needs the day off!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Shane Gericke finds out July 9 if his crime novel TORN APART wins the Thriller Award for Best Novel of 2010 (Paperback Original) by the International Thriller Writers, or if he remains the lonely, bitter loser that everyone assumes he is. Please pray for Mr. Gericke to win, as he requires the sales boost to keep his writing career going, which has to occur because he isn't remotely qualified to do anything else. Please visit him at his website, www.shanegericke.com.There are no cute puppy photos--a sad oversight--but there are the first chapters from all his books, a biography, purchasing links, foreign covers, and a bunch of other cool stuff. Again, it's www.shanegericke.com