I met the character of my future novel in a library. She lay there, buried deep in the newspaper archives, demanding my attention. An old, yellowing clip, sharing detailed-details about her bust and conviction. 1930. She was sassy and charged with no piddly li’l crime, and I loved her for it.
The way the reporter wrote that story, I could tell he loved her too. Maybe not for what she did, or who she was, but because the “juice” she provided him with. Despite the 75 years and three generations that separate us, I knew how he felt as he hurried back to his office to type it up. When you read the work of another crime reporter, who’s passionate about a story, you can just feel it.
I’m just borrowing her name, and a few details from that newspaper article. I visit her from time to time, light a candle, and talk about what I’m doing. I believe she approves of the person I’m creating–what she does, says and feels, whom she loves, hates and disappears.
(I may or may not, have shared the contents of a hip flask with her.)