You will laugh your way through this book and help Bonnie solve the murder. I couldn’t put it down…
by Michele Lynn Seigfried
~Shelley’s Book Case
As with the first two in this series, Seigfried artfully combined humor and mystery. Although part of a series, this can be read as a stand-alone.
~Christa Reads and Writes
~Christa Reads and Writes
(Jersey Shore Mystery Series Book 3)
File Size: 2293 KB
Print Length: 217 pages
A tale of kidnapping, murder, and neighbors you’d like to kidnap and murder…
Bonnie Fattori is a sexy, sassy, Italian Princess living in New Jersey. She’s loving life with a rich husband, beachfront living, and a promotion at work—until a new neighbor, Lyla Spratt, is determined to destroy her happiness.
After several run-ins with the unstable woman next door, Bonnie starts to suspect a connection between her new neighbor and the untimely death of a local resident, Polly Pitcher. She recruits her good friend Chelsey to help figure out if her suspicions are correct.
As the neighbors go head-to-head in a hilarious battle, Lyla is pushed to the brink of insanity. The more unhinged Lyla becomes, the more Bonnie’s life and the safety of her family are at risk. Can Bonnie find out what really happened to Polly Pitcher before it’s too late? A perfect read for those who like laugh-out-loud humor in their mysteries!
Michele Lynn Seigfried is an award-winning novelist, children’s book author/illustrator and public speaker who was born and raised in New Jersey. In her mystery novels, she draws from her personal expertise in the area of municipal government, in which she has served for over 16 years in two different municipalities. She holds a B.A. in communication from the College of New Jersey with a minor in art. She obtained the Master Municipal Clerk certification from the International Institute of Municipal Clerks in 2010. She also holds the Registered Municipal Clerk certification and Certified Municipal Registrar Certifications from the State of New Jersey. In combining her love of writing with art, Michele began writing and illustrating children’s picture books in 2013.
Michele is a member of Sisters in Crime, Sisters in Crime – Central Jersey, Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, New Jersey Author’s Network, International Institute of Municipal Clerks, Central Jersey Registrar’s Association, Municipal Clerk’s Association of New Jersey, and the Municipal Clerk’s Association of Mercer County, where she is currently President. She also serves on the New Jersey League of Municipalities’ Legislative Committee.
Michele is available for public speaking engagements such as book talks, seminars, readings, panel discussions, and other author events. Contact her for more information.Author Links:
3 Partners in Shopping Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! would like to thank author Michele Lynn Seigfried for sharing her thoughts with us today;
Creating Memorable Characters
By Michele Lynn Seigfried
Just what is it that makes some book characters more memorable than others? Their name? Is it their dialogue? Their description? Their goals, desires or motivations? Here is a list of ideas you can try to make your characters unforgettable.
- Use simple names. Make them easy to remember and easy to pronounce.
- Know your characters well! Create character sheets that include hair color, eye color, height, personality, career, education, values, beliefs, religion, background, mannerisms, and other physical attributes.
- Avoid some stereotypes. Real people don’t easily fit into perfect categories. They have hobbies, interests, eccentricities, quirks, friends, families, and enemies. Realistic characters are memorable.
- Give characters both internal and external conflict. Make them want something desperately and figure out how far they would go to get it. Give them a tough decision to make. Challenge them and take them out of their comfort zone. Put them in danger and think about how they would act based on their beliefs, education, values, and background. Conflict makes for more interesting reading. Readers will stand with the characters if their responses to situations are driven by their personality.
- Don’t love them too much! If you love your characters too much, you won’t want bad things to happen to them.
- Give your character goals, a purpose, desires or motivations. What do your characters want long term? How about short-term? Truth? Love? Happiness? Justice? Success? To solve a crime? To clear their name? To help a friend? To save your career? To save the world? Revenge? To hurt people? Power? Pleasure? Money? Is the intent good, but the methods wrong? How important is each of their goals? There can be varying degrees. Think about the driving force in their decisions.
- Give them flaws. No one likes a perfect character. It can be an addiction, disability, neurosis, a familiar weakness, a temper, or fear. A character could be too talkative, snobbish, pretentious, or absentminded. But, be careful not to overdo the quirks. It could make them seem too unbelievable. Make their flaws get in the way of achieving their goals.
- Dialogue and speech are important. Make it sound natural. People don’t always talk logically, eloquently or coherently. Sometimes, repetitious sayings can make a character very memorable. “I’ll get you my pretty!” Everyone knows who that is. A character can also use unique language and words that others don’t normally use.
- Characters should be true to their location. Think about where they are from and what unique things they enjoy from their area. Location can affect dialogue. Does the character have an accent? Do they swear a lot? Someone living in the projects probably wouldn’t talk like the owner of an expensive mansion. Location can affect how characters dress as well.
- Education levels and previous jobs matter. Sometimes, people with different educational levels and different job experiences think, talk, act, react, and dress differently.
- Characters should be consistent. Consistent with their outlook and the way they respond to circumstances. Extreme changes seem inauthentic and unrealistic. You’re more likely to lose the reader if your characters contradict themselves. A character should develop and have personal growth, but not change completely.
- Sympathy/Empathy—protagonists should be someone that people can empathize with and care about. If you make something unfair, devastating, or cruel happen to them, it will be easy for readers to sympathize with the character.
- Show, don’t tell. Show through explanations, tell through dialogue and actions.
- Observe others. Eavesdrop on strangers. Listen to them talk and make notes. What words do they use frequently? Note their age and pay attention to their silence. What are they wearing? Do they have any quirks? Make up your own version of their life story.
- Practice! Write more. Write essays about various characters—you don’t have to use them in your books, but you might find some you can use. Pretend you are interviewing them. Write about someone you know. Imagine where they live. Read other novels and evaluate the characters.
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February 2 – deal sharing aunt – Interview
February 3 – Community Bookstop – Guest Post
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February 5 – Christa Reads and Writesstrong> – Review
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