Courageous Characters: What if?

What If?

Wow! How much do we love those courageous characters? You know, the brave men and gutsy heroines that seem to ooze nerves of steel from their very pores. As authors we send our characters into situations we would never, ever, not-in-a-million-years get ourselves into. And then we have the audacity to ask our characters to prevail with keen finesse and dashing good looks. Well, okay, maybe a little stubble on their chin. Ahhh, they are everything that we are not—and that’s the beauty of it all, isn’t it?

I love to write in the evening, it is the quiet time of day, and my thoughts turn to my latest cozy mystery. What debacle I will ask Fiona Quinn or Alexa Owl to handle this time? I finish cleaning up the dinner dishes, check to see what my husband is watching on TV, and usually uninterested, I pour myself a glass of wine, and retire downstairs to my office where my characters live inside my computer. They are waiting for me—sometimes in a panic, depending on what state of affairs I’ve left them in the last time we met. I click on the file, take a deep breath, a sip of the wine, re-read what I wrote the night before, and then I ask myself one question: what if?

Sometimes, I swear I hear them groan when the what if tumbles from my lips.

Truth be told, we authors’ really don’t live exciting or death-defying lifestyles. Nonetheless, at the end of our fingertips we wield the sword of courage at our characters and expect them to deliver accordingly. Is it because we wish that our lives were as sexy as theirs? Are we cowardly thrill-seekers? You bet.

Ahhh, at last the dishes are neatly stacked in the washer. My husband is watching TV. I’ve just poured myself a glass of Pinot Noir and I’ve descended the stairs to my office. My cocker spaniel, Allister, has followed me and is getting comfortable in his little bed in the corner. I boot up my laptop, and after a few clicks, the screen displays my latest manuscript, Deep Blue Murder, book eleven, from the Fiona Quinn Mysteries. As I take a sip of the wine, I sag deeper into the chair. Hmmmwhat if?

CS McDonald

For twenty-six years C.S. McDonald’s life whirled around a song and a dance. She was a professional dancer and choreographer. During that time she choreographed many musicals and an opera for the Pittsburgh Savoyards. In 2011 she retired from her dance career to write. Under her real name, Cindy McDonald, writes murder-suspense and romantic suspense novels. In 2014 she added the pen name, C.S. McDonald, to write children’s books for her grandchildren. Now she adds the Fiona Quinn Mysteries to that expansion. She decided to write the cozy mystery series for her young granddaughters.

Ms. McDonald resides on her Thoroughbred farm known as Fly by Night Stables near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with her husband, Bill, and her Cocker Spaniel, Allister.

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