Wednesday, March 3, 2010

And the Winner Is . . .

The voting last week, about whether or not I should “fudge the facts” about the legality of holographic wills in Minnesota, came down emphatically in favor of no fudge. So there’s a trip to Fargo in Betsy Devonshire’s future. I thank everyone for their thoughtful replies to my survey.

I went to the Red Wing (Minnesota) Public Library this past Saturday to give a talk on being a mystery author. It was a good, well-attended talk, and a number of the women who came wore hats -- I always wear a fancy hat at my appearances, this was a cute way of keeping me company. After my talk I called for questions. One woman remembered an incident in one of my books in which an extraordinarily handsome man comes into Betsy’s needlework shop to buy a yellow lab pattern. His name is Rick -- something; I can’t remember his surname. The questioner wanted to know what happened to Rick and if I would bring him back for an encore. I’ve thought about it and maybe I could. The problem is, I don’t remember which book Rick appeared in! I’m pretty sure it was one of the early ones, so now I’ve got to do some digging to look for him, so I can get his full name and remind myself what he looks like.

Red Wing is a very attractive riverfront city, quite old (for Minnesota), with an attractive downtown. It’s where a lot of famous pottery is made and where Red Wing Shoes is located. Their outlet store on the main street has the biggest shoe in the world in its front window -- a brown leather work shoe twenty feet tall, with laces as big around as my forearm. The Jolly Green Giant, another Minnesota native, could use a pair of them -- he’s usually depicted barefoot.

I decided, almost on a whim, that Jill and Lars and their two children need a dog, and that the dog should be a Newfoundland. Their regular house and their vacation cabin are both located on lake shores, and a Newfie is by instinct a powerful swimmer who will go to the rescue of anyone he sees struggling in the water. They are also wonderful with children -- the Victorians loved them. The Nanny in Peter Pan is a Newfie. But now that means I have to do some more research on them. I hope I can connect with someone in the area who has one, so I can spend some time with one. It's easier for me to write about something I have actually done or had contact with. Look for Bjorn as a puppy in Buttons and Bones this December.

11 comments:

Peg said...

Oh, a Newfie - a Canadian dog! I'm always happy to see Canadiana in anything I read. I'll be looking out for this book!!

Linda O. Johnston said...

Yay, Bjorn! I'll definitely watch for him, Monica. I enjoy giving talks, too. I was on a cruise last week and gave an enrichment talk onboard on how to write and sell your novel. A broad topic! Mostly, as I'd hoped, I answered a lot of really good questions. And I've learned to keep track of my series characters in separate computer files. Otherwise, I'd never remember who was where when.

Anonymous said...

go to www.ncanewfs.org (Newfoundland Club of America) and check their breeder list. There may be one in your area.

Monica Ferris said...

If I'd thought this series would go beyond the original three-book deal, I'd've done that, too. It is one of my biggest regrets that I didn't.

Kathryn Lilley said...

I changed a character name in the final edits last time, and for the life of me, I can't seem to stop using the first name I had for her. I even had a radio interviewer correct me when I used the original name instead of the final one. Talk about embarrassing.

Betty Hechtman said...

What a great idea, Linda. Monica, maybe you can you go to the files for each of your books and do a search for the word Rick?

Monica Ferris said...

Betty, do you know how many words have the letters "rick" in them? And how fond I seem to be of those words? We tried doing the search and found hundreds of entries. So I am scanning my books, reading a sentence on every page, looking for the incredibly handsome fellow who is in need of a cross stitch pattern for a yellow lab.

signlady217 said...

I found it! It's in book 6, Hanging by a Thread. In the paperback edition I have it starts at the bottom of page 159 and goes through the top of page 164. The character's name is Rik Lightfoot and he loves golden labs, crossstitching, and fly-fishing. And yes, he sounds absolutely dreamy!

I would have posted this info sooner, but had company over so I had to stop looking for a while. Glad I could help!

Camille Minichino said...

You can narrow the search using "Match case" and "Match whole words only." It will then find only Rick

not maverick, eg

Monica Ferris said...

I FOUND IT! And his name is Rik, not Rick, so that word search wouldn't work. But a search using Golden Lab did (I know, it's golden retriever, or yellow lab, a mistake I've regretted) -- but anyway, the fellow appears in Chapters eleven and twelve of Hanging by a Thread.

Terri Thayer said...

When friends came to visit with their Newfie, he spent a lot of time in the bathtub. We had a tiny apartment and it was summer. Those are big dogs!