Let Me Tell You About My Sister...
When I go places to promote my books, I usually begin with an introduction to the Sleuth Sisters, explaining that Barb and Faye start a detective agency but don't want Retta involved because she's so very bossy. Audiences get a kick out of Barb's penchant for secretly correcting grammatical errors around her home town. Some who've read the books tell me what a sweetie Faye is, and a few have confessed that though they didn't like Retta at first, she's become tolerable because her strengths contribute to the agency's success.
What's most rewarding about talking to audiences about the books is that women tend to compare their own sibling relationships to my characters' situation. "I have a sister who--" or "There are four of us and--" and interestingly enough, "I'm the bossy one in my family. I'm Retta." They see their own families in the Sleuth Sisters, and they try to decide which sister they're most like.
If I have a plan in mind (and I really don't; I just have fun with it) it's to show that each of us has worthwhile qualities. We get angry with our siblings. We discuss them with other siblings and wonder how that loon got born into our family. But in our hearts we know their value, having grown up with them. Barb knows Retta would wade into Hell to save her. Retta knows Faye will always be understanding. Faye knows Barb always considers her welfare and tries to protect her from life's pummeling.
After all, they're sisters.
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