The tougher job comes in the sequel. Here, the main protagonist is Cailey, now seven years older, a budding teenager with a penchant for finding and landing in trouble. An even bigger puzzle, indeed! Ideally, meeting with a real-life individual who’d fit that persona, kind of like doing a ride-along or a Q&A with a real-life police officer to find out what he thinks and how he’d react to a given set of facts, allows me to delve into his psyche and reasoning as it pertains to fictional events.
A pair of veteran fathers: Brandon Mathiews, and my brother, Kevin Behr, gave me insight into the attitudes, emotions, and passions of an adolescent daughter. Researched material from books and the web as well as real-life accounts from CNN and MSN supplemented character development. The twelve (almost thirteen-year-old) Cailey has blossomed into a believable protagonist with an interesting character arc. And for those who haven’t read my previous Facebook posts, the inspiration for the fictional Cailey Marshall came from Detective Mathiews’ own daughter, Cailey (with his permission). My readers will let me know if I successfully pulled it off.
The third novel in the series will feature Cailey as a young adult in the 19-20 year old range, managing to find herself embroiled in another colossal mess: where, what, and how is yet to be determined.