Wicked Wednesday – the nine lives of our protagonists

Happy May, readers! This month’s Wicked Wednesday theme is nine lives – and a particularly fitting discussion as we continue our celebration of Death in a Blackout (congrats, Jessie!).

So Wickeds – The idiom nine lives refers to the ability to get out of dangerous or difficult situations without harm. What traits do your protagonists have that contribute to their ability to sustain one or all of their 9 lives? 

Edith/Maddie: Great question, and so many congratulations to Jessica! I can’t wait to dive into the new book.

Let’s see. Robbie Jordan is physically fit. She regularly goes for long grueling bike rides, and she also lifts heavy boxes and pots in the restaurant, so she can run or fight her way out of a jam fast if she needs to. Mac Almeida likes things orderly. She notices when something – or someone – is not where it is supposed to be. This helps Mac either evade danger for herself or go to the rescue of someone else.

Julie: Congratulations, Jessie! I’m so excited about this new series.

Lilly Jayne, from the Garden Squad series, takes her lifetime of experience and uses it to trust her gut, follow her heart, and look for ways to right what’s gone wrong. I will say that in this series, she’s used up a couple of lives, but all for good reasons.

Sherry: Jessie, I’m so happy for you and I can’t wait to read Death in a Blackout. I loved reading about your process yesterday. Chloe Jackson uses her skills as a former children’s librarian to help her solve mysteries. But she isn’t afraid to go out there and do some investigating too. Sarah Winston learned a lot about people from the constant moving from one military base to another. Her empathy and ability to read people has the police asking her for help.

Barb: Julia Snowden, of the Maine Clambake Mysteries, is smart, young, and fit from hard physical work at the Snowden Family Clambake. She has a handy insider/outsider view of her community which gives her a particular perspective on things that happen there. I’ve always thought of Jane Darrowfield, of the Jane Darrowfield Mysteries, as a twenty-first century Miss Marple. Jane Marple learned about human nature watching the citizens of St. Mary Mead. Jane Darrowfield learned in the bowels of corporate America. Plus, as a former co-worker once said to me, “Never underestimate the value of common sense. It’s in very short supply.”

Jessie: Thanks, everyone for your kind thoughts! This is a fun question, Liz! My sleuth Beryl Helliwell is an expert at squeaking past danger even though she loves to put herself in front of it. I think her boldness is the key for her. I doubt she would imagine things wouldn’t turn out as she wished! For my new protagonist, Billie Harkness, I think her fierce desire to make a real contribution helps her to move through and past troubles of all sorts. Having a more cautious partner probably helps her too!

Liz: Can’t wait to read the new book! In Violet’s case, she’s a strategist–and that definitely works out in her favor. Maddie is more impulsive, but she’s super smart and knows how to get what she wants. It’s definitely a skill she’s used in her favor.

Readers, what skill do you think has helped you navigate the world best? Leave a comment below!

11 Thoughts

  1. Kudos Jessica, and thanks for asking, Liz! My favorite learned skill is the ability to solve problems. In the corporate world, I saw coworkers avoiding issues. In contrast, the few who stepped up and solved challenges also moved up. The problem-solving skills gained in that phase of my life now help me navigate the twisted path to plan, write, edit, and publish a book.

    Anyone willing to study and practice can learn to fulfill their dream of writing a book, dispelling the myth you must possess innate writing talent.

      1. Yes! I have a strong prejudice for excellence and a powerful bias toward action.

  2. Boy, Barb, your saying about common sense being in short supply is dead on lol! I think finding happiness in the day-to-day little things in life is a good quality of mine.

  3. Congratulations, Jessie! I’ve been looking forward to this book.

    I’d say my patience and ability to logically think through something helps (and in reverse, when I’m impatient and dive right in, I get myself in a world of hurt).

  4. Love all the answers – and all the books. I’m good at looking ahead and thinking what could occur, so I plan accordingly. That goes for everything from what order to put the dishes in the drainer so they don’t topple over to major vacations. I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about any of it, it just seems to be the way my mind works. Saves me from a lot of mistakes. Not that I always manage to avoid mistakes by any means. 🙂

  5. Yes. I am disabled. There is a lot of time that people exclude me for activities that I could participate. I know that above all else, I am seen by my heavenly Father. Thank you for sharing. God bless you.

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