Thursday, February 11, 2010

Guest Blogger - Mike Befler

The relationship between me and the protagonist in my geezer-lit mystery series, Paul Jacobson, is very special. When I start writing a character, I like to have a mental image. I keep a file of clippings of faces I’ve cut out of magazines. So with Paul, as with other characters I write about, I pick out a picture so I can visualize the character. I may borrow a few attributes of people I know for my characters but the vast majority is unique for the particular character.

 In Paul’s case, he’s a crotchety octogenarian with short-term memory loss who, in spite of not being able to remember yesterday, becomes an amateur sleuth and even has a romance with a young chick in her seventies. The idea for short-term memory loss came from my stepfather who suffered from dementia, although completely different symptoms than Paul’s.

My natural father was a punster, so Paul tells puns. I hate taking pills, so Paul has inherited this characteristic from me. But beyond that, everything else about Paul is unique to him.

He likes to cuss, he hates lawyers (based upon a bad experience with an attorney during his working career), detests going in the ocean and doesn’t want to have anything to do with computers. So no email, Myspace, Youtube, instant messaging or blogging for Paul.

But as you get to know him you find out he isn’t the curmudgeon he at first appears to be. He’s kind of like a fritter—crusty on the outside and warm inside. Paul may have a few snippets from people I know (including myself) but a whole lot of what is right for him.

5 comments:

  1. I have the second book in your series, I was rather shortsighted that day, and I'm off to order your first so that I can read them. I love the idea and your blog has made it even more appealing.

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  2. What a fun blog today! I loved it and Mike I'm betting you're crusty on the outside and soft in the middle.
    Pamela

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  3. Great post, Mike! And Pamela, I can tell you that Mike is a great guy, and I'd classify him as soft all over. He's definitely not as crusty as Paul. :)
    - Beth

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  4. Hi, Mike (and Pamela and Terri),
    Enjoyed your post, and the Geezer Lit books are a hoot. Will you be at Malice this year?

    Also, wanted to let you know I've nominated y'all for the Creative Writer Award (also known as the Bald-Faced Liar Award), for those of us who like making things up ;-)

    It's fun! Hope you'll particpate, and keep it going:

    http://ask-mama.blogspot.com/2010/02/flattered-or-insulted.html

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  5. Rosalee,
    Thanks for the nomination. I'll be at the Left Coast Crime Conference in Los Angeles in March but probably not Malice this year.
    Mike Befeler

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