by Annie Callaghan
from Julie Hyzy's ARTISTIC LICENSE, a standalone romantic suspense
Some years ago...
before Grace Wheaton started solving murders at Marshfield Manor,
before Ollie whacked a White House intruder over the head with a commemorative frying pan,
and even before Alex St. James researched her first breaking story in Chicago...
I had an adventure.
My author, Julie, had been writing short stories and didn't actually believe she had what it took to write a successful novel, but she saw it as a challenge and decided it was time to find out once and for all. I remember the moment I came into existence. A bright shining light and then -- boom -- there I was, alive and on the page. I was Annie. Separated from my loser husband, about to embark on a new career as a muralist, and -- no, please, no -- pregnant.
I had energy, verve, and determination. And a baby on the way. I certainly didn't expect to solve a major art crime or get involved in murder. All I wanted was to create a life for myself and to put my creative talents to use to make the world a more beautiful place.
Speaking of which: here's a picture of a room I did for myself just to build up my portfolio. An entire jungle room (no, not like Elvis). This wall is Victoria Falls. The other side is Mount Kilimanjaro. I'd show you a photo of that side, but this side of the room is cleaner.
At the beginning of the novel, I run late for an appointment with what could be my first client. Why? Because mere moments after I took the pregnancy test, my phone rang. It was that loser husband I mentioned, Gary, calling to ask if I could run down to Cook County jail to bail him out.
Oh, yeah, this was a great way to start a new career.
At that point I didn't realize I was the main character in a romantic suspense. I just knew I was in trouble. No pun intended. But I survived. Don't worry, that's not ruining anything. I figure that as long as I'm writing this today, you already know I survived. It's how the story unfolded that made my life interesting.
After my adventure -- Artistic License -- was complete, my author received lots of mail asking if there would be more books about me. But I'm done. I don't think I could handle that kind of harrowing excitement more than once. My author agreed and it was at that point she came up with Alex St. James. I'm sure you'll meet her one of these days. She has a few tantalizing stories of her own.
All this brings me to my question. I'm not a series character. I'm a standalone. That sounds sad, doesn't it? Trust me, it's not. I'm where I need to be.
But I do feel a little left out when Alex, Ollie, and Grace all yap about what they've been doing and what crimes they've been solving. They also keep up with the rest of the Killer Characters here on the blog. It's a great group and I like them all, but I have to ask:
Do you have any non-series characters you can recommend? I'd like to visit with them and see what my standalone sisters (and brothers) out there are up to.
Thanks for visiting!
Annie's adventure, Artistic License, was first released in hardcover in 2004. It went into a second printing and into trade paperback and large print, but was eventually remaindered. Today Artistic License is available as a Kindle book or as a Nookbook. If you've read Annie's story, please consider posting a review on either Amazon or BN.com.