Character Spotlight: Lesley Chapman

CS Lesley Chapman

At the beginning of the year, I had a Character Spotlight once a month for characters from my latest work in progress. I haven’t done it in a while, but since it’s NaNoWriMo, I figured I’d bring it back for characters in Second Chances.

Hopefully it’ll spark your interest in the novel and hopefully help me out with character development as I go further into the plot.

Questions for the Author

What is your character’s name? Does he/she have a nickname?

Lesley Chapman is the female protagonist. She’s doesn’t have any nicknames as of yet. She’s not really close to anyone (yet).

What color is his/her hair? What color are his/her eyes?

Her hair is a light brown, just like her mother, reaching down a little past her shoulders. She has brown eyes, just like her father.

Who are your character’s friends and family?

Lesley grew up as an only child. She lived with her mother and father. She was always on her own agenda and constantly on the move keeping busy. Because of that, she didn’t have many friends as she barely made time for them.

Where does your character live?

Lesley lived in the house with her parents, but now that she’s dead she lives in Purgatory where she’s waiting to get into Heaven. So, she’s not really “living” anywhere.

What is his/her biggest fear?

Ironically enough, her biggest fear was death. Now that she’s dead, she sees everything in a different light.

Has your character ever been in love and/or had a broken heart?

I don’t have an outline for this novel and Lesley has yet to mention a love interest, whether it was a crush or an actual relationship.

What kind of clothes does he/she wear?

Lesley enjoys being casual. She dresses in blue jeans, sneakers, and plain solid-colored shirts.

What is he/she doing on his/her day off?

Lesley always liked to be busy. Even on her days off, she would find something to do.

What is his/her overall personality like?

Lesley is a friendly person, but she’s grown selfish over the years. She’s finding it harder to put others before herself. She doesn’t like to be told what to do. Right now, as a ghost, she’s getting a bit of a reality check.

Questions for the Character

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

“I completed college before anyone else in my high school class. I started college my sophomore year of high school knowing what I wanted to do with my life. I was fortunate to get a head start on my career. I have a degree at the age of 20.”

What is it that you most dislike?

“I hate it when people are selfish. Ezekiel hates it when I say that because he says I was selfish. I don’t see it, yet.”

What is your greatest regret?

“I regret not giving enough time to my friends and family. Life is short and I learned that the hard way.”

What is your best trait?

“I try to please people whenever I can. I don’t always succeed, but you can’t make everyone happy. The world is a tough crowd.”

What is your worst flaw?

“I overwork myself. I like keeping busy, but because of that I leave no room for fun. I haven’t seen my friends in a long time because of that.”

What is your hobby?

“I love to read. I always hoped there was a greater world out there than the one I was born into. Reading helps me go to those places.”

Who do you most admire?

“My mother. She is always able to hold her chin up high when the going gets rough. I try to be strong like her.”

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Character Spotlight: Xavier Barron

Questions for the Author:

What is your character’s name? Does he/she have a nickname?

One of the male characters in Detective Florence is Xavier Barron. He does not have any nicknames because he doesn’t like them.

What color is his/her hair? What color are his/her eyes?

Xavier has short, slick back hair. He has brown eyes.

Who are your character’s friends and family?

Xavier doesn’t have too many friends. He used to be very good friends with George, but they lost touch when George lost his job at the police station. Ever since then Xavier has had a bad attitude and no one really wants to be around him. He’s kind of a loner and no one knows what changed him. No one knows anything about his family. He doesn’t like to talk about his personal life.

Where does your character live?

Again, Xavier doesn’t like to discuss his personal life. No one knows where Xavier lives, whether it’s an apartment or a house, if he lives alone or with roommates or even with pets.

What is his/her biggest fear?

Xavier’s biggest fear is not being a good detective. He always tries to do the best he can and he doesn’t like to receive help from anyway. He has big plans for his career and hopes he doesn’t mess it up.

Has your character ever been in love and/or had a broken heart?

Xavier has never been in love, but he has had a broken heart. As the author, that’s all I can say for now.

What kind of clothes does he/she wear?

Xavier always wears suits. Even on his day off, he doesn’t like to dress down.

What is he/she doing on his/her day off?

Xavier tries to constantly work. If he’s in the middle of a case and he has a few hours off at the end of the day, he still tries to figure it out. When he’s home, he tries to keep his mind sharp by doing puzzles or riddles. He can’t sit still and always has to be on the move.

What is his/her overall personality like?

Xavier has changed since George left the police station. He used to be friendly and laid back. Now he’s serious and tense which is a turn off for everyone else.

Questions for the Character:

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

“My greatest achievement is becoming a detective. George and I used to be partners, but when he got let go I was bumped up in the ranks. I learned a lot while working with George, but I think I’ve learned more without him. I’m happy I was able to continue doing my best without him.”

What is it that you most dislike?

“I hate being wrong or being helped. George’s new agency is so annoying because he’s always trying to butt into our work. If there’s a case, I can handle. I don’t even need Barney to help me out.”

What is your greatest regret?

“I guess I feel a little bad for not being able to maintain my relationships with my co-workers. But it’s not my fault none of them work as hard as I do.”

What is your best trait?

“I’m great at what I do. I’m an awesome detective, I’ve solved a lot of crimes and I’ve helped a lot of people.”

What is your worst flaw?

“I’ll admit it, I’m not a people person. I’m able to help people when there’s a crime that needs to be solved, but I have a hard time when it comes to dealing with friends or family or anyone else. I don’t know what to do if there’s no evidence.”

What is your hobby?

“Puzzles and riddles. I don’t really enjoy watching TV. Occasionally I will read a book, but I don’t have much time to have a hobby. I work too much.”

Who do you most admire?

“It’s hard to pick someone I admire. There have been some pretty great detectives way back when. I can only hope I can be remembered just as great as those guys.”

Character Spotlight: Barney Florence

Questions for the Author:

What is your character’s name? Does he/she have a nickname?

One of the male characters in Detective Florence is Barney Florence, who is the main character’s older brother. He does not have any nicknames.

What color is his/her hair? What color are his/her eyes?

Barney looks similar to his little brother, George. He has light brown hair with brown eyes so dark you can barely see his pupils.

Who are your character’s friends and family?

Barney has a large family as he is one child out of seven. He tries to keep in touch with all his siblings and even his mother, but it’s hard with his job as a police officer. It’s easier to stay in touch with some siblings over others because they work together in the law enforcement field.

Where does your character live?

Barney lives in a small studio apartment by himself. The apartment doesn’t have a lot of furniture and is pretty bland as he isn’t there very often. He’s usually working or he’s out with some friends.

What is his/her biggest fear?

Barney’s biggest fear is getting hurt in the line of duty… again. While chasing down a couple of robbers, Barney was shot in the leg. He had to take leave from work for a few months. When he came back, he started off staying in the office doing paperwork afraid to get back out onto the field. He has worked his way up yet again and is now a police officer once more.

Has your character ever been in love and/or had a broken heart?

Barney has never been in love or had a broken heart. He tries to go out as often as he can and meet new people. Being in his early 30s, he really hopes to someday get married and start a family.

What kind of clothes does he/she wear?

Barney always dresses up. If he’s not in his police uniform, he’s most likely in a suit or slacks. It’s very rare to see Barney in jeans or sweats.

What is he/she doing on his/her day off?

Barney enjoys watching criminal shows on TV. He enjoys watching the mystery and thriller movies in the dark with a big bowl of popcorn. However, he tends to rope others into watching these movies with him because, to him, it’s a lot more fun with other people.

What is his/her overall personality like?

Barney is serious at work and he gets stressed out easily. When he’s stuck on a case, he internally panics. He tries to hide it, but most people know by the look on his face. However, he does a good sense of humor and knows how to have fun with family and friends.

Questions for the Character:

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

“I think my greatest achievement would be going to back to work. I know that might seem a bit odd, but when I got shot in my right leg, it was questionable if that leg was going to be paralyzed for the rest of my life. Thankfully, my leg healed nicely and even though I was nervous about going back to work, I stuck it out because it’s what I love to do. I climbed the ladder again and I’m back where I belong; out in the field.”

What is it that you most dislike?

“I hate unfinished paperwork. Most people hate doing paperwork at work because it’s tedious and time consuming, but I actually don’t mind it. It really irks me when I’m delayed in finishing my paperwork. I’d rather fill it all out right away while the information is fresh in my mind.”

What is your greatest regret?

“I don’t have any regrets that I can think of. I’ve always done what I thought was right at the time, so I don’t think that’s anything to worry about. You can’t fix the past and worrying about the past certainly isn’t going to help improve your future.”

What is your best trait?

“I’m very efficient. If there is something that needs to get done whether it has to do with work or not, I’ll get it done right away and I’ll do it right the first time. That’s why my mother calls me all the time if she needs help with something because she knows that I’ll come help her right away.”

What is your worst flaw?

“I work too much. I can admit that. I’m barely home because I’m always putting in overtime at my job to solve a case, finish paperwork, or help someone else with something. The chief has actually had to tell me to go home on some nights because he would catch me sitting at my desk doing research for a case or something of the like.”

What is your hobby?

“I love watching mystery movies. I don’t know if watching movies can be considered a hobby, but I love solving mysteries. I try to find new mystery movies often for a fresh case.”

Who do you most admire?

“I admire my mother the most. She was the one who always encouraged me to go through with law enforcement. She took care of me when my leg was injured and she pushed me to go back to work when I was just about to give up. Plus, she took care of me and my six siblings all on her own. That alone deserves a gold medal.”

Character Spotlight: Lilah Williams

Questions for the Author:

What is your character’s name? Does he/she have a nickname?

The female protagonist in the Detective Florence series is Lilah Williams. She helps George with his freelance cases even though she’s a mere young adult without any experience in law enforcement. She does not have any nicknames, but if she’s annoying enough George may have a few choice words to say about her.

What color is his/her hair? What color are his/her eyes?

Lilah has thin, red hair flowing down to her waist. Her eyes are a bright green. George thinks she looks like an anime character.

Who are your character’s friends and family?

Lilah is an only child. She moved out of her house the moment she turned 18-years-old. Her father passed away when she was a baby and since then there was always some friction between her and her mother.

Where does your character live?

Lilah lives in a small apartment building. The apartment is big enough just for her; a small kitchen and living room, a bedroom, and a bathroom. She only gets along with her elderly neighbor. She can’t stand her landlord.

What is his/her biggest fear?

Lilah’s biggest fear is that she will not be able to make her mother proud. Lilah wants to be a published author. Her mother hoped she would try for a more “steady” job, so Lilah is determined to be a writer despite the lack of encouragement from her mother.

Has your character ever been in love and/or had a broken heart?

No, she has never been in love. Lilah is 20-years-old and while she goes to school, has friends, and meets a lot of people, she’s never been interested in starting a relationship. She’s been too busy focusing on her studies and writing career.

What kind of clothes does he/she wear?

Lilah likes to wear light blouses and jeans. She doesn’t enjoy the cold very much, but she prefers to wear short sleeves as though it was summer all year long. Since she can’t wear flip-flops in the winter, she sticks with sneakers. No matter how much snow is on the ground, she’ll still wear sneakers.

What is he/she doing on his/her day off?

She tries to do a lot on her day off. She’s either doing homework or she’s writing. Sometimes she’ll be cleaning because she can be a bit of a neat-freak. Lilah always feels the need to be busy so she is constantly on the go. Every once in a while, she’ll stop to play some Mario Kart, but it’s not often.

What is his/her overall personality like?

Lilah acts like a child most of the time. She is outgoing, head-strong, and can be boisterous at times. She doesn’t have a filter and tends to speak before she thinks. It usually gets her in trouble, but she always has a way to get out of it.

 

Questions for the Character: 

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

“I think going to school would be my greatest achievement. I never thought I was going to go to college once I finished high school simply because I didn’t like school. I didn’t think I was going to be motivated to go to class and do homework. Once I moved out of my mom’s house, I felt like an adult and thought I would give it a try. I wanted to do something with my writing and I thought learning different techniques through a classroom with adults in the same boat as me would be a good experience.”

What is it that you most dislike?

“I don’t like messy rooms. That’s why it’s kind of tough being around George sometimes. He has good organization skills when it comes to his job, but when it comes to keeping his home clean… not so much. I try to clean around him, but he gets mad because then he ‘can’t find anything’ which I think is a load of crap.”

What is your greatest regret?

“I didn’t get to know my father and in some ways, my mother. I know it’s not my fault—nor in my control—that he passed away when I was a baby, but it was partially because he died that I didn’t have a good relationship with my mother. We were never close so we never had that mother/daughter bonding time. Because of that, I never felt comfortable enough to ask her about my dad.”

What is your best trait?

“I am very observant and I take good notes. Whenever George and I go to a crime scene and something needs to be solved, I can pick up most clues and I write a lot of notes down in my notebook. I always carry that with me no matter where I am.”

What is your worst flaw?

“I don’t know when to quit. There have been a couple of times George has had to hide case files on me because I constantly try to solve them. I work until I’m too exhausted to work anymore and even then I still try to keep going.”

What is your hobby?

“Writing is definitely my hobby and I hope to someday make it my career. I would love to have the opportunity to write all day long. Of course, now that I’ve been hanging out with George and helping him out with his cases, I would like to say solving crimes is another hobby of mine… but that sounds kind of weird.”

Who do you most admire?

“I think I most admire my father, even though I never knew him. However, I’ve been learning a lot about him as George and I try to figure out his death. George has also told me a lot about him, too. My dad took his job seriously and he never gave up on anyone or his cases. He was always willing to help others.”

Character Spotlight: George Florence

Questions for the Author

What is your character’s name? Does he/she have a nickname?

The male protagonist in the Detective Florence series is Detective George Florence himself. He does not have any true nicknames, but Lilah sometimes calls him “Jorge” or “Georgie” mostly to annoy him.

What color is his/her hair? What color are his/her eyes?

George has short, wavy brown hair with chocolate eyes.

Who are your character’s friends and family?

George has a big family that he doesn’t talk about very often. He has six siblings that he’s not very close to, but they still manage to help each other out. He’s also a bit of a loner so at the moment his only friend is Lilah as he doesn’t get out very much.

Where does your character live?

George lives in a small two-story building that is both his workplace and his home. The first floor contains his office, a bathroom, and a waiting room for clients in his private investigator agency. The second floor is the kitchen, living room, his bedroom, etc.

What is his/her biggest fear?

Failure. George has been laid off from the police department so in his mind he already failed once. Now that he has his own investigative practice he feels more worried than ever. If he fails, he’s not only lose his job, but most likely his home as well. It’s a big risk.

Has your character ever been in love and/or had a broken heart?

Yes and yes. Of course, I can’t say too much because then I would be giving away a crucial part to a future novel.

What kind of clothes does he/she wear?

George dresses professionally, but simple. He wears the standard suit and tie and has a favorite beige trench coat he wears when he goes out. That makes him feel just like the detectives in the old movies.

What is he/she doing on his/her day off?

George loves to prop his feet up, lean back on the couch with a cozy blanket and the fireplace roaring while watching a good film noir movie. He enjoys the peace and quiet and doesn’t like to do anything too fancy.

What is his/her overall personality like?

George, for the most part is pretty quiet. He knows when to be serious and when to be silly. He’s typically quiet, but can be loud; especially since he’s a detective. He can make sarcastic remarks and has the ability to lose his patience quickly, but he’ll try not to show it. If he’s annoyed, he’ll utter a remark to himself or subtly roll his eyes. However, now that Lilah is in the picture, George is opening up more and more.

Questions for the Character

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

“I believe my greatest achievement would be opening my private investigator agency. It’s not something I would have thought I would ever do—or ever needed to do for that matter. However, I did it. I just need to figure out how to get more cases, that’s all.”

What is it that you most dislike?

“Coffee. Ugh, I can’t even stand the smell. It’s so bad for you, too. It stains your teeth, it has caffeine in it which keeps you up all night, it dehydrates you… and yet, Lilah has it all the time. I’ve lost count how many cups a day she has. It’s completely disgusting.”

What is your greatest regret?

“I think my greatest regret is not being able to help my friends. I was unable to help my girlfriend and that ended in tragedy and a few years later I was unable to help my partner on the police force. That also ended in tragedy. I had no idea anything was wrong, either. If I had just said or done something differently, then maybe things wouldn’t be the way they are now.”

What is your best trait?

“I’m a good detective. I know that may sound a bit cocky, but it’s what I do. Through being a good detective I’ve learned to be compassionate, understanding, and I’ve learned when to listen. It’s all I know how to do. I went to college and received my Master’s in Criminal Justice, I went to the Police Academy, and I’ve worked my way up to detective status. I’ve done a good job on every case I’ve worked on. I think I would be lost if I didn’t have this job.”

What is your worst flaw?

“Well, I am pretty decent at a lot of things… I guess I would have to say organization. Nothing in my house has its own spot. However, I do know where everything is. Then Lilah cleaned everything up one time and I couldn’t find anything. She found great amusement in that, but it was more of an inconvenience to me. I’ve tried to keep it neat and tidy since then, but it’s tough.”

What is your hobby?

“I enjoy doing puzzles. Word searches, Sudoku, riddles, or even floor puzzles. It clears my mind and relaxes me. I don’t like crossword puzzles, though. Those give me a headache.”

Who do you most admire?

“I admire a lot of people in my life. Everyone is so hard working and genuine. They all do the right thing even when it’s hard. If I had to choose I think I would pick my brother, Barney Florence. He has taught me so much about being a good detective and being a good person in general. He also taught me to never give up. When he was wounded on duty he came back to work even though he needed to be demoted for a while. That’s true dedication to the job.”

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

“I believe this is an obnoxious question. I don’t think I overuse certain phrases or expressions. Unless you want to count me constantly telling Lilah to stop, slow down, no, or something along those lines then I think I have a pretty well-rounded vocabulary. I try, anyway.”