Posted in Cozy, Guest Post, mystery on September 28, 2014

Today I welcome author Christina Freeburn who has written a series of cozies that involve a scrapbook store.  You may not know this about me, but I like to scrapbook and make cards.  I am not creative and therefore rely on my group of scrapbooking friends (The Scrappy Bunch) to help me out with ideas or to just get the creative juices flowing.

freeburn books

A Novel Friendship


In Embellished to Death, I took my heroine Faith out of her hometown and placed her in Morgantown, West Virginia where she vended at a scrapbook retreat. Along with a new location, Faith, the readers, and yes even me the author, were introduced to some new characters. One of the secondary characters – Bob Roget – had made a cameo appearance in Cropped to Death (the first book in the series) but besides rounding out Detective Ted Roget’s characters, he didn’t play a large role in the book. Embellished was the time that I and Faith got to know more about Bob.

And in learning more about his personalities, likes, dislikes, quirks, and especially his loyalty and strength, I (the author) found myself falling in love with Bob. This leads to a problem as when I fall in love with a character, I have a tendency of upping their role and giving them an opportunity to take over the story. Bob was allowed a little more leeway by me and Faith. I found Bob inserting himself into every scene and doing the majority of the “protagging” rather than Faith. She also liked Bob so much she willing stepped back and allowed him control. Faith also wanted to know him more and see what made him tick so gave him plenty of opportunities to show her.

While I enjoyed getting to know him, and watching Faith expand her world and allowing someone else into her life, I knew the story was in trouble. It was her plot to figure out, not Bob’s. At one point in writing the book, I went back to the beginning to scale his role back; adding in another secondary character as a nemesis for Faith yet a close friend of Bob’s to put a wedge in the blossoming friendship so my heroine was once again front and center in the storyline.

That plan didn’t work out for the story. This new character added a complication in the plot that made the twists and turns detract from the overall story rather than enhance it. I also didn’t like the problem I inserted into the friendship. It didn’t feel right for either character and felt forced. The mystery plot was the most important one, but in a way this new friendship was a sub-plot and Faith grew through it.

It was time again for another edit and my new goal was to rein Bob in. He and I had a little conversation on the role he must accept in this book – Faith lead and he followed. Even though he was an honest, to goodness, private investigator, he needed to step back when Faith fulfilled her part of the sleuthing and act as her partner and confidante. We both understood that while the book didn’t work without him having a key role, the book also couldn’t be about him.

I always enjoy getting to know new characters and will admit that so far Bob Roget is the one I had the most fun creating. I loved not only getting to show Bob’s relationship with his life partner but also seeing Ted through his brother’s eyes. I also had a chance to learn more about Faith as I watched her enter into a friendship with the couple.

In a way, Faith had “instant” friends in the first book as they were there before Faith solved her first murder. In Embellished, I was with her when her and Bob went from acquaintances to friends. It’s one of the journeys Faith has taken that I enjoyed watching take shape on my screen.