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July 9, 2009

Faith Mitchell’s new life chapter

Faith Mitchell is a lot of fun for me to write. She came from a question I asked myself a few years ago when the movie Juno was really popular: what happened to women my age who got pregnant in high school? Well, I can tell you they weren’t trading snappy quips at the Stop-N-Shop and surrounding by caring, supportive people who thought they were smart enough to make their own choices. There were some girls in my high school who got knocked up, and we basically never saw them again. Well, we saw one of them, and she was a lovely girl and a good friend, but her life was not easy.

So, Faith is now thirty-three and he son is eighteen. Do the math — she didn’t have much of a childhood. Jeremy, her son, is in college at Georgia Tech and she’s just at a point in her life where she’s finally able to be alone. I mean, think about it: she’s had a kid since she was fifteen. She hasn’t had much of a chance at a non-mother life. While she loves her son, she’s really looking forward to this new chapter. Of course, since this is one of my books, it can’t be that easy for her.

What I love most about Faith is that she is extremely pragmatic. She’s a detective on the Atlanta police force, partnered with a less-than-stellar cop. Her career is in limbo and she’s just getting through the days, counting down her time. When she meets Will in Fractured, she doesn’t like him much for reasons I won’t go into here, but over the course of the book, she learns to respect him as a cop. This is a big step for Faith, and she decides to accept the invitation to join the GBI and be Will’s partner. This is where they are in UNDONE: newly partnered, trying to figure out each others’ quirks.

Faith has two ways of dealing with people: either mother them or push them away. Will has been pushed away most of his life, and he has never had a mother, so he doesn’t know how to deal with Faith. They also have very different policing styles. Faith is more of a get-in-your-face kind of cop and Will is more cerebral. This is a nice change for me because it’s good to see a man who doesn’t use his fists all the time to get the bad guys to confess. The change isn’t so great for Faith, though, because it creates tension between them that she’s not sure is going to go away.

We are getting really close to the publication date of UNDONE (July 14) so I am going to leave talk about characters here. I’ll post again on publication day, but for now, thanks for reading, and I hope you check me out on my website and Facebook.

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