Family and Friends who have already read my debut novel, The Missing Five, either ask the same question, “Are you Jackie?” or make the same statement, and adamantly, I might add, “I know you’re Jackie.” My staunch rebuttal: I am not Jackie! Whether they believe me or not is okay. I just smile as I deliver my answer. Truth be told, I actually enjoy the back-and-forth, non-combative dialogue.
The protagonist, Jackie Trumpleton, is a fictional character who was created from a compilation of all the women, which include me, that I have had a relationship with over the last 40 years of my adult life. These women are siblings, relatives, girlfriends, co-workers, and in some instances, mere acquaintances. Jackie’s fictional being also consists of rumors or gossip I’ve glimpsed or overhead over the years from other women. And, believe it or not, Jackie is also created from many tales I’ve heard from male friends about relationships they have been in. All of these revelations combined were fodder to create a female protagonist who is a formidable character–one who possesses a persona that is strong-willed, and with an almost narcissistic outlook on life.
Yes, I will acknowledge that a strong influence guiding the creation of Jackie Trumpleton’s character does radiate from me. This could not be avoided, however, because simply, “I dare to live the life I have dreamed for myself. I go forward and make my dreams come true.” (Quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson)
In closing, I feel good that my family and friends want to think or say that I am Jackie. Why? Because it means my fictional character, Jackie Trumpleton, is believable.