I thought I grew up middle class. Now I’m not so sure. Most of our neighbors had less money than we did, and my parents struggled quite a bit until my dad got a better job at the factory he worked at and made better wages. They felt comfortable by the time my little sister was born, but I was twelve by then.
After I got married, had two daughters, and couldn’t get back into teaching, my husband and I dropped to middle class, too. I only really think about money when something rears up and worries me, but we’re sure not rolling in it. And sometimes I wonder what it would be like to NEVER have to think about budgets or bills or saving. And that’s why I created Lux for my new mysteries.
Lux is filthy rich. She’s so rich, it bothered my agent when she read my manuscript. Jazzi and Ansel are well off, but they don’t throw money around. Hester and Raven have amassed fortunes over their centuries-old lives, but they live in Muddy River with lots of other supernaturals who’ve done the same and try to avoid attention. Lux is rich and enjoys it.
When I was growing up, I didn’t trust people who had a lot of money. But then, when I started college, I got a job as a waitress at our local Chamber of Commerce. And I served a lot of rich people at lunches and parties. And I liked almost all of them. Some were awesome and some weren’t, just like everyone else I’d met. And then our church got a retired minister for a year, who’d grown up in Israel before marrying a rich woman and moving to the U.S. He preached about enjoying blessings as often as he preached about being the best person you could be. I loved him so much I asked him to marry hubs and me. I still remember him fondly.
But he helped me realize that enjoying blessings was as important as facing the challenges thrown at us through life. And that’s why Lux is so much fun to write. I think she does both well. She loves all of the money she has, but it doesn’t determine who she is or what she does or who she spends time with. And as a reporter, and a protagonist who stumbles on crimes and bodies. she rises to each challenge with intelligence and a lot of compassion. She enjoys her yellow Bentley, her sprawling house, and her hunky chef boyfriend. But she’s willing to pass out lunches at the community center, too, when Keon’s brother needs a helping hand.
As a writer, I love living vicariously through the characters I create. And this time, with Lux, I get to experience a lot of things that I never had in real life.