When I first decided to write about my characters having a baby, I knew it would be a little girl. And then I saw the ad....
Let me back up for a second. Two of my characters in the Jeff Resnick Mysteries are in an interracial marriage: Brenda Stanley and Richard Alpert. These pictures were drawn by a friend of mine (Pam Loomis) to illustrate a story I wrote way back when that featured the two of them. (I was writing about these characters years before I wrote Jeff's story.) The original hangs over my desk. (Pam was into comic book style at the time, and she really was good at it. That's not zipatone, that stippling was all hand-done. Um, Brenda is actually a LOT shorter than Richard.)
Because it's taken so long for the series to get out there, Poor Brenda has been pregnant for a l-o-n-g time. And finally in Dark Waters, she has their baby: Betsy Ruth (named after Richard's mother (Elizabeth) and Brenda's deceased twin sister (Ruth)).
Back in the early 1990s (tells you how long I'd been planning this), I saw the same ad over and over again in "country" magazines for a doll by Ann Timmerman; Cherry Pie, from the Portraits of a Perfect Wold Collection.
As soon as I saw it, I knew I'd found Betsy Ruth. And ... I bought her. Betsy (and her adirondack chair with her little bowl of cherries) lives in a glass box in my library (so she doesn't get dusty. Isn't she just darling?!).
Of course, I already have a short story in mind starring Betsy and Jeff ... and it's not a mystery. I've actually been planning it for about ... oh, a decade. And one of these days I'm going to write it.
So, what do you think about Betsy Ruth? (Besides, whoa! Big pictures.)