01/29/2018

The Heroines of Jamison Valley

I’m often asked about the heroines of the Jamison Valley series. Are they like you? Is there one in particular who you identify with more than the others? Are they inspired by your real-life experiences?

The answer is yes. And no.

Each of the heroines is her own person. A character I dreamed up and put on paper. Their experiences are their own. The drama is all fictional. I’ve never stabbed a drug dealer, took down the mob, or escaped a kidnapping. But in each and every one of the heroines, there are pieces of me. And now that the series is complete, I can lift the lid on the no-so-secret cookie jar—one heroine at a time.

– – –

Gigi

Of all the Jamison Valley heroines, Gigi from The Coppersmith Farmhouse, is the one I’m most alike. I think because it was my first book, I used a lot of “me” to build her character. Mostly little things. I love baking cookies. Wine is my savior. My son and I have dance parties. Halloween is my favorite season—yes, season. When I host a party, I make way too much food. Holiday meals are even more of a production. Like Gigi, no one comes to my house and leaves hungry. Do I fake cuss around my kids? I wish. More often than not, I let the f* bombs fly, hoping that my boys aren’t listening. (They usually are.)

But it’s not Gigi I love most from The Coppersmith Farmhouse—it’s Rowen.

I’ve taken some heat in reviews for how I’ve portrayed Rowen. Her vocabulary is too advanced for her age. She’s too mature. Kids don’t talk like that. It’s the critique I couldn’t care less about. Because while I pulled from me to build Gigi, I pulled from my oldest son to build Rowen. Her words are his words. His excitement. His joy. He was four when I wrote The Coppersmith Farmhouse, and I love that I’ll always have a written reminder of how he was at that age. I love that I had the chance to capture just a bit of his amazing personality to share with you.

– – –

Emmeline

The first thing that comes to mind when I think of Emmeline from The Clover Chapel are her mugs. My mugs. I don’t collect much, mostly because I’m an anti-hoarder. I despise clutter. But when it comes to clever coffee mugs, I can’t resist. I love having my coffee in the morning with a mug that fits my mood.

If you make a pan of scotcheroos, the chances are I’ll eat the whole thing. We share the same love of cleaning. When I’m stressed, I clean. I think, like her, it gives me that feeling of control when life is chaotic. And like Emmeline, I love children. School teaching wasn’t part of my destiny, but I taught kids’ karate for years and it was one of the most rewarding experiences in my life.

– – –

Felicity

The first thing that comes to mind when I think of Felicity is her lip curl—a signature DP move. That, and her snark when she’s annoyed. It wasn’t hard thinking of her snappy comebacks when Paxon took her on in the coffee shop. The first things that popped into my head came right out of her mouth.

Attitude aside, a lot of Felicity’s “me” pieces happen on Silas’s ranch. Her learning to fix fence. Her fear of riding a horse. Her participation in the branding. The Lucky Heart has the most “real life” inspired experiences than any of the other books I’ve written. I’ve got the photo of me covered in cow shit at a Perry Ranch branding to prove it.

– – –

Sabrina

Like Sabrina, sarcasm makes me happy. Nicknaming people make me happy. Taking daily showers and blow drying my hair makes me happy. There are a lot of small pieces to her that we have in common, but our biggest similarity is how writing gave us each a purpose when we were feeling lost.

If you’ve read The Outpost, then you know that writing a novel was one of those things Sabrina had always wanted to try, but never had the time. That was, until she got stranded at the outpost and jumped right into fiction with both feet. Now, I wasn’t stranded in the wilderness, but I was a bit stuck. My youngest son was three months old and I was going stir crazy at home. Reading wasn’t giving me enough of a mental challenge to keep the crazy away, so one day, I told my best friend that I was going to try and write a book. The rest, as they say, is history.

– – –

Maisy

A close second-place to Gigi for “Devney-ness” is Maisy. She’s not afraid to work her butt off. Neither am I. When my husband and I were newly married, we bought a fixer upper and I taught myself how to paint and replace light fixtures and tile bathroom floors. Oh, and I hate Play-doh. (That doesn’t stop me from buying it for my kids who love it dearly. It does mean I get a free pass at cursing while I clean it up each night.)

But again, the kid in The Bitterroot Inn beats out the mom as my most loved character from the book.

Like Rowen, Coby was hugely influenced by my son. The “boy” things, like Hot Wheels and Legos, that didn’t go in The Coppersmith Farmhouse, came out through Coby instead. When he asks Hunter if ant’s cough? My son asked me that the day I wrote it in the book. The same is true for all the other questions he asks Maisy and Hunter. I couldn’t make up that stuff if I’d tried.

– – –

Outside of our similarities, these women all have traits that I admire and aspire to have myself. They’re loving. Forgiving. Spirited. Determined. Resilient.

Do I have a favorite heroine? No. They’re all special to me. They’re my best fictional friends and will stay with me always.

I hope they stay with you too.

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4 Comments:


  1. Sue Dayoub said:

    I love that there’s a little piece of you in all the women . I’m amazed that people comment about Rowen’s vocabulary the Opposite drives me crazy when they have 4 year olds talking like a baby since none of my children talked like that so good for you for making her a smart girl!

    Reply

    1. devneyperry Post author said:

      Thank you, Sue!

      Reply

  2. Natasha Mahadeo said:

    I loved reading this little titbits. It’s always nice knowing what Heroine’s mean to the Author. Which parts of them are in each Heroine and so on. Maisy being my favourite it’s awesome to see she is a close second to Gigi who I also loved.
    Can’t wait for more from you 💗

    Reply

    1. devneyperry Post author said:

      Thank you so much Natasha! I’m so glad you loved Maisy & Gigi too.

      Reply

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