This week, meet Juliet, leading lady in Annette Mori's latest, Captivated. Welcome Annette & Juliet!
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The main character in my latest book, Captivated, has a quirky lead character named, Juliet. At first, I wanted to name the book, Juliet the Spy, because she was loosely based on an adult version of one of my all-time favorite characters in the children’s book, Harriet the Spy. The title got nixed, but the character remained.
Not only is Juliet the town snoop, but she also skates the edge of a bona fide diagnosis of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Many of us have compulsions and joke about being OCD, but a person who truly has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder must live with a set of challenges that most people do not experience. I know this because my mother was a lot like Juliet and her compulsions went far beyond minor obsessions.
It was important to me to portray Juliet as quirky, but loveable. It is easy to cross the line into irritating. This was a very difficult balance and a lot of my words ended up on the cutting floor because as my editors pointed out, “we get it already, she has OCD.” Yet, I also wanted to help people understand how the disorder affects every part of the person’s life, especially their relationships.
I believe in the end, I did accomplish what I set out to achieve. I wanted people to understand the basic concept of embracing individuality and a person’s unique quirks…in essence loving them for those traits, not despite them.
My grandmother often said that every pot has a lid. I do believe that my mother found her perfect lid in my father, who was her exact opposite. My father appreciated my mother and fundamentally celebrated her OCD because he needed it! I expanded on my mother and father in my weekly blog this past Friday if you’d like to read more about that. Suffice is to say that my book, Captivated is a tribute to my mother.
Here’s a passage from Captivated to give you a glimpse into Juliet.
Juliet pushed the door open to a grinning Tanner. She was careful not to touch the door handle and used her shirt again. “Did the housekeeper take a vacation or something? It’s disgusting in there.”
“For someone who was tied to a chair with a gun against her forehead, you sure have a smart mouth. Didn’t anyone ever tell you that you don’t have to express every little thought that pops into your head?”
“Trust me. I’ve kept a whole slew of thoughts to myself. This is me being restrained,” Juliet quipped.
“Hmmm. Good to know. I recommend you working on your tact just a smidge more.” Tanner held out her thumb and forefinger to demonstrate.
“Fine, but if you expect to keep me alive, I need cleaning supplies to rid this cabin of whatever harmful germs have been allowed to flourish without intervention.”
“I didn’t exactly have time to make it presentable for company, and just for the record, I don’t normally live this way. This was a last-minute decision. Come on, let’s eat.”
Juliet looked at the old oak table and sighed. Although it didn’t have any obvious remnants of moldy food or other repulsive items, she was distrustful.
“Stop eyeing the table like it’s your enemy. The food is in a bag, wrapped tightly. Germs aren’t skilled enough to burrow inside two layers of protection. God, I’ve kidnapped a germaphobe.” Tanner shook her head and grimaced.
“I’ll just take the sandwich right from the bag. No need to get out any plates or put it on the table.” Juliet scrunched up her face.
Tanner rolled her eyes and pulled out the bulging sandwich wrapped in white paper. After handing it to Juliet, she dug into the sack and pulled out a bag of potato chips and a cookie.