Iris Carlisle has it all -- beauty, wealth, style, position. She's head of the arts council and in a position to help those artists she finds interesting to succeed. One of the artists she has chosen to promote is Baptiste. She loves his music and she has arranged little soirees at her place to showcase his talent. Naturally, Clair hates her. Clair has never seen herself as attractive. People tell her that she is but she's insecure about her looks and really doesn't understand what Baptiste sees in her. So when Baptiste takes her to a Christmas Eve dance and Iris Carlisle is hanging all over him, poor Clair is miserable.
Creating the character of Iris Carlisle and her relationship with Baptiste was one of the most entertaining parts of writing The Old Mermaid's Tale. For one thing, I love ambiguous characters -- the kind that you don't know if you should love them or hate them. Iris, the elegant, sophisticated patroness, is a perfect contrast to Clair, the naive, tomboyish farm girl. Actually, throughout the course of the story, Clair has to cope with her fears around several women although Iris is the most worrisome. There is also Karen, the smart-mouthed, promiscuous waitress, and Tessie, the mysterious original "mermaid" that the Old Mermaid Inn was named for. And through it all, Clair marvels that Baptiste loves her.
The Old Mermaid's Tale has, if anything, some tantalizing characters. Not folks you meet every day but the kind you have a hard time forgetting. I hope you'll give them a try and let me know what you think!
This blog post is part of the April 2012 A-to-Z Blogging Challenge. Thanks for visiting.