Monday, April 23, 2012

T is for Tessie: Now She's An Old Woman But Once She Was A Mermaid

One of the best parts of writing The Old Mermaid's Tale to me was creating Tessie, the "old mermaid" of the title. To me Tessie is one of my best characters of all times. She fascinates because for much of the book lovely, young Clair is haunted by her and what her relationship is to Baptiste so when we finally meet her -- on Christmas Day at the Old Mermaid Inn -- the reality of her comes as a surprise.

The truth is I've known several Tessies in my life, a woman who started out full of hopes, dreams, and a love of good times but then fell for the wrong man and their lives changed forever. Tessie has made the best of her love for Rocky but it's left her a good-hearted but hard-living woman with a tender soul. Toward the end of the story, when Clair is struggling with what to do about her relationship with Baptiste, it is Tessie, who takes her aside and tells her her own tale, the old mermaid's tale, that helps Clair make her decision.

Sometimes the most flawed characters are the most endearing. There is something so poignant in the contrast of her toughness and bravado on the outside and the tender, aching girl inside. I truly love Tessie. To me she is an enduring, heart-wrenching character, the kind of person that makes me say, "There, but for the Grace of God, go I."

This blog post is part of the April 2012 A-to-Z Blogging Challenge. Thanks for visiting.


  1. The story sounds very interesting. I'll have to look for it! Nice post.

    From Diary of a Writer in Progress

  2. Isn't it great when we fall in love with our characters? We can share them with the reading public. Blog on!


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