Okay, I know what you’re thinking. That’s not Cricket, that’s Molly Quinn. Yes, I know that. But here’s a secret: I base the looks of every one of my characters on a famous actor or actress. It helps me to keep their features straight, and it also helps to have their photo handy when I’m writing about them, almost like they’re there with me. So Molly Quinn is my muse when it comes to Cricket Stone. I’ll be honest, I don’t know Molly Quinn very well as an actress, but I do know her as the fiancé of Elan Gale, former producer of the Bachelor franchise, and someone you should absolutely follow on Instagram because he’s kind of amazing. And so is Molly. I’ve loved watching their love story unfold, all the way up to the day they got engaged. So when I started molding my characters, I knew Cricket was a redhead, and Molly Quinn is as cute as it gets to redhead actresses.
So through Molly Quinn, Cricket Stone was born.
But who is Cricket, exactly? What does she do for a living? How old is she? Where does she live? What are her quirks?
These are all the thing I needed to figure out before I even started writing For the Birds.
Cricket Stone is a 27-year-old events planner who lives in Petaluma, California – my hometown! I love writing about the area I live because A) I love where I live, and B) it’s easier for readers to feel the setting if I actually know the feel of the place I’m writing about. I’ve written about Petaluma before when I wrote the Hope series, so this isn’t the first time Petaluma has shown up in my novels.
Cricket’s family includes her twin sister, Meadow, a social media travel influencer who we’ll learn about in a future blog entry. The sisters lost their parents a few years ago in a car accident, and the loss has affected them both in different ways. For Cricket, it was staying in her family home and carrying on life the way her mother had. As you can imagine, this has held her back in some ways.
Another thing we learn early on about Cricket in For the Birds is that she isn’t over her ex-boyfriend, Sonny McIntyre, a Scotsman who broke her heart. The fact that she’s not over him is all the more apparent when Sonny unexpectedly shows up at a party she put together…and then even more when she’s to work with him on another event.
When I create characters, there are things I figure out about them that might never make it into the novel, but help me to see them as a three-dimensional person. You may see some of these characteristics shown throughout the story, but many aren’t specifically named. For instance, Cricket isn’t exactly a hoarder, but she does have a hard time getting rid of anything because of the sentimental value they may hold. Because of this, she has closets packed with things, and small piles around the house. Her house, by the way, is somewhat of a shrine to her parents. After they died, Cricket kept the outdated seventies look going, with wood panel walls, shag carpet, and heavy drapes. Cricket’s style is more bohemian, with long flowing dresses or kitschy aprons she gardens in. She also went through a major flannel and jeans phase at the same time Sonny did, and still wears a lot of flannel.
For twins, Meadow and Cricket have always been very different. In school, Meadow was the popular one, while Cricket was more introverted. Because of this, Cricket sometimes felt left out while Meadow was the fun one. As an adult, it’s held her back in different ways, namely in the way she refuses to leave her hometown while Meadow travels the world.
Cricket also has a very strange quirk you’ll discover at the end of Chapter 1. I won’t talk about it here, but tune in to my blog entry on January 15th to discover what this.
Oh, and Cricket’s favorite color is turquoise.
What else would you like to know about Cricket Stone? Leave your questions in the comments. If I haven’t planned out the detail, I’ll make it up on the spot, lol!
Note: This is an ongoing blog series about For the Birds, a book I’m currently editing and will be shopping to publishers this year. Stay tuned to keep up with details about the story, sneak peeks at excerpts, and to learn about how the publishing process is going. If you’d like to be alerted to new posts, hit the “follow” button at the bottom of this page, or join my VIP Readers Club (you get a free book!).