So just how similar am I to Cleo Tidwell, the star of my Cleo Tidwell paranormal mystery books?
Well, let's see . . .
Cleo lives in a Victorian home in Allister, Alabama. I live in a Victorian home in Anniston, Alabama, but we do NOT have any black velvet paintings--haunted or otherwise--in the house.
Cleo is on her third marriage. I've been married to the same man for 25 years.
Cleo lives next door to her sister, Molly, who has four girls. I have a sister who isn't named Molly who has four girls who doesn't live next door to me. Although it would be totally awesome if she did.
Cleo's husband is the director of bands at Allister State University. I think my hubs played trumpet in 6th grade band. After that he took up football, although he was part of a musical folk group in high school and college and he plays guitar. Readers often ask me if Bertram is based on my hubs. The answer is a resounding NO. Writing about my husband is just too personal. He and Bertram share a couple of personality traits, but otherwise, he's nothing like Bertram.
Cleo is a collegiate majorette coach. I was a majorette in high school and taught twirling lessons in high school and college, and more recently was the choreographer for my high school alumni majorette line.
So is Cleo me? Not really, although I do think of her as a hyped-up alter ego of myself in the same way that Batman is Bruce Wayne's alter ego, but we're really not the same person. My publisher did an uncanny job with finding a model for my book covers who looks an awful lot like a younger me, especially The Weredog Whisperer cover. Compare the book cover above with this picture of myself from a few years ago. Someone even asked me if I posed for the cover! How flattering!