When writing, one of the fun things you get to develop about your character is their occupation. Many of us resent the idea of being defined solely by our profession, but our jobs do say something about us, as well as the characters we develop and choose to read about.
While going through my list of books for an upcoming conference, I noticed how many of my heroines have jobs outside the norm. Careers that fit them, but also interest me.
In my new book Spark of Doubt, Jasmine Hinkley is a welder, working in a plant that manufactures generators. Maybe I gave her this job because, I too, have a certificate in welding, or it could be I was having flashbacks to Flashdance. More likely, I wanted her to seem strong, when she didn’t feel she was. I wanted her to seem successful at a tough job, when really she was not being challenged. And, I wanted her to face the fear of going from something she was comfortable with to moving on to a completely different field in order to find happiness.
In one of my other books, I have Dani Thomas who races motorcycles. I have a motorcycle and like to pretend I’m racing a good bit of the time, until my husband gives me the stern, knock-it-off look. In Dani’s case, she was dealing with demons that made her not care if something was dangerous.
My other heroines earn a living in a variety of different ways; from farmers, scientists and wedding planners, to teachers, music producers and a chef. I have leading ladies from the NYPD, CIA, DEA and the FBI. I even have a professional thief. Each career I’ve chosen for a character, works to sharpen their personality and tell the reader something about them that they might not know themselves.
Writing gives me the ability to experience more exciting occupations. I have the opportunity to research what it takes to be a farmer or a police detective, all from the comfort of my cushy accounting job.