Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Notable Flaws with Guest Blogger: Jolie Pethtel

Win a copy of Painted Jezebel and meet
Muse author Jolie Pethtel today at the Boost!

She's here to discuss flaws and all their splendor and here's what she had to say...

I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember and in all that time I can honestly say I’ve liked most of my side kicks better than my hero or heroine. Why? The main characters were too perfect. I thought they needed to be to face unbelievable odds, so I saved my flaws and odd quirks for the secondary characters. I liked those characters more because they were more.

Readers want to identify with a hero or heroine and root for them because people are naturally flawed and that’s what makes us all unique. We want our characters to rise to the occasion, but by overcoming their failings to get there. It gives us hope that we might defeat our own personal battles in real life, while still escaping them for a time.

My heroine Jezebel is riddled with flaws and odd quirks. It’s what makes her lovable, even though she’s extremely neurotic. She’s a klutz, has a weird sticky note fetish and is extremely insecure about her small boobs. She also has a pretty major anxiety/panic disorder and a severe case of agoraphobia, yet she braves the world to prove her innocence when she’s accused of murder.

Jezebel’s flaws make her real. I know because some of her flaws are mine. I have an anxiety disorder and although I’m not as neurotic as she is—my husband’s opinion not withstanding—I’ve had my crazy moments. While certain events in my life didn’t seem at all funny at the time, especially the panic attacks, a few of these personal experiences make for some hilarious moments in Painted Jezebel. Like most authors, I do tend to put a little of myself into my work beyond the usual blood, sweat and tears.

Sometimes it’s a good thing not to take yourself too seriously. We all have pet peeves and eccentricities. I cry at sad movies, I always have to be right, I’m sarcastic and according to my husband, my logic makes no sense. There’s a ton more, but I don’t want to make this blog post too long. Now that I think about it, maybe I am as neurotic as Jezebel.

I would love to hear about your flaws or eccentricities; those things that make you unique. Leave a comment listing your strangest personality trait.

I want to thank my hostess Kerri for inviting me to be a guest on her blog and close with this funny excerpt from Painted Jezebel based on one of my real life experiences, then exaggerated to suit Jezebel’s own wacky personality. I hope you enjoy it.

A Note from the Book Boost: This sounds like a character I could love! Thanks for joining us today and sharing your character & personal flaws with us. Can't wait to hear more about this book. Please share.


Publicist Finn Mackenzie has always been lucky, until an ill-fated affair with a vindictive writer leaves him one chance for redemption: a spectacular public appearance by the elusive best-selling romance author, Jezebel Jinx.

Unfortunately, the cute but kooky writer refuses to cooperate. Jezebel believes she’s cursed with bad luck. Riddled with anxieties, she never leaves her home— until the gorgeous, albeit desperate Finn whisks her away to a writer’s conference, against her will.

After the initial shock wears off, Jezebel’s dormant hormones kick into high gear around the hunky Finn.

When his ex turns up murdered and Jezebel is the prime suspect, ill-planned sexcapades are the least of their worries.


Finn pushed the release and the elevator jerked once, before grinding to a

dead halt. Jezebel fell against the side wall of the steel box, suddenly terrified.

“What did you do?”

“I didn’t do anything. I think it’s stuck.” Finn frowned.

“We’re going to die!” Jezebel shrieked. “Didn’t I tell you? It’s my jinx.”

“We’re not going to die and you’re not jinxed. We just need to stay calm.”

“Why?” Jezebel asked suspiciously. “Do we need to conserve air? Because I don’t feel any air in here.”

“Don’t be ridiculous, of course there’s air in here.”

“No, there isn’t. I can’t breathe.” She slid down the elevator wall onto the floor, her mouth opening and closing like a fish out of water.

“You’re just having another panic attack. You’d think you would know the signs by now.” He pushed her head between her knees. “Now take deep breaths until your breathing steadies.”

A few minutes later, she lifted her head slightly calmer. “I still think we’re going to run out of air. Stop using so much of it.”

“What should I do, stop breathing entirely, so you can have it?”

“Would you mind terribly?” She gave him a wan smile.

“I would mind, as a matter of fact. I think I want all the air for myself, so I’m just going to take it right now.” Finn gulped noisily, drawing in a deep lungful of air. “You should grab some before it’s all gone.”

“Stop that, you jerk!” Jezebel laughed and threw her purse at him. Now she felt silly for worrying about something so ridiculous. “So what do we do now?”

“Wanna join the floor high club?” He arched an eyebrow.

“Yeah right,” she snorted. “You wish.”

“In that case, I guess I’ll just have to call someone to fix the elevator.” Finn lifted the


“It’s dead isn’t it?” Jezebel moaned. “I knew it.”

“Don’t be ridiculous. I’m just on hold—hello? My name is Finn Mackenzie and I’m

stranded in the elevator with another guest—uh-huh. Thank you.”

“What did they say?” Jezebel asked, as soon as he hung up the phone.

“They’ll have us out in about half an hour. The elevator repairman is on a break and they don’t know how to find him. So we’re stuck here until he returns.”

“Great. In case you haven’t figured it out, I’m also claustrophobic. I’ll be climbing the walls in half an hour. Now what are we supposed to do?”

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Debby said...

Sounds like a great story. I am curious about how your chose names. Why did you decide on that name for your heroine?
debby236 at gmail dot com

Jolie said...

Hi Debby. that's a really good question. I found the term Painted Jezebel in a list of idioms meaning a scheming woman, which there are several in the story and of course Jezebel is suspected of being one. The fact that they had a butterfly called Painted Jezebel was a bonus. The name worked really well in the story like it was meant to be. Sometimes it happens like that. Thanks for leaving a comment!

Julie Lynn Hayes said...

Hi Jolie!

This sounds like a really great story. Everyone has their quirks, of course. One of mine is arriving early, rather than late or even on time. Ask my kids - we get to the movie theater a half an hour before the scheduled time, because of it lol

I'm intrigued by the mystery writing process. Do you start out knowing who did it and work backwards? How do you plant false clues without your heroine knowing what's going on?

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