Guest Post: Nora Page

Please join the Chicks in welcoming Nora Page, author of the Bookmobile Mysteries!

I Am Not My Main Character (although we might have a few things in common)

Hi, everyone. Thanks so much for inviting me, Chicks! I’m thrilled to be here!

Before I get going, I owe a Chick an apology. Recently—during a buffet lunch, no less—I accused Chick Cynthia Kuhn of being smart, kind, a lovely friend, a college English professor, and thus the embodiment of her protagonist, Lila Maclean.

Cynthia politely protested that she hadn’t thought of Lila that way. She and Lila were different, she said. Totally different people.

Nope! Another lady at the table joined in. We weren’t having it. We barreled on with more compliments. Real-life Cynthia and fictional Lila are both all kinds of nice and clever and have the same job and are therefore one and the same.

I am so sorry, Cynthia. I should know better. Getting accused of being my characters is a bit of a personal pet peeve.

Before the Bookmobile Mysteries, I wrote another cozy series, the Santa Fe Café Mysteries as Ann Myers. My husband’s friend read the books and said kind things, which was very nice. However, he was also slightly confused.

“I didn’t know that about Ann,” he confided to my husband, surprised by something my character had done. He assumed my character’s traits and thoughts would be mine too.

I forget what the “that” was so it couldn’t have been too important. This was a cozy, so it surely wasn’t anything scandalous. I do remember feeling irked. How could he think I’d written myself?

To be fair, my protagonist and I did share some characteristics. We both liked libraries, books, cooking, and cats. A lot of people do. She was an introvert who couldn’t knit or dance. Okay, that’s me too. The friend, a host of dance parties I quietly dreaded, probably noticed the dancing bit too, but still, my protagonist wasn’t me. Again, I apologize to Cynthia.

I sometimes wonder if this happens to authors in other genres. I recently read a fabulous historical horror novel with supernatural cannibalistic undertones. Oh, it got me fantasizing! Not about cannibalism, but about writing something so skin-crawlingly creepy. What would friends say? That they didn’t know that about me? Maybe they’d back off on the dance pressures.

It’s a delicious thought, but irrelevant. Supernatural, serial-killer, or cozy, the characters in my books will never be me, even if we might share some things in common. I’m too boring, for one thing.

In the Bookmobile Mysteries my main character leads an exciting life. At seventy-five, librarian Cleo Watkins drives a school-bus bookmobile, often at high speed. She has a feline sidekick named Rhett Butler, and together they roll into trouble, including murder.

Neither age nor danger can slow down Cleo. When people she loves are in trouble, she steps in and starts sleuthing. Cleo believes that good librarians and detectives share a lot in common. They sift through information, they catalog the truth, and they’re good readers of clues and people.

Me? I’d happily bake biscuits with Cleo or join her for sweet tea and a good book on her front porch. I’d definitely visit her bookmobile. But if a killer was running around town? I’d stay in the bookmobile with the doors locked. Heck, I wouldn’t even leave the house! It’s a good thing I’m not Cleo.

Nora Page enjoys rainy weather, the perfect biscuit, and quiet evenings in with her husband and cat. You can often find her in the company of books.

Stop by and visit at her website . You can also follow Nora at and




Better Off Read, the first Bookmobile Mystery, is available for order from your favorite local bookstore or online at


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24 thoughts on “Guest Post: Nora Page

  1. I enjoyed reading Better Off Read! I might not leave my home if a serial killer was on the loose!
    Even though I thoroughly enjoy Stephen Kong’s books, I often wonder where he gets his ideas! Really do not want to know how his mind works!
    I am looking forward to reading more adventures with Cleo and her friends!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I think because cozy characters are “everyday people,” there’s more of a risk of readers thinking the author is her protagonist. But I’m with you. A killer on the loose? Bar the door!

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Mark me down as another author who would rather stay barricaded inside than investigate a murder in real life. One of my beta readers recently said she pictured me the whole time she was reading the first book of the new series I’m working on. I didn’t try to explain that my heroine wasn’t me, but her comment did make me wonder what she thinks I do when I’m not at my computer!

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Knowing that people will assume that my main character is a thinly veiled version of me made me self-conscious when I wrote my mystery. Also, my main character’s mother is dreadful, and I was concerned that readers would assume that my own mother was like that. People are going to assume things even with the most innocuous passages, so I guess we just have to write and develop thick skins.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. True, Grace. I also worry about adding dreadful relatives, lest mine think I’m writing about them. So much of writing–and publishing–requires a thick skin, doesn’t it, but it’s hard to achieve.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Nor-Ann, thanks for joining us today! What a great protagonist! Nobody’s ever said I’m just like my character, probably because she’s southern – and thirty years younger! But I did cheat when creating her and give her some of my physical attributes. Albeit romanticized a bit. She weighs what I did thirty years ago, not what I weigh now, and she’s a few inches taller than me… lucky her!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi, Ellen. Thanks for having me! That’s the fun of creating characters, isn’t it, and a challenge sometimes too. I was writing a totally not-me, non-cozy character once and pretty much had to remind myself on a daily basis that, no, she doesn’t want to stay home and read on a Friday night.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Wait, Cynthia’s not Lila?! LOL! Quite a few friends and family have asked if my protagonist’s husband is really MY husband. They’re both nice guys, but no. Thanks for hanging out with us today — and congrats on the new series!!


  7. So what happens when you have two different series like this? Does that mean you are both of your protagonists? Hopefully, they are both very different people.

    Congrats on the new series!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi, Mark. Yes, I hope we’re all distinguishable! Cleo, my current protagonist, is quite different from my previous lead. Then there are my two author names–I thought I might develop a flashy, bold persona for the new pen name, but no, I remain stubbornly the same. Fictional characters are easier to change.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. So happy you’re here today! Love this book and love you!

    And you do NOT owe me an apology…those are the nicest descriptions ever. My goodness. You’re too kind. I shouldn’t have protested quite so much, as Lila and I do overlap in some ways–for example, what we teach. Full disclosure: my husband thinks Lila is me too but not in all the sweet/lovely ways you mention, but instead re: her sarcasm. So. There’s that. Let’s just move on…

    You could NEVER be “too boring”! I reject that description. You’re super interesting, so delightful, incredibly smart, wicked funny, and all-around fabulous. ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re too kind and sweet! Just like Lila (No, no, kidding! I”m not going to do that to you again). Thanks so much for inviting me to join you all today! xoxo


  9. Congrats on the new series, Nora/Ann! Yippee!

    And you’re definitely not alone with regard to this issue: I frequently have folks who, when discussing my protagonist, Sally Solari, refer to her as “you” when talking to me. But hey, that’s okay–Sally is tall and thin and drives a cool T-Bird, so I don’t mind!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Thanks for stopping by! I haven’t had anyone accuse my main character of being me in the book. But when I wear my hair straight at author events, people tend to think that she looks like me on the cover. I don’t see it. lol


  11. Gosh, I don’t think anyone has told me yet that I resemble either of my co-sleuths. One is much older than I and the other is considerably younger. Secretly I wish someone would confuse us, because I rather like my two sleuths. Dorothy is wise and practical amd Summer enjoys life to the fullest and remains ever-optimistic. Oh well. I’ll keep working on it!
    Working on ot!!


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