My sister has a point. While there seem to be solid brother characters in my books, i.e. Lacey and Emmett in AND ONE LAST THING…, all of my sister characters seem to have deeply seated personality issues. And the truth is that Manda and I have always gotten along really well, with the exception of the Slapfight Incident of 1997. We shared a room for fifteen years, and when Manda ended up at the same college, we shared a room there, too. Why? Because we balance each other out. Where I am flighty, weird and prone to procrastination, Manda has an insane work ethic and upholds the family’s barely held claim to normalcy. People at our high school would ask, “You’re a Harper? Really?” If not for the Chiclet front teeth we share, people might not have believed we were related.
So when it came time to design a family for Iris, the main character in The Care and Feeding of Stray Vampires, I decided to give Iris a sister who was not, in fact, clinically insane. Iris, who organized Jane Jameson’s wedding in Nice Girls Don’t Bite Their Neighbors, a is Half-Moon Hollow’s only daytime vampire concierge, providing support services in daylight hours for the local undead. Because vampires hate running their own errands, particularly if that means leaving their houses during the day and bursting into flames. Iris’s life is running as smoothly as she can manage, until she stumbles over a new client, Cal, who’s poisoned and passed out on his kitchen floor.
Cal offers Iris an obscene amount of money to give him shelter while he tries to figure out who’s trying to kill him. Iris needed high stakes at home in order to take that kind of job, so I gave her a teenage sister she’s raising. Gigi is bright, sweet, and funny, though she is prone to same antics most teenagers try. And when Gigi becomes too much to handle, Iris can always fall back on her friendship with Jane and the other Half-Moon Hollow vamps to pull her through.
think I have finally come up with a sister character that will redeem me in Manda’s eyes. Which will make Christmas a lot less awkward.
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