A Character Is Born

In December of 2019 before Covid turned the world upside down, I was flying back to the East Coast from Phoenix. I started talking to the young woman beside me and asked where she was going.
"To Washington to visit my great aunt. She's eighty-five and lives in the house she was born in."
"No other family with her?" I asked.
"No. But we don't worry about her. She rents rooms to Secret Service and FBI agents. There's always someone in the house with a gun."
Although she didn't realize it, my fellow passenger had just given me the seed for a new character. And added dimensions presented themselves. A friend of my parents told me that back in the early 1940s she worked after school in the FBI's fingerprint department, classifying and categorizing prints with a magniying glass. My character could also have worked for the Bureau, eventually becoming an agent. Now, although she's retired, she still keeps her hand in the game and she's fiercely protective of her roomers past and present.
So, I wrote a mystery novel creating a character who is smart, feisty, loyal, and determined. I thought what if Ruth Bader Ginsburg had been an FBI agent? The answer – seventy-five-year-old Ethel Fiona Crestwater. A force to be reckoned with. She'll be making her debut in the not-too-distant future.