Wednesday, June 03, 2015

The Minor Character Who Wanted His Own Book

I’ve been interested in police work for years, since I first began reading mysteries. I had to learn an awful lot about police procedures, especially as they are handled in Honolulu, when I began writing the Mahu Investigations.

Back in 2008, I saw an announcement in the Miami Herald that the FBI was accepting applications for its Citizens Academy, a program to teach interested area residents about the Bureau and its operations. I immediately put in my application, but it took until the fall of 2010 to be offered a spot in the twelve-week, one night a week program.

I’ve already blogged about what I learned there, in six installments, starting with the first night.

I thought about Angus Green off and on for a while.  While I was writing my YA novel, Soul Kiss, I needed my teens, Melissa and Daniel, to meet up with the FBI—and who better to babysit them than Angus Green? Here’s his first appearance in that book, when he’s asked to look after the kids for a while.

Agent Green led us into a meeting room filled with long tables and metal chairs. There was a big American flag against one wall, and a stack of expensive looking video equipment on the side.
“You can call me Angus. Can I get you anything? Water? Soda?”
“Freedom,” Daniel grumbled.
“I wish I had my freedom too. Didn’t have to work on Sunday babysitting a couple of kids. But I’m a grown up and I know I have to do some things I don’t want to. Maybe you’ll grow up while you’re here.”
Angus gradually starts to bond with Daniel and Melissa, and he opens up to them a bit over pizza.

Angus sat with Daniel and me in the big conference room. “I feel bad that we’re making you guys work on a Sunday,” I said to Angus.
“Doesn’t matter to me. I’ve got no life anyway.”
“You don’t have a girlfriend or a wife?” Daniel asked.
“I’m gay,” Angus said. “And right now I don’t have a boyfriend or a husband.”
“That’s why you blushed when Roly asked you about being kissed,” I said.
“I did? That’s the problem with being a redhead. Everything I feel shows up on my face.” He looked at me. “You read people pretty well. You always been able to, or is that part of the whole genius thing?”
I shrugged. “Never noticed it before.”
“You guys really believe that some part of Daniel’s brain seeped into Melissa when you were kissing?”
Daniel and I looked at each other. “You have a better explanation?”
“Hey, I took as little science as possible when I was in school. But I guess there are a lot of weird things going on that science hasn’t come up with an explanation for yet.”
Bit by bit, scene by scene, I got to know Angus better, and sometimes I was surprised by the things he said.
“He’s a good kid,” Angus said. “I hope everything works out for him.”
“I did something I should tell him about, but I’m not sure how,” I said.
Angus turned to me. “Really? What’s that?”
“I applied to college for him.”
He looked confused. “How did you do that?”
I explained how I had hacked into his school account, written his essays, and used my mother’s credit card. “I know, it was all wrong. But he wasn’t even going to apply. And you see how smart he is.”
“You can’t run Daniel’s life for him, Melissa.” He leaned back against the display. “That’s why I broke up with the last guy I dated. He didn’t like me being an agent. He wanted me to go back to accounting, get a real job. He said I was just playing around, that I needed to grow up.”
“How rude! You’re a really good agent.”
“You don’t know that,” he said, smiling. “But I like my job, and I didn’t appreciate anybody trying to tell me what to do.”
This wasn't Angus's last appearance... he continued to drop in on books. More about this in my next post.

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