After I created Jack Bailey, I considered which secondary characters were needed. In every story, some are threaded throughout the book; others emerge once or twice, and then fade into the sunset.
Since Jack supervises the police department’s crime division, I hoped to introduce several co-workers who worked well or not-so-well with Jack. I introduced Moose and Hector as detectives who got along with Jack, but never questioned his decisions. Tilford, an older detective, continually gets under Jack’s skin. In need of a woman in the mix, I created Denise Williams, an outspoken patrol cop, with a smart aleck working relationship with Jack.
Denise is an African American woman in her forties whose character is based on a friend from years ago. Smart and opinionated, Denise has a salty sense of humor and takes no BS from anyone. Originally, I’d planned to develop the character of Moose, but Denise took on a life of her own.
She and Jack insult one another good-naturedly, which no one else dares to do. She also stands up to him when needed. “Come on, Bailey, give it a rest, it’s been a long day,” she tells him when he asks her to do more than she deems necessary.
In one scene, Denise and Jack run into each other at a local brew place and end up sharing a couple drinks and a meal. Denise reveals more of her character when she tells Jack she got in trouble on the job before his time for political incorrectness. She also discloses her own biases which she tries to cover up.
Denise’s compnion, patrol cop Kathleen Nolan, was a rookie when Denise mentored her and kept the other cops from bothering the attractive, blond newcomer. I planned for Kathleen to play a larger role in the story, but Denise proved more interesting.
Denise shows compassion in her interaction with a shy, scared young woman who may be directly related to the murder investigation. The girl reveals pertinent information to Denise, and later, Jack grudgingly compliments her on the interview.
I hope you enjoy meeting Denise in Bailey’s Law.
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