You may (or may not?) have noticed that I have been rather absent. The end of March and April (so far) have had me running around like a headless chicken.
Both jobs are getting busier as we careen toward summer traffic, and it leaves little time for blogging, much less thinking. Still, I’ve been plugging away at a read-through/preliminary edit of The Last Coffee Shop, and I still love it, so that’s good. Also, I’ve been getting some more words down and groundwork for my current WIP, Red as Blood.
Red as Blood was also the book I used for the March Beautiful People link-up. In that post (read it here), I introduced the main character and narrator of the story, Sull. He’s a runaway teenage (former)model who ends up in the alley behind the only place to get real fried chicken in the galaxy: The Henpecked Bar & Grill. The Henpecked is run by seven (former) warrior women who decide to give Sull a job in the kitchens, and the rest is, well, the story of Red as Blood. It’s comic space opera meets slice of life diner story meets my generally ridiculous fairy tale retellings saga.
Anyhow, seven important supporting characters = a lot to juggle, so I thought some character profiles could help me hammer out more of their seven distinct personalities. I won’t bore you with lots of facts, but I will give you some basic bits on each “sister” and a picture that suggests what they might look like.
Introducing: The Seven Sisters of Henpecked Bar & Grill
Sister #1: Marjorie Pierce (Doctor Pierce)
Nickname: The Doctor.
Yes, otherwise known as Doc, or just Boss. While she isn’t a Timelord (sadly, a trademark), Doc is indeed, a medical practitioner. Despite her healing tendencies, she’s a vicious warrior in her own right. And you’d have to be a strong personality to have all of the following women submit to your rule (a loving dictatorship). She’s a motherly figure, though she never had any children of her own (though there are rumors of a scandalous, tragic love affair in her youth . . .)
Age: A lady never tells – but she’s north of 40 and south of 60
Occupation: Manager/Owner of Henpecked Bar & Grill
Birthplace: She never talks about it
Height: 127 cm Weight: You’re joking, right? Race: Human
Weakness: Orphans of any species
Weapon of Choice: Bola
Likes: Feeding People, Sharpening weapons. Being Needed.
Dislikes: Whining and Complaining. Inefficiency.
Favorite Food: Fried Chicken and Biscuits with Gravy and Strong, Black Coffee – and Chocolate Cake. She’s not a health nut . . .
Marjorie is the first person to meet Sull in the narrative, and she (presumably) takes a shine to the battered, skinny boy with haunted eyes and too pretty of a face. He needs food.
Sister #2: Jian (she has no family name that she speaks of)
Jian’s people were shunned and persecuted for hundreds of years after they left their home planet and countries. Most of them barely scraped out livings as cooks and servants for richer survivors. They were known as “dumplings,” a derogatory term that is frowned upon in modern galactic society. Nevertheless, Jian’s wicked sense of humor, beauty, skill with numerous weapons, and excellent cooking skills found her a place as a highly sought after assassin. Of course, that was in her younger days. Now she rules the kitchens of Henpecked, and in a nod to all of the
fools people who underestimated her and her people, she calls herself Dumpling.
Occupation: Head Chef, Prime Cook at Henpecked Bar and Grill
Birthplace: The mining colonies of Lai’ren
Height: 140 cm Weight: 53 kg (ish) Race: Human
Weakness: Shiny pots and cooking utensils. Cooking stores.
Weapon of Choice: Her fists for contact. Poison otherwise.
Likes: Cooking. Polishing Silver. Fishing. Filleting . . . things
Dislikes: Sloppy housekeeping. Bullies.
Favorite Food: Spicy Hot Pot. Cinnamon rolls (hers are divine)
Dumpling is the kindest to Sull when they take him in. After all, he needs food, and her cooking is addictive. And while she runs a tight ship of a kitchen, she doesn’t mind helping hands. She’s also the most open of the sisters, easily sharing her skills with a scrappy boy.
Sister #3: General Ayan Stonefist (a last name given to her-not her actual surname)
Photo Credit: Eric Lafforgue
(The General looks a lot like the girl above, just older, and she refuses to wear bright colors)
Nickname: The General.
Don’t be fooled by her small stature. If you refer to her by her real name, she will take you to the alley for your cheekiness. You’ll be lucky if you can walk out again. Due to her past, she never actually introduces herself by her name anyhow, but it’s a fair warning! Other than that she has one of the best tactical minds of the last century, and it’s a mystery why she’s working at an out-of-the-way food joint. Actually, most everything about her is a mystery, and she’d prefer it stay that way.
Age: early forties (or so the Sisters guess)
Occupation: Assistant Manager of Henpecked Bar & Grill. But that’s just what it says on paper.
Height: 135 cm Weight: Unknown Race: Human
Weakness: *whispers* Don’t even tell her we asked.
Weapon of Choice: Throwing knives or a good spear
Likes: Order, cleanliness, and quiet. Sharp blades. Maps. Dogs.
Dislikes: Bad manners. Insubordinate people. Disorder. Cats.
Favorite Food: Strawberries (she has a surprising sweet tooth)
Of all of the sisters, Ayan is the most reserved and forbidding. However, she exudes calm and excels at managing diverse and difficult personalities. Sull tries to avoid her as much as possible, yet he admires the way she carries herself – as if she’s twenty feet tall and all corded muscle – anyone in her way will be ten feet under . . .
Leila-May has a sunny personality to go with her bouncy golden curls and big blue eyes. But she seldom talks about her past, and no one ever remembers what happened to her last boyfriend(s) or pets. Despite her talkative, vivacious nature, she’s hard to get to know and she can get away without telling you anything about herself. Still, you can’t help being charmed by her good looks and great smile. Whether this is a good thing or not . . . that’s a chance you’ll have to take.
Age: 38, but she looks around 10 years younger
Occupation: Head Waitress and Hostess
Height: 144.7 cm Weight: 40.83 kg Race: Human
Weakness: Good looks, in general. Anything cute.
Weapon of Choice: Charm – and failing that, a garrote vil
Likes: Anything cute, pretty, or attractive. Romantic vacations.
Dislikes: Complainers, demanding people, boring days.
Favorite Food: If it’s tiny and artfully prepared, she’ll eat anything. She’s particularly partial to gizzards, which surprises almost everyone.
Shortcake loves Sull instantly – she thinks he’s absolutely “precious.” But considering her bad history with pets (she brings them home if they’re cute, and then forgets them . . .), she quickly forgets his existence. However, if you remind her, she’ll gush about how adorable he is. “And such a diligent child, always busy working.”
SISTER #5:Eliza Batbayar
Nickname: Lizard (or Deadeyed Lizzy)
With a nickname partially derived from her name, and partially derived from the fact that she always looks asleep, Lizard is the watchful bartender of Henpecked. She has robotic parts from a horrific incident in her past, but she’s turned this to her advantage. She still holds the record for the most live bounties taken in Sector 3. Like the rest of the sisters, she rarely talks about her past. However, she makes no secret of her identity as Deadeyed Lizzy (given partly because she has a cyborg eye, and partly because she’s never been known to miss a shot).
Occupation: Bartender, Waitress
Height: 152.4 cm Weight: 46.2 kg Race: Human/Cyborg
Weakness: She’s actually pretty nice, and she’d rather avoid conflict.
Weapon of Choice: Alongside a weaponized arm that can fire various projectiles, she also has a trusty set of pistols that no one is allowed to touch. And she can hit anything with them.
Likes: Mixing drinks, talking to patrons, exchanging capture stories.
Dislikes: Baking. Small talk. False fronts and dishonesty.
Favorite Food: She’ll eat anything, but she’s partial to anything with a lot of vegetables, and she prefers salty to sweet.
Despite her formidable reputation, Lizard is the most open to teaching Sull some self-defense know-how. She’s a hard but fair teacher, and she doesn’t ask questions. Still, Sull never allows himself to forget how dangerous Lizard, or any of the sisters, really are.
SISTER #6: Teral of Min
Imagine something like above ^^, but with long pointed ears, yellow eyes, and navy skin. And redder hair. Also, she has a respirator.
Standing just above 4ft tall, Red is the shortest of the sisters. But that doesn’t make her the safest. Red is one of the last of the Minuerans, a race of small, humanoid aliens that are known to be masters of stealth and assassination. Despite her unusually red hair, Red would have lived up to all of that. Unfortunately, she is also allergic to almost everything that grows outside of her homeworld. Red wears a respirator at all times to help her breath the unfamiliar air and avoid reactions. This doesn’t stop her from sneezing constantly. But no one dares to call her sneezy, and for good reason . . .
Age: Around 30 in human years
Occupation: Waitress, Host, Busser
Height: 124.5 cm Weight: 31.7 kg Race: Minueran
Weakness: The environment
Weapon of Choice: Though her sneezing and respirator always herald her arrival, her small size, brute strength, and light feet make her a different kind of danger. She likes to trip her opponents, and then finish them off with the infamous Minueran spiked club.
Likes: Human food, which she is highly allergic to
Dislikes: Flowers, as she is highly allergic to them.
Favorite Food: Biscuits and gravy, which, you guessed it, she’s allergic to.
Red is mostly indifferent to Sull. As far as she’s concerned, he’ll have to earn his keep before he becomes worth noticing. Still, if he wants tips on how to take on a much bigger opponent, she’s a real pro and she likes to talk about it.
SISTER #7: Mollie
Nickname: Mollie IS her nickname
Mollie is the unplanned child of a human and an alien. She was taken in by warrior priests, friends of her father. However, she is artistic and dreams of opening a shop or gallery in a big, fashionable city. Though she is a passable fighter, her heart isn’t in it, and she ran away from her army-school-temple as a teenager. She fell in with The Doctor soon after, and she has followed the older woman ever since. Mollie’s real name- Machlah – was hard for her superiors to pronounce. Mollie stuck, but she’s sore about it (why doesn’t she get a fun nickname)
Occupation: Girl of All Work
Height: 157.5 cm Weight: 52.6 kg Race: Half human/half alien
Weakness: Daydreams too much to focus
Weapon of Choice: She prefers to make art, not war, but don’t be fooled: she’s skilled in several martial arts, and those elegant hatchets in her hair . . . they’re fully operational.
Likes: Fashionable clothes and accessories. Art.
Dislikes: Rough culture, bad manners, hard living.
Favorite Food: Pastries
As the youngest, the tallest, and a half-blooded outcast, Mollie immediately sympathizes with Sull. However, he isn’t looking for an annoying surrogate older sister. Still, she’s enamored with the life he left, or what little hints he drops, and she is determined to be his friend. And what Mollie wants, Mollie usually gets.
WHEW – that was a lot of characters. Hopefully you didn’t get lost (if you made it this far!).
What are your impressions of “The Sisters”? Any one that stood out to you? Do you think you’d like to work with them, or is Sull in big trouble?