Part of the fun in creating characters is imagining their backstory. Just like real people are influenced and shaped by the people and experiences they have from birth to the current time, characters need a backstory to give them depth. Sometimes the backstory is revealed throughout the tale being spun. Sometimes only the author knows it, but uses it to direct how that character behaves and interacts with other characters in the story. I have three particular characters I have developed to live in the pages of three books. The stories in these books are not the stories of their lives, none would be considered the leading role, if ever the books were turned into a screen play, but they are integral to the tale and I can imagine them as scene stealers(think Olympia Dukakis and Shirley MacLaine in Steel Magnolias). These women are in their seventies and eighties and are mentors and friends to Addie Lewis, a self-confident modern southern woman whose life becomes enriched when these women come into her life. I purposefully developed them to be widely different from each other, yet somehow complimentary. I wanted them to be individuals but also a package deal. I thought about their childhoods, their loves, their successes and losses that would have happened to them over the course of seven or eight decades. They would have wisdom to offer from all of that living, but lessons to still learn. I imagined their physical features, their style and dress, even the style of monogram each woman would select. None of them are more important in my mind than the other so I will introduce them in the order they appeared in my mind. Miss Virginia Rivers is always polished, mannerly and calm. She wears a signature strand of pearls and dispenses wisdom like someone dispensing breath mints. She grew up privileged, including a private boarding school for girls, but she has had her share of losses. She never flaunts her wealth and treats everyone from the garbage collector to the mayor as if they are the most valuable person. Ms. Dale Parsons, grew up in a large rambunctious family where books and learning were valued over fashion or social experiences. She grew up to become a college professor and is known for her bumbling but endearing ways. She is book smart but even in her late seventies is working on her street smarts. She prefers her sensible shoes and baggy clothes and often has one pair of glasses perched on her head while another pair dangles from a chain around her neck. Ms. Lydia Silver (born Silverstein) is a retired soap opera star and she is as flamboyant as her former role. She would never be seen out and about without full make-up and flashy jewelry. She commands the attention of men of all ages just by walking into a room. She had a less than happy childhood and a series of marriages, but she takes it all as it comes and forges ahead enjoying life at full tilt. These women maybe in their later years but they have so much to offer each other and the other characters. I certainly have been inspired by them and fully admit I adore them. I hope my readers will too, once they become published. I chose to represent these lovely ladies with three rings from my jewelry box ( I guess I bit of me is in each of them). Can you guess which ring belongs to which lovely lady?