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When I first imagined the character of Samantha Kidd, I knew I wanted to write about in many books. I also knew it was important for her to change and grow throughout the series. Character growth, whether it's a fictional character or it's us, is something I'm passionate about. We all need to keep moving forward, and I always wanted Samantha to be an example and inspiration for seeking out that growth.
But in terms of writing a character, that meant moving her back a few steps behind the starting blocks.
In Designer Dirty Laundry, Samantha shows her trademark curiosity, determination, and intent to seek justice for those who committed crimes (along with her uniquely humorous way of processing information and life), but it also shows a scared woman who tried to make a change and is dealing with unexpected fallout. (#understatement!) She also shows her love of fashion, which becomes her armor.
Over the course of the series, she continues to make spontaneous decisions that lead her into unsavory situations, but she also gets a little smarter in each book. She learns not to fight so much. She gains confidence, and she even works out that job situation (eventually). Ad one of my favorite parts of the series is her evolving relationship with cranky Detective Loncar!
A quick note about the fashion angle in my books: I've always believed clothing has the power to change your life. It might be discovering a flattering color, seeing yourself differently when you dress up or down or cross, finding a comfortable shoe that also looks good, playing with proportions, and even breaking the so-called rules. Experimenting with clothing is a safe way to be rebellions, and we interact differently with the world depending on how we dress. There's also a fascinating history of the politics of clothes. Samantha is a fashion-history major and knows all sorts of things about fashion--which sometimes helps her solve a mystery, and sometimes leads to humorous style choices along the way.
As you continue reading the series, you might be surprised to see how much she grows while still maintaining her charm. If you keep on reading, you'll be with her as she gets a new job, helps curate an exhibit at the local museum, exposes an arsonist, hides out at a motel, confronts the mafia, goes to Vegas, becomes an influencer, and visits a prisoner in jail. Her personal life also has its share of ups and downs. But all the while, she'll keep you laughing.