Character Insight 'Kids With Guns' Blog #2

This is the continuation of character development in the Kids With Guns series. I’m going in depth into why I wrote the characters I did in this series. I want to give everyone a glimpse into my mind, what goes into writing a series of this magnitude and what makes my brain tick. Let’s get started:


Irene (Surgeon)-Irene has been a surgeon for years and has saved countless lives. Surgeons get praise for their expertise in what they do but now one day at work forever changes her life. People with multiple gunshot wounds are being rushed into the emergency room. 


Think about how fast she has to prepare with tools, washing her hands, getting on all of her hospital gear, getting her assistants and an operating room in a matter of minutes.


Once again, my goal is to get you to think of how this affects people, their minds and how mentally prepared they have to be. 

Everything is fast, frenetic, crazy, fast-paced, scary (but you can’t show it) and now you’re in a position to save someone’s life. Sometimes you can save someone but there are times when you can’t. And you have to be the one to tell their families the bad news that they didn’t make it.


Those are the emotions that I put into these characters and why I do it. It’s visualizing all of this and knowing that this is what life is and what it consists of. I’m writing the realities of what happens in this world and a school shooting isn’t just what happens at the school. It’s also what happens in ambulances, police and federal government cars and offices, emergency rooms and so many other places I can name. 


This is the grueling parts of life and trying to get a hold of what’s going on in this world.  


Derek (School Principal)-I’ve always wondered why you very rarely hear anything from the school principal when school shootings happen. It never made sense to me and the more I looked into it, the more I realized that there needs to be a story written that involves one. 


Derek is different from the average school principal, he cares and is immersed into his students. So he finds out the school shooting is happening on his watch, it shook him to the core and it’s something you’ll see not only early on in the series, but as the series progresses and moves along. 


There’s a lot that goes into his character and he’s surely someone that I write in the present moment but I also include a backstory and the future of his career. There’s components and layers to his character and my goal is to step into his shoes and know what he’s thinking and feeling from when things happen until the end of this whole story. 


Kimberly (Police Detective)-A career in law enforcement is full of ups and downs and it’s a rollercoaster ride of a myriad of emotions. You see everything you could possibly see. Never in your wildest dreams do you think you’d be called to a school shooting. Never do you think you’d be investigating a school shooting where hundreds of lives are impacted at one time. 


This is the story that you don’t hear. This is what Kimberly has to experience and go through all while, maintaining her emotions. None of this is easy on the mind, heart and soul. I wanted to write about a detective who has to work with other government agencies to investigate a horrific event. 


Driving to the school shooting at rapid speed. Being brought up to date with what’s going on, what’s happened, who’s injured, who was dead on arrival, walking into the school and seeing blood, gore, guts, bullet fragments everywhere. That’s what you don’t hear, that’s what you don’t envision and while it’s hard to process, once again, this is real. 


Think about the mental aspect of having to deal with this. All of the questions, thinking about other kids, your own, families affected, the chaos that is going on in the moment. The chaos that will ensue when the dust settles a bit and you have to drive through town and hear it among citizens, the news, that’s what I needed to write to bring out her story and I feel I did Kimberly justice in this series. 


Marc (FBI Agent)-Marc’s story is very interesting and I’d love to share why but then I’d be giving the story away (if you haven’t read the series yet). What I will say is, there’s a lot that goes into a case like this when you’re an FBI agent and investigations are done a certain way. 


Marc’s character I decided to make a huge component to the series. His story, his dedication and drive to solving this case and many other things that he shares and goes through. There are so many things I want to share but the best thing I can tell you is pay attention to Marc throughout the series, you’ll thank me later. 


Anna (Neighbor)-We all know that there are neighbors where these kids live with their parents, right? But somehow, we don’t hear from any neighbors when the news covers a school shooting. You may get brief snippets of what they think or feel but not the whole story. 


Anna is someone I wanted to include in this series and you get to hear her perspective on things. You’ll learn of things you wouldn’t normally get on a news broadcast. My goal is for you to like her and how truthful she is in what she’s saying and feeling about the whole school shooting, the kids and their parents. 


She’s a solid character that I wanted to utilize for the majority of the book series and write her story. Sharing her thoughts and feelings from the shooting, to living as their neighbors, to the trial and everything in between. It’s always good to write stories from various perspectives.


William (Mayor)-You’re voted in to run a city and then suddenly, a school shooting happens. How do you deal with that? How do you manage your emotions? What is going on in your mind? You’ll be called to the podium to speak before a myriad of news stations, not just from the city and state, all across the country. 


These are the things that go on in my mind when I’m developing these characters. What exactly is going to be their story? How am I writing about them to where you get a feel for their role in the story but also in society? I want the story to be real but also surreal to those of you reading it.  


William wasn’t an easy character to write. I challenged myself to bring out a range of emotions in the series and hopefully I was able to provide that (I let readers be the judge of that). 


Brittany (News Reporter)-A news reporter when someone is shot or a bad car crash happens, you’re one of the first on the scene. You’re preparing a script, working with the producers, director and the news station to go on live. You have your cameraman, driver of the van and making sure your attire is good with makeup and lighting. Wearing the right garments depending on the weather, etc. 


Now….a school shooting happens, something you’ve never done before. The preparation, the script you must prepare, speaking with police, the FBI, where can you report from, getting every possible tidbit of information that no other news station has. Getting there to set up before anyone else does, wanting to be the first on scene to report what’s going on at that exact moment. 

It’s all of those things but there’s a backstory to Brittany. I won’t divulge it here but I’ll say your best bet is to get Part 1 of the series and read it. I don’t like to leave people on cliffhangers too much but it’s surely worth it to find out what her backstory is. 


Brittany is a huge component to this series and you’ll come to know why. It won’t necessarily be just her thoughts she’s feeling and what she’s reporting, it will be things that we don’t see and hear that she starts to share down the line in the series. 


That's another blog of character insight for the book series 'Kids With Guns.' Stay tuned for the next blog with more character insight!


Be good everyone and go accomplish your goals!


Jamell Crouthers


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