MD: “So, how are things with you?”LP: “Great and very busy,” Layla sighed and then chucked one leg over the other. She was quite pretty with her tight ringlet afro reaching just below her chin and her delicate features resting on coco skin.
MD: “Why is that?”LP: “I’m a committee member for the Keep Cherryfield Clean organization, belong to the regional chess club, take lessons in a couple of things, work as an assistant for a detective agency and have a ton of homework. You know I’m in grade six now.”
MD: “Yes, I know. Let’s talk for a bit about your work as an assistant at the detective agency. What does that entail?”LP: “The grunt of the work is gathering information on the suspects,” she placed her mug filled hot chocolate on the table. “In order to figure out who committed the crime we need to know the suspect’s history. This allows us to see if there’s anything in their past that gives them a motive to commit the crime in question. Declan and I then question each suspect to gather additional information and hope they accidently slip-up and reveal something that will help solve the case. I also take notes. We like to have all sides covered. There are other things I do as an assistant, but it varies from case-to-case.”
MD: “It seems like a pretty demanding job. You sound as if you like it a lot.”LP: “I love it,” Layla beamed! “It’s the best job a girl could have.”
MD: “Speaking of girl, I hear you’re a girlie-girl.”LP: “I hate that term,” Layla rolled her eyes, then shook her head. “I’m girlie, but I’m no girlie-girl. There’s a difference you know. I like fashion, wearing jewellery and painting my nails, but I also like to climb trees, jump off things that are not too high, skateboard and climb fences. I also watch sports. Girlie-girls are delicate and don’t do stuff like that.”
MD: “Yes, I see what you mean. Before we finish up, can I get your thoughts on why I made Declan the protagonist of the book instead of you? There are a lot of people out there who say there are not enough girl protagonists in plum roles like Declan’s, especially girls of color.”LP: “Maggy, it’s your book! I’m not a writer, I’m just a kid. But I do know writers are inspired by what is presented to them creatively. Obviously, Declan came to you as a detective and I came to you as his assistant. No biggie.
“However, if I was the protagonist of the book I would be a great one. But I know I make a better assistant then I could possibly make as a detective because it suits my personality and skill set. And Declan makes a great detective for the very same reasons. Plus, you have a new series on the horizon that has a female protagonist of color, so it’s all good.”
MD: “Thanks, Layla for your candidness and support for my creative choices. It was a pleasure speaking with you. We must do this again, and good luck on the book.”LP: “Thanks!”
MD: “That wraps up my conversation with Layla of the new mystery series Declan the Kid Detective. To learn more about Layla and Declan’s adventures read the first book of the series Kidnapping of the Diamond Eyes Gingerbread Penguin.”