Now many of you may disagree but I think Blaise Baptiste is just about the coolest character name I came up with for NSSS. He’s the second son of the Baptiste crime family patriarch Denis Baptiste, Jr. (Sidenote: Baptiste’s eldest son Brice is estranged from the family and works for the D.A.’s office.)
Blaise, like any second son from lit/film/etc., is preoccupied with proving himself to his father. He wants more responsibility within the family business–and he wants more power.
When the novel opens, Blaise is thrust into the spotlight of the family because his father has been arrested and Blaise has to keep it all together. Of course he has Kylie, Denis’ niece, to help him but their relationship is tense at best. Blaise is quick-tempered and not equally quick-minded. His mouth gets him into trouble and his fists get him out of it.
When I was writing the book, I imagined a 20-something Julian McMahon as Blaise Baptiste. And let me tell you, it’s not terribly hard to imagine Julian McMahon.
One of the great things about having a facebook page for North Shore / South Shore is that I can get immediate feedback when I have questions about the details. One of my favorite facebook conversations was from last summer when my question about the Baptiste’s ethnicity spawned several comments. They are French-American but that didn’t seem tough enough for a family of high-powered dangerous criminals. People suggested I make them part Creole or just make them Irish (but that might entail changing the last name).
Today I asked what kind of car a mobwife should drive. I chose a Mercedes Benz sedan for Denis Baptiste’s wife Erica. And I think it will be white. Like the responses to the Baptiste’s ethnic background, the comments about Erica’s car were entertaining and insightful.
Yes, definitely white. White interior too–because she is obviously high maintenance. White because it one might expect black for a villain. A white car says “My husband just beat his charges. After I pick him up at the courthouse, we going to Whole Foods.”