Updated: Mar 3, 2021
More about naming my characters.
I had to honor my husband in the book, so that is how the rancher Big Jim came about. No one calls my Jim Big Jim, but I thought it would sound better to kids. I asked Jose to put him in overalls, although my Jim never wears them. My Jim has enjoyed his bit of notoriety as friends have asked him to autograph their books.
My nickname is Mickey, but that really had little to do with naming the rancher's wife. I have this dear friend, Brandi Daliege, and her two girls, Addison & Michaela, are just the sweetest things. They are so polite and helpful and I enjoyed their visits to the library when they lived in Cross Plains. I would tell the girls about Special Ed and that I was writing a book about him. They were very excited, so I promised that I would include their names with the characters. So Mikki became the rancher's wife, and Addi became one of Special Ed's friends.
I let Jose create Mikki, although he had her in a dress and apron; I changed it to jeans. I also let Jose create Addi, but I asked him to add a feather in her hair to honor the Indian heritage in our family.
Here are the real Addi & Mikki pictured below at Puttin' on the Ritz!