This is the bookplate for Missy Bean, founder and president of the Lacuna Cabal Montreal Young Women's Book Club. When we workshopped the play at the National Theatre School in the winter and early spring of 2003, the part of Missy was played by Kate Hewlett, who complained to me at one point that she thought the character was too much of a bitch.
I felt really bad about the notion that I had created a character that was so unsympathetic that it caused trouble for the actor (esp given my priorities), and tried to counter in rehearsal that Missy was just a frustrated leader, and that if everyone in the book club was more inclined to listen to her advice and follow her directives, like, to the letter, then no one would consider her to be a bitch at all.
As advice goes, it didn't really help, esp since the play didn't offer Missy any opportunity to show anything other than these alleged thwarted leadership abilities.
In preparation for transforming Missy into a character for the novel, I recall purchasing Wonder Woman, the Complete History, by Les Daniels. I grew up with the TV series, thinking she was a less-than inspired character. But, as with other such American cultural icons, I had my mind changed by the range of admirers Wonder Woman had. And experience has taught me that keeping up appearances while saving the world is not such a dissable notion. Not for Wonder Woman nor for Missy Bean, nor for me.
Since writing The Last Days of the Lacuna Cabal, the name 'Missy Bean' has come to represent a default moniker for me indicating a mask or a false personality covering something up. Currently I'm creating a character who tries to create a disguise for herself so she can seek revenge on someone. She's trying to become Missy Bean but not doing a very good job.