In my continuing celebration of the release of my new book, Kendra Kandlestar and the Search for Arazeen, I am profiling some of the new characters. Last week, I introduced Tuttleferd T. Thistle Toe. This week, it’s yet another animal character: Paipo Plumpuddle.
Who she is:
Paipo Plumpuddle is a young Een rabbit who lives in the Land of Een and is a member of the underground resistance movement known as the Knights of Winter. You see, in this final installment of the Kendra Kandlestar series, all animals have been enslaved by the would-be emperor, Burdock Brown. As a member of the Knights of Winter, Paipo leads many secret missions to disrupt Burdock’s rule. Especially, she is involved in rescuing many of the Een animals who have been thrown into Burdock’s prisons.
Paipo is young and small, but known for her courage. She is also the great-niece of another famous Een animal, Luka Long-Ears.
Where she came from:
For The Search for Arazeen I did something I rarely do—and that’s specifically base characters on real people I know. I figured it would be a way to honor some of the people who have helped me with the Kendra Kandlestar series. Paipo is based on a bookseller named Paige from A Good Book Café in Sumner, Washington.
I only ever came to know Paige because of her love of the Kendra Kandlestar series. A few years ago, when I was midway through the series, Paige began corresponding with me and then I eventually appeared at the bookstore where she works. Some people wear their hearts on their sleeves. Not Paige—she wears it on her skin. Imagine my surprise when I found out that Paige got a tattoo of her favorite character, Oki:
Yes, that’s real! Well, I think if someone is going to get a tattoo based on your books, then you pretty much have to base a character on them.
The name for Paipo Plumpuddle also came from Paige. You see, I have this handy form on my website that I give to kids so they can make up their own Een name (you can download it here). Paige completed the form and came up with Paipo Plumpuddle. So, after hearing that, it was just a matter of trying to figure out what role a character with such a name would play in The Search for Arazeen. I decided that Paipo needed to be someone who was important! Her page time may be short, but there’s no doubt that she is a significant character . . . especially at the very (and I mean VERY) end of the book.