“How much of you goes into your heroine?”
I get asked this once in a while, and I think it’s an interesting question on many levels. It sort of suggests that a writer’s character is her idealized alter ego, Wonder Woman to the writer’s Diana Prince.
EMBERS drew heavily on my background in criminal justice. Her relationship with her familiar, Sparky the fire salamander, mirrors relationships I’ve had with my pets. Tara Sheridan from DARK ORACLE knows everything I know about Tarot. Tara also has my tendency to watch and wait, to analyze situations before acting. Both Anya and Tara suffer from my deep-seated belief that love does not conquer all.
But sometimes a heroine isn’t an avatar. Sometimes, a character is entirely her own person, and very little in her world and experience intersects with my own.
THE HALLOWED ONES, is like that. She’s a young woman of very strong faith in a powerful community. These aren’t things that are part of my daily life, so it was a challenge to do the research as an outsider, to work myself into her skin. Katie was foreign to me on many fronts – her belief in people, her strength and willingness to take risks. She values the collective more than her individual needs. These are not things that come easily to me.
But she grew of her own accord. Rather than pulling from my own views and experiences, she became her own person. I developed a lot of respect for her and her way of life. I began to understand her own internal logic and learn the larger ideals that motivated her. She was full of hope and idealism and her own naivete and strength.
Is there something of me in Katie? Almost certainly. I think it’s impossible to mold a character without leaving some of one’s fingerprints on her.
But she’s not an avatar. She’s her own person, and I learned a lot of respect for differences in the process. She became my teacher, and I’m grateful for that experience.
The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle
Book #1 in the Hallowed Ones series
Katie is on the verge of her Rumspringa, the time in Amish life when teenagers can get a taste of the real world. But the real world comes to her in this dystopian tale with a philosophical bent. Rumors of massive unrest on the “Outside” abound. Something murderous is out there. Amish elders make a rule: No one goes outside, and no outsiders come in. But when Katie finds a gravely injured young man, she can’t leave him to die. She smuggles him into her family’s barn—at what cost to her community? The suspense of this vividly told, truly horrific thriller will keep the pages turning.