Originally appeared at Manic Readers
Thank you so much to Ivy for inviting me to guest on her blog today. I’m excited to meet her followers and talk fiction with you all.
Strong female characters are so talked about in fiction and movies these days they are almost cliché. When I first created my heroine, Emilie, I wasn’t thinking about making her strong or resilient or tough. I just wanted to write a character I related with–a heroine I could cheer for.
There’s no magic formula for great characters. Something within us just clicks, and we form an attachment to the great ones.
So there’s Emilie, trapped in this horrible situation with a masked man who’s got a personal agenda that involves her. She’s a survivor, so she fights to stay alive, even if that means playing the bad guy’s game. Her bravery wins her a temporary respite from her stalker, but she’s got a big, red X on her back. And her past–the one she’s spent so many years running from–blindsides her. By the middle of the book, Emilie’s got every reason to crawl into shell and hide. But she doesn’t. She faces her tormenters head on and in the process realizes the key to her survival is in the past.
Emilie is a character that took a long time to truly take form. In early drafts of the book, she was an unlikeable, angry woman who didn’t trust anyone. I didn’t even like her, and there were times I seriously considered dropping the novel because I couldn’t get Emilie right.
But when I finally stopped trying to write her as the “perfect female character,” the real Emilie emerged. She took on a life of her own on the page and became someone I would support in the real world. She’s a loyal friend, a compassionate person, and wise enough to know what battles to pick and which ones to simply walk away from.
Emilie is a heroine I’m happy to call my own, and I hope you love her as much as I do.