So I’m back from BEA ’16 and Chicago (*sniffles* Chicago . . .*), with loads of books and not nearly enough pictures.
*(I never want to leave, but I always do, just like the hero at the end of a western . . .) Err, or rather, like someone who has to go to work on Monday . . .
I fully intend to finish my lowdown on BEA, just not right now. Right now, I’ve been working through my character profiles for Red as Blood, and it’s time to further my character development with this month’s Beautiful People.
If you don’t know – BP is a monthly writing meme hosted by Sky at Further Up and Further In and Cait @ Paper Fury. Click the links for their fabulous blogs and info on how to join!
Just like Sherlock needs a Watson to humanize him, and the Doctor needs a Companion for almost the same reason, a larger-than-life main character needs someone more relatable and “average” to ground them. Sull, the protagonist of my WIP, Red as Blood, might be a conflicted, angsty teen, but I know that I gave him a rather outrageous story (read more about it here) that few people can (hopefully) relate to in the details.
If you read my intro to the Seven Sisters of Henpecked Bar and Grill, you know that Mollie is the youngest (and tallest) “sister,” and that she’s not really content with where she is in life. Just in case you didn’t read her bio, here it is again:
Mollie was raised by warrior priests, and fell in with the seven sisters after events that she doesn't like to talk about. However, she is artistic and dreams of opening a shop or gallery in a big, fashionable city. Though she is a passable fighter, her heart isn’t in it, and she ran away from her army-school-temple as a teenager. Mollie’s real name- Machlah – was hard for her superiors to pronounce. Mollie stuck, but she’s sore about it (why doesn’t she get a fun nickname?) As the youngest, the tallest, and a half-blooded outcast, Mollie immediately sympathizes with Sull. However, he isn’t looking for an annoying surrogate older sister. Still, she’s enamored with the life he left, or what little hints he drops, and she is determined to be his friend. And what Mollie wants, Mollie usually gets. Age: 23 Race: Half human/half alien
In my mind, Mollie looks a lot like a younger version of Morena Baccarin in The Red Tent:
How often do they smile? Would they smile at a stranger?
Mollie smiles quite a bit. She’s naturally easygoing, and a daydreamer, so she’s usually smiling at a thought she had.
She would always smile at a stranger – even if she didn’t work at a restaurant. To Mollie, strangers represent different and exciting, so she’s happy to see them and hear about their adventures.
2. What is the cruelest thing they’ve ever been told? And what was their reaction?
Mollie is used to being the target of bigoted jokes about her mixed alien and human heritage. Though she looks human enough (her eyes are red-gold and she has triangular pupils, and her skin has a gold flush to it, along with scale patches), everyone (where she came from) knew her story and how her parent’s left her with monks rather than raise her and bear the shame. So the cruellest things she’s been told are probably not worth repeating, but they almost always are directed at her heritage.
3. What is the kindest thing they’ve ever been told? And what was their reaction?
When Doctor Pierce (her mentor and employer) told Mollie that she (Mollie) wasn’t defined by her success or failure, and that her art was valid even if only she (Mollie) believed in it, this was something Mollie had never heard. Doctor Pierce is not lavish with praise or unnecessary words, but her encouragement gave Mollie courage to continue pursuing art in the most unlikeliest places.
4. What is one strong memory that has stuck with your character from childhood? Why is it so powerful and lasting?
Mollie was raised by warrior monks. They were strict, ascetic, and firm but well-meaning with their wards. Mollie will never forget when trying to brighten up the drab brown robes with some colored fabric scraps that she sewed on to make flowers. The monks called her to the front of morning meeting and gave her a lecture on vanity in front of everyone. Next, they tore off the flowers and cut her long hair (another sign of her vanity), and she was relegated to latrine duty for a month. They weren’t trying to be cruel (she understands this now), but at the time she was just crushed.
In a way, this almost made things worse – Mollie kept her artistic tendencies secret, and she refuses to cut her hair for any reason.
5. What book (a real actual published book!) do you think your character would benefit from reading?
6.Have they ever been seriously injured? How severely? How did they react?
Not really. The worst injuries Mollie has ever sustained were minor fractures and sprains from combat training with the monks and their wards. She’s stubborn and has a high level of pain tolerance, so she rarely shows a reaction – especially if people are watching her.
7. Do they like and get along with their neighbours?
Mollie is generally pretty agreeable. However, if she doesn’t like you, she really doesn’t like you. That being said, she gets along well with most everyone she knows.
8. On a scale from 1 to 10 (1 being easy and 10 being difficult) how easy are they to get along with?
2 – see above.
9. If they could travel anywhere in the world, where would they go?
She wants to go to Ithir (also known as Earth-that-Was), the homeworld of the original humans. She also wants to go to New Milan – which is the fashion epicenter of the galaxy. (And where Sull spent a lot of time)
10. Who was the last person they held hands with?
Despite their asceticism, the monks actually encouraged familial bonding between their wards, as well as kind touches and comforting gestures. Mollie held her fellow wards’ hands all the time, but she grew hesitant to touch others after she left. Being a huggy person herself, she doesn’t understand the premium some people put on personal space. The last person Mollie “held hands” with was probably her mother figure-Doctor Pierce-when the latter rescued her from an ignominious fate and told her to run.