So this will be my second time participating in the “Beautiful People for Writers” meme (hosted by the fabulous ladies of Paper Fury and Further Up and Further In. If you want to know what the meme entails, click here. It’s basically a meme full of questions that participants answer for their book characters.
This month’s theme is “Parents” (they assure me that guardians/mentors count too)
This is interesting, as my current novel is about two adults without parents, but who do have mentor/quasi-parent figures that influenced their characters.
So I’ll start with a little context: My novel (tentatively titled “The Last Coffee Shop,” follows the mishaps and adventures of coffee shop owner, Madeleine “Mads” Capot. You can read a little more about her here.
There is a core group of important characters, but the other major character is Luc Garou (one of many fake last names). Luc is the “mysterious bounty hunter” alluded to in my other “Beautiful People” post. Since he is almost as important as Mads in this story, I decided it was time we gave him some “screen time.” I am going to answer the questions for both of them this time around.
1. Do they know both their biological parents? Why/why not?
Mads: Mads never met her father, and her mother (Lisette) died when she was fourteen. Her father left before she was born (presumably he never knew that her mother was pregnant). Mads was raised by her grandmother, Heloise, who is youthful, charming, and elegant, but was never the most adept parent.
Luc: As far as he knows, he never met his father, and he has no idea who he [his father] is. Luc’s mother died in childbirth. Luc was raised in a literal underworld (a post-apocalyptic den of vice in the former Parisian catacombs), so he never had a real parental figure until he was an older teenager. Alien mercenary and con man, Captain Graynard Peck, takes Luc in and basically teaches him how to do a lot of illegal things.
2. Have they inherited any physical resemblances from their parents?
Mads: Mads is biracial, so her skin is completely different from both her parents. She looks basically nothing like her mother, though her expressions and mannerisms are similar. She takes after her father (more than she realizes), and wears her hair in dreadlocks like he did.
Luc: He has his mother’s eyes: deep, startling green, He also has her athleticism. Other than that, he has no idea.
3. What’s their parental figure(s) dress style? Add pictures if you like!
|Copyright: MARVEL comics|
Mads: I picture her dad as Marvel’s Blade (comics, not movie) meets Mel Gibson’s Mad Max in looks/style. He wears functional and protective clothing scavenged from the ruined world, and he has that menacing survivalist vibe. However, he keeps a classy element, to remind his people that he’s in charge. (Plot twist: Mads has no idea he’s alive)
Her mother was the polar opposite. I picture Lisette in looks and style to be a lot like this picture of French actress Melanie Laurent.
Luc: Luc’s parents were descendants of apocalypse survivors as well, but unlike Mads’ mother, they didn’t grow up in the carefully preserved Springs Village. Instead, they grew up in the vice dens below (what used to be) Paris.
I assume his father was a rake, a wastrel, and charming. And tall. Most likely in debt. But he’s a figure of mystery.
Luc’s mother was a courtesan and accomplished dancer. It is unknown how she felt about this.
4. Do they share any personality traits with their parental figures? And which do they take after most?
Mads: Mads is stubborn like her mother, but her pragmatism, resourcefulness, and commanding personality come from her father.
Luc: Luc is a chronic liar (almost to the point of illness). Whether this is due to his genetics, upbringing, or his con man mentor, who knows? As Luc was raised (and had to fend for himself) in a seedy environment where he couldn’t trust anyone, or be vulnerable, he developed a malleable, adaptable persona that changes with circumstances. Even he doesn’t know what he’s really like anymore.
5. Do they get on with their parental figure(s) or do they clash?
Mads: Mads and her grandmother but heads on a lot of things. However, they love and respect each other, so they can work things out before it gets serious. She never really understood her mother, who was detached and disinterested most of the time.
Luc: Luc and Graynard have a sinking sand relationship: it looks solid until you step on it. Their mutual loyalty is rarely questioned, but that might be a mistake. Nevertheless, Graynard is the only one who hasn’t deserted/put a reward out for Luc by the time the book starts
6. If they had to describe their parental figure(s) in one word, what would it be?
Mads, describing Heloise: Regal
Luc, describing Reynard: Duplicitous
7. How has their parental figure(s) helped them most in their life?
Mads: Heloise raised Mads, and has always supported her. She has also given Mads room to run The Last Coffee Shop (and her own life) as Mads sees fit.
Luc: When Luc crawled out of the sewers, beaten to a pulp and near death, Graynard took him aboard his ship. When Luc survived, Graynard taught him how to find his way in the larger universe. Now, as Luc is the brains of their operations, Graynard has shifted to a support role.
8. What was their biggest fight with their parental figure(s)?
Mads: Mads and Heloise had their biggest disagreement when Mads was a teenager. Heloise thought that they should hire someone else to run the shop until Mads was older. After they settled that, they haven’t had a real reason to fight.
Luc: Graynard and Luc’s biggest fight has not happened yet (pre-novel). They’ve had business disagreements (especially when Luc did something foolish, like robbing an emperor or digging up a potentate’s grave), but their true falling out involves major plot points.
9. Tracing back the family tree, what nationalities are in their ancestry?
The novel’s world is a parallel earth, several centuries after apocalyptic events that destroyed 99.9% of all life. I use variations on place names and nationalities, as if our present is a near-mythical past.
Mads: Mads’ mother and grandmother are English and French. Their family could trace its roots back centuries to royalty. Mads’ father’s ancestors came from (what was once) the island of Barbados. He has no written record of his family, but his deep black skin and powerful build suggest African origin.
Luc: Luc’s mother, at least, was a Russian-French fusion. She was a ballerina, and the women in her family have passed the art/skill down since before the apocalypse (needless to say, it isn’t the legitimate Russian ballet, but you get the point). Luc’s father was French, or so Luc assumes.
10. What’s their favourite memory with their parental figure(s)?
Mads: Mads’ best memory of her mother is from when she was quite young, and Lisette hadn’t been so distant. Lisette spent hours teaching Mads how to care for the Shop and their farming complex, starting with the bees and ending with making mochas (and many other drinks). That was the happiest part of Mads’ childhood.
Luc: Luc has few happy memories associated with parental figures. However, he does enjoy memories of previous scores and successful cons with Graynard.