A lot of these conversations forced me to think hard about how I create characters, because non-writers tend to ask some pretty probing questions. What if your character has a profession you know nothing about? How can you tell how she’ll react to situations you’ve never been in yourself? How do you make a character feel real? How do you even start? As I struggled to answer these questions, it occurred to me that my attempts might make a good response to this whole meet-my-character thing.
I’m not much of a plotter. My story seeds are always characters, and I typically spend ten thousand words or so getting to know them before I even think about a plot. Those ten thousand words are a chance for me to explore my main character’s past, to imagine what her best future might be, and to identify the ways her world, and she herself, will get in her way as she tries to get there.
It’s the ways she’ll get in her own way that fascinate me the most. Not that I don’t love some murderous external conflict, but to me, the most compelling stories follow an arc of transformative personal change.
Cass Weatherfield’s basic stats are this: She’s a powerful telepath and telekinetic who, when she was still learning to control her powers, caused a fatal accident. It’s haunted her for years, and she’s done her best to completely suppress her powers. The first book, Twisted Miracles, follows her sometimes painful but ultimately redemptive journey to accepting her own powers—and the love she left behind when she rejected them. In Dangerous Calling, now that she’s come to terms with her abilities, she has to figure out how to use them. And to do that, she has to encounter the deeper demons of her personality— her tendency to turn inward to solve her problems, her susceptibility to addiction.
Of course, she won’t be alone. She’ll have a band of friends to help her, all with their own flaws and strengths. All have their own complicated pasts--and some have stories of their own to come.