Monday, June 25, 2012

Elle Gray from The Spy Who Wants Me

You know I get asked for my favorites a lot. What's your favorite book? Who is your favorite character? What's your favorite setting? Etc. And usually, the honest answer is whatever I'm working on at the moment. But if you were to ask me for a list of my favorite heroines to date, Elle Gray from The Spy Who Wants Me would be at the top. There's just something about a woman who is trained to kill, but is emotionally vulnerable. She's not afraid of facing down a loaded gun, but gets nervous about calling her mother.

I loved living inside her head as I wrote to get her out of mine. I tell people I write the stories that are clamoring to be told and that usually means characters that are demanding attention and screen time. Elle was definitely one of those. There was no doubt that when I went to write the next Goddard Project book, it would be her story. It simply could not have been anyone else's. Imagine my surprise as the story unfolded and I realized her brother was just as attention seeking as she was. I did something I rarely do, I wrote a dual romance in the same book. Because Matej simply wouldn't wait and Elle was already kicking a$$ with bad guys in my head every day when I woke up.

I spent longer with Elle and Matej than I do with a lot of my characters because it took me longer to write their book. I had no problem understanding how they could and would fall in love with Beau and Chantal respectively, because I did too.

When I hear from readers that had the same response, I rejoice. When I read a review that didn't, I was stunned. Not that my writing could garner a negative review, but that anyone couldn't love these characters as much as I did. It's all in their portrayal...I know somewhere, some way, my writing let the reviewer down because it certainly wasn't the characters. They're amazing. They're people I'd love to meet in real life.

Especially Elle. People often wonder if I model my characters on "real" acquaintances, but the answer is yes and no. Yes, in that just as in real life, everyone we touch influences us and vice versa. So, everyone I touch influences my characters. And no, I've never consciously used someone's personality traits, physical appearance, etc. in my writing. And Elle is probably the furthest from anyone I've read or seen of any of my characters. She's unique and I'd like nothing more than to meet a person who is her real life counterpart, but I don't hang much with black ops agents (except in my books ::g::).

Watching her reaction to Beau was the most fun I've had in an age.

If romance novels show nothing else, they show us that real love is worth fighting for and worth sacrificing for.

In The Spy Who Wants Me, Elle learns that fighting for love isn't at all like putting an opponent out for the count. And maybe she teaches Beau a thing or two about emotion - but to find out what, I guess you'll have to read the book.

You all know I would love to meet Elle in real life, but how about you? What character (and from what book) would you most like to meet in person? And if you got to meet them, what would you do? Would you ask them questions, or would you want to do something with them? I'd like Elle to teach me how to disarm an opponent.

Hugs to all,


marybelle said...

Actually, I would not like to meet any beloved characters in real life. I'm afraid the reality may be disappointing. Best to keep them on the pages where they are at their best I feel.

Judy said...

I think reviews reveal much more about the reviewer than whatever they reviewed.

My favorite characters are the ones I come away from wanting to be more like them. Usually, I want to be more confident, more comfortable with myself, more living out loud, so to speak.

patches22 said...

i would love to meet mykola i love him