Tuesday, April 15, 2014

My Favorite "M" Character

OK, so I am breaking my own rules here. I like to use the A to Z challenge to celebrate the works of other authors, but in the case of M, I just have to focus on my own for a moment... why? Because one of my characters is so real to me that I really feel like she is a friend.

M is for... Menna Soother.

One of the title characters from my first novel Max and Menna, Menna Soother grows up in a broken home with an alcoholic, abusive mother. With only her twin, Max, for support, she develops into a fearless and fierce woman with a plan for escaping her life.

I do not include Menna here out of any arrogance. I am sure there are many, many much more compelling and popular M characters I could have chosen. However, Menna is one of my favorites. I started writing her story when I was 14 and finished at 26. I grew up with her, and man parts of her grew out of my own trials and tribulations.

I don't just love Menna like a character, I love her like a friend. She is as real to me as the people I hang out with every weekend.

When the book published and so many of my Amazon reviews focused on her character, I was thrilled and felt that I had truly done my friend justice.

Monday, April 14, 2014

My Favorite "L" Character...

Moving on through my April digest of my favorite characters, I am happy to get to L.  Back in February, I shared some excitement over falling in love with a new author, Barbara Kingsolver (you can see that post here). The book I fell in love with, The Poisonwood Bible, also contains a character I fell in love with...

L is for... Leah Price.

The Poisonwood Bible is the story of a missionary family in the dense jungle of the Congo shortly before the country succumbed to revolution. Told through the women in the family, including a mother and four daughters, it is an uncomfortable, riveting depiction of a man who puts faith before family and watches his world crumble.

Leah Price is the middle child, for which I immediately loved her. She is fierce and independent and, in the story, is the only woman to ever openly defy her increasingly erratic and unreasonable father. Furthermore, Leah is the only member of the family that actively seeks out a better understanding of the Congolese people.

Through her very distinct voice, I was swept up so completely in this story that I tore through a 400+ page book in just under a week. She is truly a fierce and wonderful female character.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

My favorite "K" character

Though I’ve provided several examples of YA series where I related more strongly to the mail characters than the female narrators, there is one very clear exception.

K is for Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games

In the first book, Katniss is everything a female heroine should be in my book. She is smart, resourceful, humble, protective, and brave in the face of terrifying circumstances. Beyond all of this, she is simultaneously compassionate and fierce.

While Katniss’ character arguably grew far less likeable as the series progressed, as Hollywood’s first foray into the YA novel-to-move senstation post Twilight, I will always love her for showing young women that it is perfectly wonderful to kick some *ss without your abusive vampire boyfriend.

Friday, April 11, 2014

My favorite "J" character

A few days ago I mentioned my propensity to relate more closely with the male leads in YA novels. The example that sprouted this revelation, Four from Divergent, was not on my A-Z list of favorite characters because he is super sexy.

My J character absolutely is.

J is for Jace Morgenstern from The Mortal Instruments

While common in my teen years, the fictional crush was something I thought I had grown out of now that I have reached my thirties. Jace proved this assumption wrong.

A talented and sarcastic Shadowhunter, Jace chases demons and other dark beings through the streets of New York. When he meets Clary (who is not on this list because of her Bella Swan-esque tendency to ignore directives meant to keep her safe and then wonder why people are annoyed at her), he finds a kindred spirit and a great love.

I devoured the five installments of this series in two weeks. Worse yet, I swooned… yes, swooned… and often had to stop myself from paging ahead to get to more Jace.

He is firmly rooted on my list of all-time favorite characters.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

A to Z Challenge... Oh my, I skipped "H"

As I was visiting blogs this morning, I noticed that I seem to be a day ahead. Somehow, I managed to skip the H post.

And so my frantic morning became even more frantic with trying to come up with a great H character... and suddenly, I realized it was much easier than I was making it.

H is for... Han Solo

Yes, I am a Star Wars nerd. And while Han Solo is not actually my favorite Star Wars character (that's a toss up between Yoda and Darth Vadar), he is one of my all time favorite characters despite.

Han Solo taught me, and many other women born in the 80's I would assume, that the bad boy can truly have a heart of gold. Witty and irreverent, Solo is also loyal and protective. He is truly worthy of a spot on the favorite character list.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

My Favorite "I" Character

OK, I am cheating a little bit on I. I’ve been trying to stick to characters from books (with or without film adaptations) that had stayed with me for this series. However, my love and appreciation for my I character is strong enough to allow an exception for one television character.

I is for Isabelle Crawley from Downton Abbey

 Isabelle Crawley, a distant relation to the well-to-do Grantham family, appears in the first episode of the show with her son, Matthew. Isaballe is in every way a quiet upstart in the eyes of the aristocracy she associates with. She elects to have a job when she clearly has the means not to. She takes on the poor and downtrodden as projects and routinely sets them on the path for a better life.

In short, in a cast full of the snooty upperclass, Isabelle is the ultimate bleeding heart liberal and shy feminist. Her interactions with Lady Violet bring comedy to the show, and her unprecedented empathy bring it some humanity.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

My favorite G character

I am far from a fantasy nut. In fact, it is a genre I usually avoid. Rare exceptions, like Lord of the Rings and Song of Ice and Fire, have pulled me in because of the incredible characters that fill these fantastical worlds. My G character is one of the strongest examples of this.
G is for Gimli

Yep, I love the dwarf. Gimli may be tiny, but anyone who has read these books or seen the films will agree that his tiny form is all heart. A proud dwarf, he fights bravely and provides much needed comic relief throughout the course of the series.

Perhaps it is in my nature to root for the underdog, but it is Gimli’s ferocity that has cemented his place as one of my favorite characters.