Welcome back to another edition of Beautiful People! This is a monthly meme hosted by the lovely Cait @ Paper Fury and Sky @ Further up and further in. Basically, the ladies come up with ten fabulous questions to help us delve into the hearts, minds and souls of our characters, and we answer them. Simple as that.
If you’ve been here before, you might know I recently finished my WIP The Fair Queen and sent it off to beta readers to get some feedback. I’m also planning to take part in Camp Nano next month, so I’ve been plotting and outlining a new novel idea loosely based on The Secret Garden. Today I’m going to treat you to your first glimpse of my new WIP! Exciting, no?
My new MC is called Marie – Em for short – and she’s 18 and, sadly, an orphan. At the moment I’m imagining her with waist length jet black hair and bright blue eyes. Shall we dive into the questions?
What’s their favourite place they’ve ever visited?
Em grew up in Aix-en-Provence in Southern France, her parents were British and met while working over there. Her father was a University lecturer and her mother was a ballerina. Every summer they would travel to Barcelona for a couple of weeks when school finished, and Em absolutely loved the city – the architecture, the food, the atmosphere.
What’s one mistake they made that they learned from?
When she was eight, her parents were killed in a car crash and she was flown back to England to live with her great uncle Archie. Since then, Em has been pretty much alone. She was home-schooled because Archie’s farmhouse was so remote and miles from any local schools. She didn’t have any real friends, spending most of her time reading in her room, posting on her Tumblr account, and hanging out with the farm animals. Basically, it wasn’t her fault, but she learned at a young age that the things you care about can be snatched away in a moment, so she stopped caring about people and things. She learns from that mistake over the course of the book!
What was their favourite subject in school? Or favourite thing to learn about?
Em loves to read, her favourite part of being home-schooled was choosing books to study for English Literature. She particularly enjoys classics like Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre – living in North Yorkshire it was pretty much like living in a Bronte novel.
What’s their favourite flower/growing thing?
Em’s favourite plant is lavender. There were great fields full of it in Provence, and it grows all over the North Yorkshire moors as well. The colour and pretty scent remind her of home.
Have they ever made someone cry? What happened?
She sometimes heard uncle Archie crying at night when she first came to live with him, but not because she had upset him.
Would you consider them a reliable or unreliable narrator?
Mainly reliable, but a bit of both. She has a very specific frame for how she sees the world, after everything she’s been through, and it’s not always accurate. She tends to see the negatives rather than the positives, and always assumes the worst. But she isn’t a liar, she would never deliberately deceive anyone.
What do they dream about at night?
She has frequent nightmares about the day her parents died, and wakes up in a cold sweat, expecting to get a call about something else bad happening, someone else she loves being taken from her. Like uncle Archie.
They’ve gone out for a “special meal.” What would they eat?
Moules frites, probably. Or some other kind of fish or shellfish. She doesn’t eat meat after living on the farm and spending time with the animals, the first time Archie killed a pig she’d become friends with she cried for a week and vowed never to eat meat.
What’s at least one thing they want to do before they die?
She would love to go back to France, but she’s terrified. She really wants to be brave and go back one day, see where they used to live and spend time in the city where her parents fell in love. After that, she’d like to travel and see the world.
Do they have any distinguishing or unique talents?
She has a way with animals, she can calm them, and almost communicate with them. She wanted to be a vet as a little girl, until she realised that would mean putting animals to sleep when they were too sick or injured to survive. She couldn’t bear that, so she never applied to veterinary college. She has her mother’s figure, a dancer’s figure, but she never learned how – she does have natural grace though, so maybe one day she’ll do something with that.
That was fun! I haven’t done character bios for my new novel yet, but I feel really inspired now, so I’ll have to get right on that!
What do you think to my new WIP and my MC, Em? Let me know in the comments, I can’t wait to see all your answers to this month’s questions!