Teaching her a lesson.
Let me clear right up front, when I write Rachel Clancy, my YA heroine in my Warrior series, in a lot of ways she writes me and not the other way around. What do I mean by that? Rachel has a story to tell and a definite opinion on how it is to be told. Much more so than any other book series I write, the character of Rachel has determined her own destiny without much input from me. Frequently, she surprises me.
In my real life, I have three young children. The oldest is six years old. So I haven’t faced their teenage years yet. But, I imagine, that there will be lessons that they have to learn as teenagers—as I did—when they hit those years. I hope that I will be around to help guide them through that time.
For right now, I am facing the interesting dilemma of helping to guide Rachel through her formative years in the backdrop of a post-apocalyptic paranormal world where vampires are running around trying to eat her. Some of the lessons that Rachel has to learn to move forward are not necessary things that I would want my own children to have to experience.
For example, in Driven, the second book in the series, Rachel is faced with a dilemma of having to decide between two young men vying for her attention. Actually, this happens to her twice in the book in two very different ways. But I digress.
The reasons why one of these young guys is better than another would not necessarily hold true in the world we live in today. What they value are not necessarily what we value. Having said that, I still need them to be likable. I still need grownups who look at these books to be fine with their teenagers enjoying these characters. All of this means that, as an author, I walk a fine line, particularly because Rachel is such a dominant character that she is almost writing her own books.
But she has lessons to learn. And they’re my job to teach them to her. Even if she makes it difficult for me.