Friday, June 11, 2010

The Stolen Meme, part 4

5. By age, who is your youngest character? Oldest? How about “youngest” and “oldest” in terms of when you created them?

I'll assume we're talking about protagonists here, because I know I've written children and grandparents so the ages vary wildly!

My youngest protagonist is...hmm. I think it might be Chance, of Almost Human. I didn't intentionally write her as very young, but when I later worked out the timelines with her various relatives getting married and having children who were older or younger than her, I realised she could only be about twenty. Although that's just her age on paper; she's a little older and wiser.

Sophie Green isn't much older, and she sure as hell isn't any wiser. I think she was 21 when I first wrote her, but I fudged her age a bit as I went on. She's very early twenties, in what Buffy once described as the 'cookie dough' stage. "I'm not done baking," or in other words, still becoming herself.

My oldest protagonist is probably her cousin Kett, who is in her late thirties (I realised Kett was 16 before Chance's parents got together, which limited how young/old the two of them could be!). Of course, that's not counting my various immortals, the oldest of whom is the hero of my first story, She Who Dares. Dark is a Greek vampire of about twenty-three centuries standing; his Egyptian heroine Masika is only a few years younger.

As for the oldest and youngest by terms of creation, I mentioned in my previous post that Striker is one of my oldest characters. I think I created his lover Chalia before him, as a rather feckless adventurer with her childhood friend Tyrnan. Tyrnan (who eventually became Kett's father) appeared in a very sketchily-plotted tale of an author whose characters came to life. He was one of a band of adventurers including a warrior empress, a girl with a magic voice, and a man who turned into a wolf. Tyrnan was a playboy with a magic sword. None of these stories were ever completed (probbably not surprisingly), however, until I got to the saga of Striker and Chalia; a story still unpublished and probably unpublishable, but which eventually gave rise to Almost Human and Mad, Bad & Dangerous.

My youngest character in terms of creation is Aidan from Hardest of Hearts. He's also not really very old in terms of physical human years: only twenty-three when he became a vampire (but that was in 1873). As the time he was training to become a priest, and found out immediately and painfully how incompatible his new existence was with his old beliefs. Aidan has relinquished some aspects of his previous life, such as his vow of celibacy and his daily prayers, but he hasn't given up on being a good person, redeeming himself for his past sins and helping others--like Emma, his vampire-hunting heroine--to atone for theirs.

Although...actually, having written that little hymn to him, I've just realised I have been writing newer characters. My latest attempt at a romantic comedy is still only about 10% done, but I didn't really make a start on it until March. My heroine, Grace, is a ghostwriter whose latest book, Secrets of a Strumpet, is the memoir of a high-class prostitute. She's become used to the nudge-wink response this garners, and telling people that of course she's less experienced than her subject. What she's confessed to no one is that she's so inexperienced she's still a virgin. It's a state that's starting to become embarrassing, and Grace decides it's time to put some of her second-hand knowledge to the test and actually successfully seduce someone.

Her hero, Mark, isn't the sort of person to read a tell-all memoir, probably because one was once written about him. Since his mother opened her heart about her terrible teenage tearaway son, said son has worked hard to prove himself as in control of his own life, and kept his own affairs fiercely private. So, when he meets a woman looking for inspiration for her next lightly fictional saucy memoir, getting involved with her is pretty much the worst thing he could do.

Hmm, I seem to have written myself a little synopsis there. Gosh, that was clever of me!


  1. That was extremely clever of you. Now, who ya gonna sell it to?

  2. Um. Well, I should probably finish writing it first, but I'm aiming for LBD, I think.