So I write. If you know me (and if you’re reading this I suppose you do) you know I write. Some days the Bar consumes me. Other days I’m kinda meh about it. When I started at the Bar I created a character named Winter after my online name. I had a whole backstory put together in my head about her. A mate, a daughter, her mate’s best friend and bodyguard, her mate’s two cousins… So I had a cast of characters to draw on and include in the story as I went along.
In the beginning my people were slightly self contained although I did my damnedest to work them into the existing story and have their storyline become part of the whole. They really began to take hold however once I started matching them up with other writers’ characters. I think the first was matching up Winter’s daughter Rhiannon with Jen’s character Tobias. Then I created a rock star vampire named Carlisle. Along with Carlisle came some peripheral characters one of which was her assistant/manager Alexandria. I’m not sure exactly how it happened but Alexandria – Lex – has become my signature character.
Lex’s backstory is horrific and involves abandonment by her father, abuse by her mother, being orphaned, being mated, then a stint in a Nazi concentration camp where she was raped repeatedly in an effort to make her reveal what she is (a vamp), the death of her mate, years of wandering a post WWII Europe, starving and being abused. Then she’s found by Carlisle and her life changes for the better. Eventually, she meets Carlisle’s new brother-in-law Johann and tries to have a relationship with him.
Laurie, who writes Johann, wasn’t feeling Lex for her character so Jen mentioned she had a character, Johann’s cousin Alaric. She said Alaric had an intended mate but they weren’t sparking did I want to put Al and Lex together? What happened when I said sure became an explosion in the Bar story. Al and Lex blazed to the forefront of the story and so did Al’s jilted mate. Somewhere in all of that… Lex became my favorite character. She went from dying to a woman who has everything. She’s easy to like because obviously, she earned her happiness through all her suffering.
Well, Alaric and Alexandria had the first Bar wedding but by no means the last. Their story gave birth to the inclusion of the deities in a much bigger way in the story. They’ve proven that you can have your HEA (Happily Ever After) and still be a front burner in the story. And it doesn’t hurt that the model and actress chosen to physically represent them look so hot. They look so hot together you look at the Photoshop picture and wonder why they aren’t seeing each other in real life!
Yeah, I know. I live this stuff way, way too much. But the truth of the matter is that if you can’t do that, you can’t articulate these characters. I think the ones you “feel” the best are the ones who are written better, who become the characters readers like the most and identify with best. Lex gave in to her desires and made an effort to make things work out for herself. She gave up wallowing in self pity and hopelessness and took a hand in her own destiny. Alaric stopped drinking and made a conscious choice between his intended and a woman he felt in his heart he could love more than anyone else. They risked a lot… the wrath of friends and family… and they caused pain… to Alaric’s intended mate and to his cousin Johann … but in the end everyone and everything came out better for the two of them taking control of their fates. It was a happy ending that hasn’t ended. They have a series of happy endings every time they overcome some other bump on their road of life.
When I look at that Photoshop pic I wish real life were as easy as the writing often is because then I would write a scene where Marcus Schenkenberg falls for me. Heh. The man has the most beautiful chest on the planet and his hands are gorgeous. So I guess writing about Lex with a guy who looks like Marcus comes really easy for me. If I looked like Kelly Monaco, who represents Alexandria, I would be trying to find a way to put myself in Marcus’ path. LOL
The mechanics of writing – the grammar, the vocabulary, the structure – are easy to learn. They teach it to you in school. (Thank you Mrs. Hodgins!) The power and the majesty, as they say, that a writer imbues in the characters is all rather dependent upon how much you want to let these people live inside your head. I must have a lot of room in there because I’ve got a whole cast of characters living in that space!
Since I talked a little bit about Marcus Schenkenberg this time, maybe next time I’ll talk about how I came to be a skank, or rather the Skankenberg.