World's Oldest Fledgling

The blog of Stephanie Wardrop, Y A Author

Crushin’ on a character

on November 19, 2013

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He’s seventeen years old and I suspect his birthday is in early November (he has a lot of Scorpio traits, at least). He’s tall, dark of hair and eye, and possesses strong facial features. He’s smart, sarcastic, snotty at times, and generally convinced that he’s right about just about everything.  But he’s also loyal once you’ve won his respect, generous, funny, a great writer, and a surprisingly good kisser. I have a crush on him.

Even though I made him up and he does, not in fact, exist. But if he did, and I were seventeen again and in Michael Endicott’s orbit, I would probably make a fool of myself to try to get his attention.

 

If you’re a romance writer, you know what I mean. Crushing on your characters is an occupational hazard, and pretty harmless, especially when you consider other occupations’ hazards, like black lung or severed limbs or carpal tunnel syndrome (though we writers get that one, too). If you’re not a writer, you may not be aware of just how a-litte-in-love we writers are with our creations. I know some writers, creators of wonderful, hunky, godlike heroes who give their male romantic leads Twitter accounts so they seem that much more real (and able to interact with the readers who are crushing on them). And to hear Robert Pattinson tell it, Stephenie Meyer was downright creepy in her devotion to Edward Cullen, though I don’t listen to anything R-Pats has to say and don’t know anyone who does any more.

But we writers are not jealous girlfriends. We love when a reader finds our romantic lead just as swoon-worthy as we do. At least, my heart fills with glee when a reviewer of one of the Snark novellas gets sooooo mad at Georgia for being mean to Michael. I can’t think of a higher compliment for a writer than realizing that their writing has had the exact emotional effect on readers that they were envisioning. So I don’t get mad at all if some reader somewhere wants a little piece of Michael for him/herself – now that would be creepy! Since he exists as much in the minds of the reader as he does anyplace else, there’s plenty of him to go around. And while he’s a modest guy, I know for a fact he would be awfully flattered to think that somewhere somebody with an e-reader is imagining what he’s doing right now.

And you can even imagine that he looks like anyone you want him to. I mean no disrespect to my publisher or the great people who design the covers my series, (because they are awesome as you can see below) but Michael does not look like this guy

  Image (he’s cute but blond and blue-eyed)

or this guy

 Image (hair isn’t curly and the eyes are, again, blue).

But you can imagine he looks  any way you want. Because he belongs to his readers at least as much as he belongs to me.  Writers are pretty invested in their characters and love when readers get invested in them, too.

In some ways, Michael also belongs to Jane Austen, I suppose, since the Snark series is a modern take on Pride and Prejudice and Michael is a contemporary teenaged Mr. Darcy. So as a little tribute to his ancestor – and to everyone’s favorite scene in the BBC version of Austen’s novel – I made Michael wet in the last scene.  (He’s not coming out of a lake on his estate, but emerges, dripping, from a friend’s pool).

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It’s my little “easter egg”, of sorts. And I can assure you that, like Colin Firth, Michael looks pretty good wet. I’ll leave that to your imagination, too.

PS: Someone loved the P&P tv miniseries scene so much they made a statue! Check it out here. But apparently, that wasn’t even Mr. Firth in the wet shirt anyway. Click here to have your illusions shattered.

 

what i’m listening to 

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What I’m reading

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