A character needs to grab me within minutes of reading the first line. To have someone to root for is the element required for me to commit to a story of any kind. Why should I care about where a story goes if I don’t have someone to relate to, or someone I’d like to go on that journey with? I think of reading a book a lot as I think of a road trip; time commitment, an adventure, and the company sets the tone for the whole damn thing. Writing a character driven story turns out is a lot like that as well.
Ruby first came to me as images of red, wild hair and hints of sarcasm; at the time I was working on a short story for teens. Soon then after, I realized this red-head was lost and angry. I absolutely needed to find out why. Shortly after my husband handed me a new stack of notebooks, Ruby Dawson was created. She was my first protagonist that insisted that she had an entire book about her, actually, a whole series, as it turns out.
Each time I discovered something new about her, the more that was unlocked—a lot like knocking over a domino in a line. Story creation is just that, exploring imaginary secrets about pretend people and worlds. (I love it!) It turns out a strong character, can be hard to handle at times. When I discovered that Ruby wasn’t just a regular person, but, in fact, had telekinetic abilities, things got a bit hard to handle for a second. Her whole world began to unfold around me and I became obsessed.
The hint of red curls and sharp tongue first appeared in my mind almost seven years ago. Only now do I feel like her and her story are truly ready for me to share with the public.
When I discovered that I absolutely had to write a book about Ruby, I had a very little idea of the struggle that was ahead. At the time, I didn’t realize she was gonna walk with me as I discovered what it took to become a published author. In a lot of ways I suppose she’s inspired me to follow my dreams.
Look for her in The Highly Capable, which is set to release November 4th.