I love so many it's hard to choose.
But if you twist my arm, I'd say one of my favorites is from a WIP, and perhaps the darkest story I've ever written, Clone. This character makes me step outside my comfort zone when I write. When I work on the story, told in first person from the character's POV--the rose colored lens come off and the gloves go on. Meet Eva--a clone and slave of the president of Europia.
Eva is a monster--a sociopath. Now before you say anything, let me explain why I picked her. Eva gives me the chance to dig deep into human nature, to explore areas most want to forget, or don't want to discuss. Eva exists in a world where she was created for the purpose of human survival. All her life she has suffered abuse at the hands of her keepers. She has been beaten, raped. Her blood, tissue and unborn babies have been harvested to further the lives of those born into the world, those who are not clones, those who are sick from a nuclear winter brought on by violent wars. Her life has never been her own. She is nothing more than body parts and free labor to society.
When doctors choose to harvest her heart to save her keeper's daughter, Eva strikes back and murders the doctors and nurses in the O.R., and in the process, she learns that she isn't helpless. She flees across the border and into the arms of Dante, a revolutionary bent on freeing the clones and releasing the world from a dictator's grip. Through Dante, Eva gets the chance to take everything she ever wanted--to step into the life of her Keeper, and of whom she is an exact duplicate. The training and brain downloads begin. Eva starts a metamorphosis.
But what happens when you put someone into power who's never learned of human love, warmth, and they lack the basic ability to feel compassion?
I stared off the balcony at the mass below. They’d gathered in the courtyard because of the riots and violence in the streets. The wanted my sympathy, my reassurance things would continue on as usual, that the towers they’d built for themselves would not crumble.
My first in command stood behind me. “Madam President? You need to come down off the edge.”
An edge. A precipice. An ending to my pain. I planned to come down, but not as he intended. He knew I held the codes in my head and was desperate to retrieve them.
“They’re free,” I said.
“Madam President,” he called again. The wind whipped tendrils of my hair loose and beat it into my eyes. My clothing snapped around me like a banner in a hurricane. For the first time in my life I knew my purpose. I had no fears. Death came to all. It was my time.
“You need to come down. Your country needs you. The people are frightened and I don’t know what to tell them. They’re afraid of a rebellion. There have been murders, clones that have somehow broken free of their safety girdles.”
“Indeed,” I said. “Not somehow,” I murmured into the roaring crowd. Hundreds of thousands were free of their bonds and tasting freedom as I had for the first time. No, I had freed them and the people of Europia would reap the acts they’d paid upon them.
“I know you’ve lost your daughter, your husband. It’s a tragedy, but the people need you. You must come down. You’re their leader. What do I tell them to reassure them their safety?”
I turned and gave him a blank stare. “Why, let them eat cake.” With that, I free fell, forward into the open air taking the codes with me that would stop the rebellion. As two hundred floors rushed by, I replayed my life--what there was of it worth remembering.
Told in first person, Jim really brings Harry to life as he jumps from frying pans to fires, hopscotching his way through trouble and cases that only he can solve. With the help of his apprentice Molly, his dog Mouse, his cat, Mister and advice from a spirit that resides in a skull called, Bob, he manages to find trouble and get out of it, usually in one piece but severely damaged. For the sheer tenacity of this character, not to mention the LOL moments, I name Harry as one of my personal favs.
So, that's it. My two favorite characters, and why. Be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win a free read from Sara Brookes.
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