Parents, especially fathers, can have a profound impact on our characters. Revealing how our characters were raised helps readers understand their goals and motivations. Sometimes, a character can act just like their parent or the exact opposite. Since my Outer Rim series is about strong women on the frontier of space, my main concern is the impact of the mothers and fathers on the female characters.
In The Pilot, Celara’s father was a drunk and a cheat. At an early age, she was left to fend for herself and her younger brother. Responsibility and honesty—opposites of her father’s behavior—became important to her. She won’t take the easy way out. When she’s accused of smuggling, it’s worse than just a false accusation, it’s like a knife to her heart. Her brother, on the other hand, took the easy route and followed in their father’s footsteps.
Jileena, in The Chameleon, was “Daddy’s Little Girl.” She tried to please him, but always felt like she fell short. Proving that she could run his company spurs her on. When he offers her the chance to prove herself, she’s so afraid of failing she takes dangerous risks.
In The Protector, Rissa’s preacher father abandoned her at a wild, unnamed outpost, pregnant and unmarried. Her mother had left years before. Rissa vowed to always be there for her child. Losing her baby to traffickers sends her into a deep depression. Only her inner strength pulls her through and gives her the courage to protect other children from slavers.
It’s not just the women who have to fight their fathers. Jileena’s brother, Konner, refused to be their father’s clone. When he was presumed dead, he found the perfect opportunity to be his own person and live the life he wanted.
Dillan, in The Protector, struggled against his father who had planned Dillan’s life—to follow in his footsteps. Dillan’s rebellion made him take unnecessary risks until the day his best friend, Konner, died. Feeling responsible, he was determined to change, to be a responsible adult, what his father wanted him to be. But legally exploiting landowners makes him sick. He must break away to save his soul.
On the other hand, some fathers are worth emulating. In my PI mystery series, Alex wants to be just like her dad. When he retires and leaves her his investigation agency, she’s determined to prove she’s as good an investigator as he was—if not better.
Today is Launch Day for the second Alex O’Hara mystery, The Case of the Fabulous Fiance. To learn more, visit my blog. http://dianeburton.blogspot.com/2015/12/launch-day-case-of-fabulous-fiance.html