There is a funny fact that redheads feel a sort of instant understanding and connection with other redheads. Whether just passing on the street or even a redhead watching a red-haired actor on TV, there is a subconscious, unspoken respect and kinship.
A redhead myself, I laughed aloud when I first read about this fact because, though I had never thought about it before then, I realized it was totally true of me. The more I reflected on it, the more it dawned on me how especially true it was when it came to fictional characters in books and movies. I don’t know about you, but whenever I watch a movie or read a book, I immediately begin putting out my scanners for what character, or characters, I am going to relate to and connect with. Of course, I don’t consciously know I am doing this. It’s a subtle, emotional-level reaction in search of camaraderie that, I believe, is very instinctual and natural for human beings. We want to feel included, we want to relate, and in a fictional story, we just simply won’t enjoy it the same if we can’t put ourselves into it and can’t relate on some level with the characters. It might be that you can easily put yourself into the role of one of the characters, taking all the ups and downs as if they happened to you; or perhaps you just like the hero so much you feel like a protective best friend, gasping in horror at every injustice that comes their way; or maybe the villain is so wicked and conniving, you feel personally offended and can’t stop reading until he gets his comeuppance; or perhaps there is just a story that you love so dearly it feels like stepping into your own secret world every time you open the cover.
The humorous redhead connection-thing aside, I bet many of you understand what I am saying, whatever color your hair is.
One of my favorite parts about writing The Mark of Fire Series is really diving into each of the characters, particularly the five teenagers that it centers around. As the story has unfolded over the past fifteen years, it’s been a priority of mine to ensure I fully understand and communicate deep, complex, third-dimensional characters. From “interviewing” these characters, to taking personality-type tests for them, I’ve worked to know them inside and out so that I can convincingly write their stories. While the series centers around fifteen-year-old Molly Connolly, it also greatly involves her younger brother, Richard, as well as three other important people who make up the five. In a fairly large group of characters, it gives the fun options and diversity for the reader. You’ll love one and want to slap the other, or relate closely with someone and have no idea what the other is talking about. You’ve got five different personalities, and five different strengths and weaknesses. In those five, maybe you’ll find one that reminds you of you, and makes jumping into this story a lot of fun! I’m looking forward to hearing which is your favorite character and why.
Counting down the days to June 17th!