A Look at Mara

When I started writing the novel I was 18, which explains why the heroine is so young. She was part of me and yet so much more. When you create a character you can make them anything you want so why not make yourself into what you’ve always wanted to be. It was my therapy and my world. So Mara became a tall, fit, smart, redhead that could kick ass. She was braver and tougher than I would ever be. Being a tomboy and her personality were the only pieces of me she inherited.

In earlier drafts she was less mature and more playful. It didn’t quite fit a young woman focused on revenge or a trained soldier. What did seem to work was her naivety when it came to men and the budding romance that takes place. Sadly that too came from personal experience. Later edits aged her personality and matured her enough to make her character more believable.

From the beginning I knew she would be plagued by nightmares of what happened to her. Her driving force if you will. I also knew she would have a close group of male friends. Her special talent (sorry no spoilers here) was there before she was. But, Many other things happened organically. I can’t tell you how many times I wrote myself into a corner and had to cross out a scene.

Mara is always one step out of sync with the others. Not quite the outsider, but always different from the others for one reason or another. I’ve felt like that my whole life and now I’ve passed that no to Mara as well.

My Inspiration for the Rasade’

I wanted to give you a little more insight into the inspiration for the first two books in this series. My father died due to medical malpractice when I was sixteen. He was in the hospital a few years before, so when he went this time, after being sick for three weeks, I didn’t think anything of it. To a sixteen year old girl your dad seems indestructible. He was there about eight hours when the doctors called and told us to rush to the hospital. By the time we go there he was gone. His cardiologist told my mother what was really wrong with him and it was not what our family doctor had been treating him for. Had he been diagnosed and treated correctly he would have lived.

I’m not telling you this to make you sad. I just want you to understand the loss. I grew depressed, and unable to understand why this happened. I wouldn’t admit it anyone, especially not my mother. She would have taken me to a psychiatrist. It would have made me even more of an outcast than I already was. So I cried myself to sleep and acted normal during the day. I met a boy (who is now my husband) and even he didn’t know.

Then one night there was an idea. What if a girl could get revenge? I ran scenario after scenario through my head until one felt right. I put pen to paper and began to write. Soon I found my hurt was less as Mara’s character developed. My anger waned as the binder grew thicker. It took two years of self prescribed writing therapy to finish the manuscript, but we both came out whole.