How I spent my winter vacation...
Over the holidays we traveled out west where the mountains are big and the family is plentiful. We were there over Christmas and New Years and it made me realize how beautiful the mountains are and how much I've missed them. OH! And I missed my family as well. =)
And then just after January hit we took a detour over to California to the place where I was born and raised, and for the first time I truly felt like I was coming home. It's strange how your childhood memories center everything you are. I no longer have family there, but the smells in the air; the color of the light — everything was familiar. Everything felt like me.
I've lived a couple of places for a decent amount of time, and it's been a long while since I've been back to California. But it remembered me in a way I haven't in a really long time.
It's always nice to feel familiar. Even better when it comes with sunshine.
In KATE TRIUMPH I've always related to Kate's need to belong somewhere. She's forced to move often and has yet to find a home. And when she ends up in Mercer Island, a place that isn't familiar to her, a place where she doesn't have childhood memories, she eventually finds her familiarity.
She finds her home.
Currently I'm working on the continuation of her story as well as finishing up the edits on my next YA novel, NEVERLAND. It's been brought to my attention that the common thread in these novels is my female protagonist's need to feel familiar.
This is very evident in Kate as well as Livy (NEVERLAND) and I believe it's a theme that will continue as Kate's story continues.
But the truth is every character I've ever met is vulnerable and strong in some way. It makes them feel human. Real.
I hope you feel this, relate to this, in Kate and soon Livy. Characters should jump off a page. They should speak to you. Make you feel something.
Otherwise we writers aren't doing it right.