Monday, 25 February 2013

Character Discussion: Creating an Icon

Grisela Delphine: Creating an Icon

When I was creating my supernatural characters for this book, there were certain things that I wanted, and certain types of characters that I was interested in having so I could explore their life further.

France has always interested me, not just because of my family heritage but from so many angles. I can't tell you how many projects I did on France in elementary school! But as an adult I started to see France from a different angle, and the fascinating people that it produced constantly interested me.

One historical fiction book/series that I highly recommend is Sandra Gulland's Josephine Bonaparte trilogy. I've never cried when reading a book before, and I cried more than once while reading this series. I knew after reading that that I wanted a true French woman to be part of one of my stories, and I was so fascinated by court life, even after the royal court was taken down by the French revolution, that I wanted my character to be someone who'd experienced court on a variety of levels.

Marie Antoinette has been a private obsession of mine, since I saw the movie The Affair of the Necklace many years ago. My local museum some time back had one of her gowns on display and a guest lecture by Caroline Weber, who's biography of the doomed queen 'Queen of Fashion: What Marie Antoinette Wore To The French Revolution' is amazing, and I was so enchanted by this dress and the queen's designer, Rose Bertin, that I knew that I wanted this to play a big part in the life of my French character. A regular courtier was too boring, in my mind, and if this character was to be a supernatural then they needed something more than that. They needed some depth and a perspective that would make the character engaging.

And, with that, Grisela Delphine was born.

She was a courtier, yes, but a courtesan. Educated, witty, beautiful, intelligent, all the things that one would expect from a French courtesan. Being a courtesan would give her a chance to be so many things that a traditional woman would not be, and experiences that the average person would never have. She's last in a line of courtesans, and, I thought, very interesting as a vampire. Maybe not the traditional take, but a vampire nonetheless.

She could be worldly, well known in many courts across Europe, and a beautiful figurehead for whatever I had my supernaturals doing. She would draw a crowd. She would get people talking. And she would be someone that a young girl from a small village would be in awe of.

But, of course, there had to be more to the story. What happened to her in her life? She's last in a line, what about her family? How did she become a vampire? I tried my best to establish all of this to make her seem more real, and then give me the chance to give her her own story, one day. Lay the groundwork so I could tell her story within the parameters of Rebirth, and hopefully have her as the center of her own book. And because of who she was, her family would be quite complicated, and how many of them were vampires as well? What are they like?

This was a key piece of information for me: Grisela's family. Because I really feel that they would end up as key players in the 'The Afflicted' scenario, and how the whole storyline across the series plays out. I've had this vision, and they are very important.

But Grisela Delphine is an icon, and Rebirth is just the beginning.

Thanks everyone for coming back and continuing to read. I've had lots of fun writing these posts and I hope you enjoyed them! Keep checking back, there will be more to come. 

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