From the past into the present. I was tagged by Bridgett Trejo at The Tudor Cafe to talk about my main character. I’m currently working on my women’s fiction trilogy, Lilyland. The first book. Another Place on the Planet is available at Amazon. In creating Lily and discovering her character, I’ve learned a lot about myself. Go figure.
1. What is the name of your main character? Is she fictional or an historical person?
My character is Lily Mayfield. Before I began writing, I had a student named Lily (back before every other baby was named Lily) and decided it would be a good name for a character. Even before that, sometimes I drove by a street named Mayfield Drive and decided I liked the sound of that. So, Lily Mayfield. Writers don’t always have profound reasons for choosing names. It does have a little significance at the beginning of the book, something that I didn’t plan ahead. Lily is completely fictional. As the trilogy starts, she’s in her early forties.
2. When and where is the story set? The setting is contemporary. Although I’ve had to do a lot of research, history had never been my thing. It’s mostly set in Los Angeles, but starts off in Scottsdale, AZ. We take little jaunts to Philadelphia and Maine, too.
3. What should we know about her? As her story starts, Lily is trying to get her life back together. She was the victim of extreme domestic violence. As a result, she left her job, had to sell her house and moved across the country to start over. After a stroke of good luck, her college-age daughter walks away from her, so she is essentially alone. Her self-esteem, which has never been great, is beaten up and she’s having hard time stepping out to do something other than watching movies at home alone. Her therapist threatening to drop her forces her to take action.
4. What is the main conflict? In this book, the main conflict is within Lily herself. Throughout the book, she’s challenged at different personal levels. She’s a Christian (although this is NOT your usual Christian fiction) and she struggles with why God didn’t answer prayers for her husband and marriage and with why she can’t seem to let go of her faith in spite of that. Her confidence is lower than ever, and she’s presented with extreme situations where nothing but confidence can get her through. The presence in her life of Charlie, a Hollywood director with bad-boy tendencies whom she met at a fundraising gala, has her deciding if she’s lovable at all. Every part of Lily’s story challenges what she once believed about herself and prompts her to decide to thrive and not merely survive.
5. What is the personal goal of the character? At first,she wants back what she believed life robbed her of when her marriage destroyed itself–a quiet life with her husband, supporting their daughter as she goes to college, marries, starts a family. Over time, she accepts that’s impossible, and maybe even as a young woman, she settled for that life when she had other visions for herself. As she opens herself to new people, places, and experiences, she changes goals to maybe find love again, and hopefully have some kind of career in music or film, which were her passions before she got married. She hopes it includes Charlie. But there may be other options in the romance area.
6. What is the significance of the title of your book? “It’s just another place on the planet, Sweetheart,” is something Charlie says to Lily when he invites her to Los Angeles with him for the first time to attend an elite party and to be at his side during a lawsuit trial. What to him is everyday life, to Lily is an extreme environment she’s not sure she’s ready for.
7. When can we expect the book to be published? The book is now up on Amazon. I hope to have the second book available early this fall. The title is Places Bright and Dark. If parts of Lily’s life seemed like a fairy tale after she meets Charlie, happily ever after isn’t so much.
Next up is JC Cassels. Be sure to check her out. Also, click back, too, to see what characters came before. Thanks for reading!