I am super excited about the release of the first book in my new Urban Fantasy series, Cramping Chronicles: The First Twinge, and part of that excitement is getting to revisit the characters and remember how it felt writing them, their dynamics and everything in between. Today I'm gonna focus on the main character Jessie, and her love interest and the source of her pain, Meera.
Now if you don't know, the series is about newly disabled Jessie Oliver, who's 15, and in a wheelchair with chronic conditions while also having discovered that she has the ability to feel other people's pain. She's an empath and while to begin with she's not all that sold on it meaning anything, she soon finds out that it has a big meaning in both her life, and the world around her.
So starting with Jessie, let's talking writing characters.
Jessie is a character that I've wanted to write for such a long time. I always knew her name, and I always knew that she, like me, would have both M.E and Fibromyalgia, but I didn't really know her story. It was only when I had the idea for an empath and the world around her, that she really came to shape in my mind, and on the page. Jessie was a joy to write, I always felt like I could easily channel her thoughts and feelings without really needing to think about it too much. And the idea of being an empath while also having her own pain gave a new level to the story that I think really made it work so well.
I knew from that start of the book that I wanted Jessie to have a love interest, I haven't tagged it as romance because it's only the first book, and while their relationship grows, I also wanted to take my time with it, being that I'm someone who does the same in my own romantic relationships. There was, of course, always the possibility that Meera didn't start to let Jessie in, because as you may know, a lot of my writing time is spent being driven by the characters on the page, rather than me always knowing what lies ahead.
I will say that ending to this book was completely different to what happened in the first draft, but I adore what I came up with, and I'm super happy with how it's come together in edits. Jessie is an amazing character and one that's very close to my heart because of her name. I lost a friend in 2008 who I'd known as Jessie Oliver, but I won't give you her real name. Anyway, that's why Jessie is named for her, and given the way my Jessie acted, she'd be very happy to have lived on in the pages of one of my books, though the similarities end there. It's just a name, not a whole personality.
Meera was a hard one to get a read on, a lot of what happens in the book didn't really come to a conclusion until I'd gone through revisions and editing. I knew that Meera had her own problems, had her own secrets, and was, of course, a source of pain for Jessie, not just because Meera seems to hate her for no reason. Meera is snarky, a little bitter and while she mellows the more she hangs out with Jessie and her friends, there's a good reason for her hard exterior.
At the end of everything, Meera finally happier in her life and surrounded by friends that she hadn't seen coming, she and Jessie make a cute couple, and I loved writing the bits and pieces that brought it to that conclusion.
Overall, I adored writing both, and keep an eye out for the other characters in the coming weeks! You can pre-order Cramping Chronicles: The First Twinge here, or sign up to be an ARC reader here.