I’ve recently read a review of Hope’s Daughter on Goodreads (view it here) and it got me thinking – in a good way – don’t worry I’m not about to begin a rant about reviews and readers! Instead I was thinking that it’s really interesting to see how readers view your characters once you’ve created them, bundled them into a book and then sent them off into the world. The lady who reviewed Hope’s Daughter wasn’t really sure of what to make of Cassie at the beginning of the book and I’d agree with that – Cassie is rather confused and has plenty of self-doubt to contend with early on 🙂 who doesn’t at that age?
What I found most interesting was that the reviewer found Cassie more interesting once she got onto her placement and began to interact with Balik. I’m not sure whether I intentionally wrote it to work in this way – it’s hard when you’re inside one character’s head and not another to work these things out sometimes – but I knew that Cassie hid a lot of things from herself and those around her until she saw how open and honest you could be, even on the space station, if you were a person more like Balik. As you read from Cassie’s point of view in Hope’s Daughter it’s not surprising that you see her the way she sees herself – she’s almost uninterested and dismissive of herself early in the book. When you see her later on, especially when she’s with Balik, the reader gets a new filter to look at Cassie through – even though she might miss some of the compliments in their conversations, the reader obviously doesn’t and you get to see not only a different side to Cassie, but I think perhaps the real person there, who she’s kept hidden for a long while.
Cassie turned out to be much stronger in Hope’s Daughter than I think she was going to be originally, which was a pleasant surprise for me. And actually, she’s done the same thing in Outlanders as I work through the plans for that and the next book – I think she’s going to behave in a particular way and start writing the scenes that way, only to discover that once again she’s stronger than I gave her credit for 🙂 But you’ll have to wait to see what happens to know what I’m talking about here!
On a different note, this is all interesting for me because at the moment I’m camped out in Balik’s head as I’m working mainly on The Rainbow Maker’s Tale for release in late spring/early summer. It’s funny because after reading the reviewer’s thoughts on Hope’s Daughter, I realised I have a reversed situation happening inRMT and I’m writing through it now. Balik is certainly very interesting early on – highly suspicious and digging around in places he shouldn’t – but he’s a very lonely character because he isolates himself. One of the nicest things about writing from his side of things is seeing the changes in him that Cassie brings about. He might make her more interesting and confident – at the moment I’m seeing a lot of her making him live and be a little more human…
PS – I should say ‘thank you’ to Erin the reviewer who sparked the idea for this post in my mind as you’ve helped me get over a little writer’s block I’d been having with Balik recently 🙂