Character Study: Ophelia

While writing my upcoming novel Ghoul, I created a character designed to serve the function of a ‘talking head’ aka someone for Mya, the protagonist, to bounce ideas off. However, I understand talking heads are bad; they result in clunky dialogue that’s obviously just exposition in the form of dialogue. So, with that in mind, I tried to turn my talking head into a semi-developed character with her goals and motivations.

I made this character a Sphinx. I’ve always been fond of a bit of Egyptian mythology, as those who read Amenti will have noticed, and it didn’t take me long to decide where in London my Sphinx would live and she promptly moved into the Egyptian walk of Highgate Cemetery.

I started drafting a bit of dialogue between my Sphinx and Mya, and before I knew where I was my ‘talking head’ fast outgrew the role she was designed for and took on a life of her own. My Sphinx had become Kepi and all of a sudden I had another book growing in the back of my head.

While Kepi lives in the Highgate Cemetery close to the ghouls who dwell beneath it, there is another Sphinx in London. Ophelia and Ophelia even as a rough character concept was very demanding and spent her first hours of life in my head telling me her story.

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Character Study: Aurelius

Grey Wings Cover

Aurelius was my first ever main character.

He was originally meant to be the protagonist of the story Grey Wings, but early on Jason overtook him. This was in part due to Jason’s easy going nature despite his tragic situation and easy way he seemed to connect with my readers.

Despite falling into second place, Aurelius was still my personal favourite character to write, all of his scenes were fun. I have an enormous soft spot for grumpy b*****ds especially the petulant ones and Aurelius fits right into that box as if it were made for him.

Aurelius is an angel; he starts the novel living in Heaven. He loves his home and is disgruntled to see humans changing it to suit themselves (installing plug sockets and wifi). He is a firm believer in the old ways are best and fights back in his own petty way (disrupting the technicians). His pettiness was not an accident, in Grey Wings version of Heaven angels are being cast down for minor infractions and Aurelius is well aware of this. He lashes out at the world around him in a way that won’t get him banished (but it ends up doing exactly that) but lets him voice his complaints.

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