Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Beautiful People Linkup--September

It's time for one of my favorite posts again! That's right, Beautiful People! It was created by Cait at "Paper Fury" and Sky at "Further Up and Further In" for the purpose of writers getting to know their characters better through a series of questions each month.

For September, I'll be answering the questions for the three protagonists of my upcoming NaNoWriMo novel, The Family Business. The three characters are Angelica (the oldest sibling), Theodore (the middle child, who goes by Teddy), and Sloane Cooper (the youngest). The Cooper kids are part of an extended family who run an interesting business. Assassins for hire.

Here we go!

1. How did you come up with this character?

When I was planning my next NaNo novel, I knew I wanted it to have two things: family dynamics (specifically with siblings) and food. The food part was easy, but creating an entire extended family took a little more time and effort. I started with my main three siblings and made sure that each of them had unique, compelling personalities.


2. Have they ever been starving? Why? And what did they eat to break the fast?

None of them have ever been truly starving, though money does get a little tight at times. Usually they all eat together for dinner (yep, all fourteen of them), which is a big meal of something simple and filling. Very much meat and potatoes.

3. Do they have a talent or skill that they’re proud of?

Angelica is an excellent, new, full-time assassin, if she does say so herself. She's stealthy, quick, and neat, the perfect combination.

Teddy is an artist. He can sketch or paint beautiful, creative portraits of people with ease. However, his family doesn't approve of such things. Art distracts him from the assassin business too much, which he has no intention of going into.

Sloane is the best orchestrator of Graveyards & Ghouls, which is a roleplaying game she's been obsessed with ever since she was old enough to understand words. There's hope for her yet in her family's eyes, but she's disinterested in the business, as well. She's not against it like Teddy is, but she can't seem to muster up the motivation to train to be part of it.

4. List 3 things that would make them lose their temper.

For Angelica: Her siblings' irresponsibility, people who don't take her seriously, losing something of hers.

For Teddy: His family's cavalier attitude towards life and what it means to take someone else's, constant noise, art being dismissed.

For Sloane: Broken promises, being ignored, not being able to get a pet dragon.

5. What is their favourite type of weather? Least favourite?

Angelica likes overcast weather because the darkness helps to conceal her. Springtime is best, because the weather is cool enough to make her assassin gear bearable to wear and there aren't any leaves on the ground or snow to worry about making loud crunching noises.

Teddy has always been a fan of fall, when the weather is mild and the colors are bursting. It makes for great inspiration.

Sloane loves winter. Everybody is cooped up inside anyways, so no one can get mad at her for not getting out enough.

6. What is their Hogwarts house and/or MBTI personality?

Angelica would pride herself on being Gryffindor for her bravery and daring, but she's actually a Slytherin. She's more ambitious than most in her family, and the cunning it takes to be an assassin can't be ignored.

Teddy is a Hufflepuff, through and through. Patient, loyal, and dedicated to his principles, he really couldn't be in any other house.

Sloane is a Ravenclaw. She may not be as motivated in certain areas as her family is, but she's unbelievably smart and witty. When there's a problem, she's the first to offer a logical solution.

7. Are they more likely to worry about present problems, or freak out about the unknown future?

Angelica is all about the future, all about the next step, the next job. She barely takes a second to breathe and allow herself a victory before moving on.

Teddy also worries about the future, but in different ways. He doesn't like the direction things are going with his cousins and siblings. Having so many people in his own family obsessed with such a gruesome career scares him.

Sloane's young, only thirteen, so all of her present problems seem gigantic, even when they're really not that big of a deal.

8. What is their favourite thing to drink?

Wine for Angelica. It makes her feel more grownup.

Tea for Teddy. It calms him.

Whatever's closest for Sloane. She's not picky and it's the quickest.

9. What is their favourite color? Least favourite?

Bright, bold red for Angelica. When she deals with so much of her life in blacks and grays, it's a nice change.

Teddy likes blue, because it's calming and peaceful. Blue skies are his favorite.

Greens and purples are Sloane's favorite. Something about the colors are a little offbeat, like she is, and fun.

10. What is a book that changed their life?

Angelica doesn't have time to read with her job, but on those rare occasions when she does pick up a book, it's something related to assassin training.

Teddy reads journals and essays by other pacifists urging rulers to end unnecessary wars and trying to persuade assassins to go into different careers that give more to the community.

Sloane has a worn copy of The Encyclopedia of Dragons tucked beneath her bed that she reads almost nightly. It has beautiful illustrations, detailed instructions on how to care for a dragon, safety tips, descriptions of the dragons, etc. She's always wanted a pet dragon, but her mother forbade it as having one is dangerous, and Angelica is extremely allergic.

What sorts of things would you like to see more of in books? What are your favorite stories with sibling dynamics? And if you get the chance, go link up with Cait and Sky for Beautiful People!


Boquinha said...

These are so much fun (and such a smart idea)! I'm intrigued. I'd like to think that all our studies about the transcendentalists may have informed Teddy a little bit. Is that the right word? Informed? Not inspired. Not like it gave you the idea in the first place, but maybe played a part once you came up with him. :) (What the heck is that word?!? Is it "informed?!?")

Rain said...

Sloane has got her priorities right, and Teddy sounds adorable. ;) Assassination as a family business is a really cool idea! XD

The Magic Violinist said...


Was it "influence" you were looking for there?

Teddy definitely would've been part of that crowd had he been in a different world. That world might have been a little more welcoming of him, too . . .


Hehe, I haven't even started writing yet and I already know Teddy and Sloane are going to be some of my favorites to write. I think Angelica is going to be a pain in that she's not going to want to communicate with me very well.

Boquinha said...

INFLUENCE!! YES!! Man, that was driving me crazy! THANK YOU! That's what I get for working on emails and blogs at 1 in the morning the night before (morning of?) a beach trip . . . :P

Kayla Marie said...

Oh, Sloane is a girl! I just assumed based on the name... Silly, I know, but I associate some of those "it could go either way" names with one gender more readily than the other.

Aaaanyways, I really like the family dynamic and that you wanted to do something about siblings. I come from a big family myself (I have six siblings) so it comes really naturally for me to write about families but it seems like it's kind of rare in fiction these days so it's nice to see people trying to incorporate that into their writing. That said, it's kind of weird, but most of my characters are only children! Oops!

Sarah Leeann said...

Not being able to have a pet dragon makes me mad, too. It's weird. Sloane is the youngest of two siblings, is obsessed with dragons, and likes green and purple (all of which apply to me)... interesting. This definitely sounds like a good story. Assassins, cute artist guy (if you didn't intend for him to be cute, I'll think he is, anyway) and a world where dragons exist. I think it's really funny that Angelica is allergic to dragons, makes them seem almost like a dog or a cat. Cool idea. This sounds freaking awesome!!!!

The Magic Violinist said...

@Kayla Marie

Ha, it's okay, I do the same thing. There are a few characters and people I know named Charlie whose personalities are so strong and distinct, I always assume all future Charlies are girls now.

Thank you! :) Wow, I have one sibling, but imagine the stories you could write after having six! It does seem really hard to find any family-oriented YA books. The parents are usually absent/dead/evil and the protagonists is All Alone. (But I've also been guilty of using that trope a few times. All of my characters eventually find someone resembling family, though.)

@Sarah Leeann

Right?! We should all be able to get a pet dragon. Then again, it'd probably end up being more trouble than it's worth . . .

Hehe, maybe I subconsciously wrote you into my story. xD

Not my purposeful intention, but I won't deny that he is. Plus, all the innocent artist boys in YA tend to be cute by default.

Yessss, that was my intention! I love it when magical creatures are taken and turned into something we could recognize in our day to day lives as regular animals/pets.

Thank you!! :)