Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Beautiful People // March Edition


     Good day friends! It's Beautiful People time again over at Paper Fury, for the information of all you fellow writers. I don't usually join in with Beautiful People, because I don't blog about my books much (maybe because....I'd rather be writing them?), BUT when I read these questions they seemed very fitting for the heroine of my current WIP, June Darling. (The book's name is June Darling and the character's name is June Darling.) Plus, someone who filled out my survey expressed that they'd like to see more Beautiful People posts, and I like to keep my readers happy.

     SO. First maybe I should give you a little bit of background on this novel. I've been working on it since January, and from my reckoning it's about 3/4 done (YIPEEEEEEE). It's the story of a seventeen year old girl named June Darling and the summer she spends a month with her slightly-eccentric Great Aunt Viola down in a tiny whistle-stop town in Louisiana, and the quirky adventures she has during that time. (It's also about June's brainy friend and appointed escort, Hudson Englebright, whom I am just a little bit in love with at the moment, and his semi-criminal dealings...but we won't go into all that right now.)

     June is a fun character to write. She's seventeen, so we're at pretty much the same time in our lives. She's dreamy, scatterbrained, and careless, but she has the best of intentions and during her summer in Cotton Valley she learns what it really means to care for other people. Dear readers, I present to you, June Darling.

O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2002) | cinematographer Roger Deakins | 129 Of The Most Beautiful Shots In Movie History:

#1 What first inspired this character? Is there a person/actor you based them off?

     I wanted to have a picture to display for what I imagine June looking like, cut I couldn't find any that fit. I don't think there's any actor I know of who embodies her character just right; in fact, I haven't imagined her appearance in very great detail. The best visual I can give you is the girl on the cover of the Hattie Big Sky books. She looks like June to me.

      What first inspired her? Hmmmm....well, the idea for this book came to me last winter, actually, and that's when I wrote the first ten pages or so...and now I can't remember what made me want to write it. Heh. ;-P I know I always wanted to write a character like June, and at the time I was sort of obsessed with old Hollywood, which is why June is so obsessed with movies. But there was no real person I based her off of.

#2 Describe their daily routine.

     In her hometown? She'll get up, maybe walk the dog if she has to (which she hates doing), go to school, then go to her job as a switchboard operator, which she doesn't like very much either; she spends most of her time trying to keep out of trouble, but usually landing right in the middle of it despite her best efforts. In Cotton Valley, Louisiana, however, it's much different. She has Aunt Viola to take care of, and taking care of Aunt Viola mostly entails pushing her wheelchair around town to different friends' houses and listening in on a lot of town gossip; occasionally attending bingo tournaments, playing baseball at church picnics, going to memorial services in the back room of the general store, and a bunch of other things June has never done before. It's fun. ;-D

#3 If they joined your local high school, what clique would they fit into?

     My local high school? Friends, I got no high school. :-P But June's not the kind of girl who would fit into any clique. She's always been a bit of an outcast; well, not exactly an outcast, but the girl no one notices, unless she does something stupid, and then everyone notices and tries not to pay too much attention. Her best friend, Mary Sue Baxter, has a boyfriend and lots of new friends and doesn't pay much attention to June anymore. June's never really fit in. That's why the tight-knit community of Cotton Valley comes as somewhat of a surprise to her.

living in: o brother, where art thou? | Design*Sponge  "It's a veritable age of reason.  Just like they had in France!":

The setting of Cotton Valley is largely inspired by the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou?, by the way.

#4 Write a list of things they merely tolerate. Ex: certain people, foods, circumstances in their lives...

     For one thing, the Darling family dog, named Possum. June hates him. (Or is it a her? She's always forgetting.)

      June doesn't like to eat anything that's green: asparagus, cabbage, spinach, okra.

     As for people? She doesn't much care for Mary Sue's boyfriend, Herbert Pickard, because ever since he showed up Mary Sue doesn't go to movies with June anymore. June doesn't much like Mayor Oldfield either, for various reasons, or his attorney brother, for other various reasons. But I can't give those away, because that would be spoilers, so you'll have to wonder! *laughs wickedly*

#5 How do they react in awkward silences?

     June's not good with awkward silences -- or awkward anything. That's because she's awkward herself. She'll probably just look around and wait for someone to say something. And likely, that someone will be Hudson, who loves opportunities to talk about anything.

#6 Can they swim? If so, how did they learn?

     Yes, she can! She and her younger sisters, Mildred and Rosemary, used to go with their Father to a swimming hole near their house, but they don't do that anymore, because at some point in her life Rosemary decided to be afraid of snakes.

#7 What is one major event that helped shape who they are?

     The summer of her seventeenth year, when she and Hudson go down to Louisiana and she stays with her Aunt Viola for a month. June learns lots of things she never knew she never knew.

#8 What things do they value most in life?

     June loves her family, even though she doesn't always know what to do to please her parents. From Aunt Viola she learns the strength of friendship and the importance of loyalty. The people of Cotton Valley teach her that ordinary people can be wonderful. And she loves movies a lot, if we're going to be honest. ;-)

#9 Do they believe in giving other people second chances? Do they have any trust issues?

     June knows all about second chances. She needs them all the time. ;-P I think June mostly believes in giving people second chances, yes. But she does have a few trust issues. She doesn't completely trust Hudson for awhile because she suspects him of criminal doings.

#10 Your character is having a rough day...what things do they do to make them happy again? Is there anyone they talk/interact with to get in a better mood?

     June will go to a movie, probably. The theater is where she feels at home. But in Cotton Valley where they have no movie house, she doesn't really know what to do with herself. She'll probably end up going to bingo at the town hall with Aunt Viola, or visiting one of Aunt Viola's many friends, or getting into some unusual adventure or other. It happens.

I love me some movie theatres.  Classic ones, new ones....they are a beautiful place to escape to.:

That's it! Hope you enjoyed a peek into my story. ;-) 


  1. I think it's a good idea to flesh out characters by forcing yourself to answer these questions. June seems like a really interesting character from a great time period. Good luck with your writing! :)

    1. It is helpful sometimes -- and fun. ;-) Thank so much!

  2. Wow.
    Your novel sounds ssooo interesting and wonderful!! (Hey, I should have negotiated with you when I said you could beta-read my story - I want to be able to read yours, too. :D) I loved reading ALL of this!
    Oh, and by the way, I've never seen "O Brother Where Art Thou", but I know of some girls who played IN it. George Clooney's daughters in the movie - the singers weren't actually those pictured in the movie, they were The Peasall sisters, (who didn't appear in the movie, but did the singing). We have a DVD of their playing and a documentary on them - are you familiar with them? :) My family always loved, especially since they did Bluegrass, which is what my sisters do.
    Anyway, back to the topic on hand... questions like that are so fun and interesting - my mum really liked the idea, too. :) (She just came in and I was showing her what I was reading - this.) Maybe if I ever have a blog, I can do these kinds of questions with my characters, too. :D (My mind is racing with ideas of 'if I ever have a blog'... *sigh* Someday I'll make it happen.)
    Well, I heartily enjoyed the 'peak into your story'. I did, after all, request to read more on your stories. :D
    ~Miss Meg


      I LOVE the Peasalls!!!! They're, like, some of my favorite people in the world. It was Sadie who first discovered them, sometime last winter, and then we watched O Brother, Where Art Thou? (which is wickedly hilarious, by the way) and bought one of their CD's. Sadie bought me their Family Harmony DVD for my birthday this year, and we've listened to a ton of their songs on Youtube, so I pretty much know everything there is to know about the,. ;-P That's so cool that you like them too!!!

      But anyways, back to the topic at hand. ;-P I'm glad you enjoyed reading this! It tickles me when people are interested in my writing and my books. And ohhh, do I know how that is -- dreaming about what you're going to do when you have a blog. I did that for about a year before I started my own. My advice is keep dreaming. ;-)

      Thanks so much for your comment!!!

    2. YES I DO!! And YOU know who the Peasalls are?! :D I know, I love them too! They're such a wonderful family. I've only seen the DVD Family Harmony, although I've seen THAT countless times... we got it about 5 years ago or something. So I've known them for quite awhile. :) Sometimes when I'm bored, I go onto their Instagram accounts and look at pictures of them. :P They're all grown up, married and with kids! (Although I don't think Hannah is. But Leah and Sarah are.) They're so musically talented!! Oh, and by the way, do you remember where you got their CD? We've been trying to get it for years, but haven't succeeded.

      Haha, you tend to know how I feel. ;) It's as if your life is about a year ahead of mine (or maybe two), and I'm still catching up on you. ;P I'll take your advice, and keep dreaming. (And I may or may not have a Microsoft Word with all my blog posts ideas written down on it.)

      ~Miss Meg

  3. La! I loved this! And speaking of being honest, that was actually me who asked for Beautiful People posts . . . *coughs.*

    June Darling. Emma, that is a WONDERFUL name for a heroine :) She sounds like she and I would be great friends! Awkward. Yes. Dreamy. Yes :P

    I laughed at the "or is it a her? She's always forgetting." You are a wonderful writer - your characters are so REAL. I could just see her immediately. And 3/4 through? That's awesome!!

    Thanks for indulging me by writing this :D I hope it didn't bore you too much!

    1. Oh, it was you! ;-) Well, I was happy to oblige. I actually had more fun writing this than I'd expected I would.

      Thanks, I think so too. I don't even know what made me choose the name -- it just came to me in a moment, and I thought, "THAT'S IT." I hope when people read the book they want to be friends with June.

      YES IT'S ALMOST DONE!!!! I am rabid with excitement. No, really, I'm practically frothing at the mouth. I've never been this close to finishing something this wonderful. ;-P

      You're welcome! Thanks for prodding me to do it.

  4. Your book looks fun!
    Last night my sister and I were watching the 2007 Persuasion. During the movie when it's the scene of her holding the picture I yelled out 'Oh, hey! That the picture from Emma's header!'
    -The Girl with the Gold Pen

    1. Thanks! I think so too. ;-)

      Oh really? That's funny, cuz I didn't even know that picture was from a movie! Those moments are always cool, when you watch a movie and there comes a scene you've seen from somewhere and you think, "Hey, that's --- !"

  5. OKAY SO DID YOU KNOW? I LOVE JUNE. And Cotton Valley - I want to live there. And basically give me this book. THANKS. <3

    1. I was aware of this, actually. I KNOW. I WANT TO LIVE THERE TOO. Actually, I *am* mostly living there right now. I'm half in this world and half in that one. (It's great.)

      Don't worry, you know you'll be the first one to read it. ;-P

  6. Oooh! Thanks for sharing a bit of your story with us, Emma! :) It sounds lovely. And June sounds like an interesting and relatable character. Her reaction to awkward silences for one thing...mhmmm...that would totally be me. ;) And the fact that she would go to see a movie when she needs cheering up. Haha! Why is that so familiar?

    "She'll probably just look around and wait for someone to say something. And likely, that someone will be Hudson, who loves opportunities to talk about anything." Aww. I like that bit. It's just a tiny little hint of what your characters' personalities are like, but it's enough to intrigue me. (And you know, I think Hudson is a character I would like. ;))

    Good luck with your writing, Emma! Oh! and just for the record, June Darling is an adorable name! :D

  7. Your story sounds SO good, Emma!! Your characters, the setting....everything! Hudson sounds like a very interesting character...maybe you could do a post on him? :)
    I'm looking forward to the day you can have your book published because I will certainly buy a copy! :D


I'd love it if you'd drop me a line or two! I always enjoy receiving comments from readers and friends. I ask that you please keep your comments clean and God-honoring, and please don't write anything you wouldn't want your grandmother to read. Also, if you are commenting under anonymous, please do leave your name (or some sort of moniker so that you aren't totally nameless). Thank you so much and have a lovely day!

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