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.
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.
The setting of Cotton Valley is largely inspired by the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou?, by the way.
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.
That's it! Hope you enjoyed a peek into my story. ;-)