Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Meet Jenna!

ETA: Thanks to Jess who reminded me I'd left off a Jenna snippet! Have rectified situation!

7 weeks until HEX HALL hits shelves! SEVEN! YAY!

It occurred to me last night that since I'm doing this whole "interview my characters" thing, I ought to use this as a chance to talk about how those characters came into being/The Writing Prooooocessssss. I didn't do that last week with Sophie, but then there's really not a lot to say about her character development. She sprang into life pretty much fully-formed. Her best friend, Jenna, was another story. In the original 1st half of the 1st draft (I've mentioned writing the book was a little...um...complicated, right?), Sophie's roommate at Hecate Hall was a faerie princess named Lexie (side note: I had SUCH a problem in HEX HALL with the "ie" names. Sophie, Lexie, Elodie, Katie...it was bizarre. Cut half of them in the end.) Lexie was slightly ditzy, and spoiled, and even though I had her and Sophie become best friends, they never really were. It was a classic case of "we only hang out because the plot says we should, and nothing about our relationship comes off as realistic!"

That wasn't the only big flaw Lexie had. She also made the plot clunky. See, I had to have everyone in the school shun Sophie's roommate due to her involvement in another student's death the previous year. In the 1st draft, everyone at Hecate blamed Lexie for her vampire boyfriend attacking a girl because Lexie allegedly gave her boyfriend the, like, magical password or some crap to get up to the girl's floor so that he could snack on her roommate,and...yeah, you see why this didn't work. It was needlessly complicated, and I realized that- duh!- the easiest thing to do was to make LEXIE the vampire. And not only that, she would be the only vampire at Hecate. That way, everyone hating on her made a lot more sense, and freed me up from the "But if it was her boyfriend that killed the girl, why is everyone so mad at her?" issue.

But a funny thing happened in the transition from faerie to vamp. For one thing, the character was SO not a Lexie any more, so she got a new name- Jenna. For another, she got a lot darker and angstier, which of course meant that I LOVED HER SO MUCH. In the end, the only thing Jenna had in common with Lexie was a near-pathological obsession with the color pink.

However, the best thing about Jenna is that, unlike Lexie, she and Sophie became real friends, so much so that I think their friendship is the cornerstone of the whole series.

So, now that you know the story behind Jenna's "birth," let's meet her, shall we?

Name: Jennifer Leigh Talbot (Jenna, please!)

Hair Color: Blonde/pink

Eye Color: Brown. Well, sometimes red, but brown most of the time!

Age: Technically 15. How long have I been 15? *dramatic pause* A long time. (Sorry. Vampire humor!)

Favorite Color: Have you seen my room? Pink, pink, pink!!!

Species: I'm with Soph. That is SUCH a gross word! Anyway. Vampire.

Relationship Status: No way am I answering that. I mean, this is going on the internet, isn't it? Sophie said she heard it went on the internet.

What Do You Look For In a Friend?: Open minded-ness, bad ass maaaaagicaaal powers (trust me, they've come in handy), and a healthy appreciation for sarcasm.

What Do You Look For In a Guy: Um...awkward. Not exactly into people of the Male Persuasion. But in a girl, I look for the same things I'd want in a friend. Oh, and fangs. :)

Who Is Your Hero?: Don't tell her I said this, but Sophie has been pretty heroic here lately. Girl has dealt with some MAJOR stuff. Other than that Cheesey McLame answer, I'll go with Anne Rice.

What 3 Things Would You Take to a Deserted Island?: A COMPUTER!! With wi-fi, and iTunes, and all that shiny, sexy technology. MISS IT SO MUCH! Also, my bloodstone, so as to not become Barbecued Jenna (vampes+sun=not a great mix.) And my stuffed lion, Bram.

Lastly, Do You Have a Motto?: We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.- Oscar Wilde

Sophie's first conversation with Jenna:

“So you’re . . . uh, you’re a vampire. How exactly did that happen?”

Her eyes didn’t meet mine, but her tone was casual. “Same way it happens to everyone else: met a vamp, got bitten. Not really that interesting.”

I couldn’t blame her for not wanting to share the whole story with someone she’d only known for fifteen minutes.

“So your mom is normal, huh?” she asked.

Hmm. Not exactly something I wanted to get into on the first day, but hey, this was what Fitting In was all about, right? Sharing makeup, clothes, and dark secrets with your roommate.

I cleared my throat. “Yeah, my dad is a warlock, but they’re not together or anything anymore.”

“Oh,” Jenna said knowingly. “Say no more. A lot of
the kids here come from divorced families. Even magic doesn’t ensure a happy marriage, apparently.”

“Are your parents divorced?”

She finally found the nail polish she’d been searching for. “No, they’re still disgustingly happy. Or, I mean . . . I guess they are. I haven’t seen them since I, uh, changed, or whatever.”

“Oh wow,” I replied. “That sucks.”

“No pun intended?” she asked.


Thanks so much, Jenna! Next up will be Hecate Hall's resident hottie, Archer Cross. Trust me, you don't want to miss that one!


jessjordan said...

Hey ... Where's my Jenna snippet?

Soooo many great-looking books coming out in March--can't wait to get a copy of Hex Hall!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Rachel Hawkins said...

Oh no, Jess! You're right! Totally left off the snippet! Will rectify shortly!

Snazel said...

I like the story of how Jenna came to be! She sounds delicious. :D

Which, sounds kinda vampiric myself. Which I assure you I am not. She sounds like a great character?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
jessjordan said...

La de da ....

Just waiting to hear more about Jenna. Don't mind me and my obnoxious impatience! :D

Serenity said...

These interviews and snippets are buh-rilliant. I am so into this story already.

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Dallas said...

Rae, I got caught up on your blog today, and I am absolutely THRILLED that your book will be here very soon! I was SO excited that there was a picture of you on Amazon saying "meet the author." I was like "hey, I already know her!" I pre-ordered my copy today! Please keep us posted on your book tour/signings, as I would like to see you and have dinner!

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