With so much possible fodder this week, ranging from the newly released college football playoff rankings to the impending arrival and all of the assorted trappings that accompany it, I hope you don’t mind I am sidestepped current affairs for a moment to address I have begun to receive w/ growing frequency…

Which characters that I have written are my favorite??

To hear many authors discuss having to pick their favorite creation is akin to hearing a parent hem and haw about naming their favorite child. (Unless that parent’s last name is Stevens, in which case the answer is my brother…he has the grandchildren, I can’t compete w/ that) They stammer and try to sidestep and eventually come up w/ some story about how all are viewed equally.

I call shenanigans. Just as every reader, movie goer, television watcher, consumer of any kind has favorites, so do writers. I freely admit/hope that (I like to believe) there is some inherent value, whether it be as a relatable protagonist, a loathsome antagonist, or even as a necessary plot device, in every person I ever conjure up.

That being said though, of course I have my preferences…


Thorn Byrd ~ Liberation Day

The main character of the novel, Thorn has a bit of my own backstory in him, though that’s not why I enjoyed working w/ the character.  By design he had a very hard exterior that was more than just an exterior…it was ingrained in who he was.

The Honeycutts ~ Twelve

The Brother Honeycutt, two unlikely partners that find themselves in a damning situation and somehow live to tell the tale. Why these two were fun to work w/ those

Kalani Lewis ~ Motive

Somewhere along the line, I started dabbling w/ characters that were seemingly running from something, propelled to keep going forward for fear that whatever was behind them would soon catch up. Kalani is the epitome of that, and that uncertainty made for a very interesting narrative.

Rink ~ The Zoo Crew Series

When I was first pitching the idea for this series to one of my beta readers, she seized on the role of this character. “Every good grouping needs someone a little bit removed, someone w/ a moral compass that maybe isn’t quite pointing north.” That has always been the best way for me to describe Rink, a very usable character that somehow combines fierce loyalty w/ a willingness to do whatever, whenever.

10.) Iggy ~ Liberation Day

This character is modeled off a good friend of mine, a fast-talking, wise-cracking Latina that never, ever slows down. For that reason, every scene I wrote for her I pictured my friend acting out, which made the entire process that much more enjoyable.

9.) Cat Roberts ~ Scars & Stars

The younger of the Roberts brothers, Cat was interesting b/c the audience got to see him at so many different points throughout his life, from the young, free-spirited kid in the river bottoms up through a mourning old man. Rarely does an author get to spend that scope of time w/ a character, which was quite fascinating, and (hopefully) a learning experience. (I’ll let you folks decide that one)

8.) Four ~ Four

This was my first manuscript, and my first real work w/ the first person point of view. As such, it became quite liberating to work w/ Four, inserting myself into his mindset, creating a worldview w/ what I thought an assassin’s might be. Definitely paved the way for some characters lower on this list.

7.) Natalie ~ Just a Game

This spot could have also gone to Christine from Catastrophic, but Natalie was the first and therefore my favorite.  I say that to mean she was the first “best friend of a different gender” I created (used a couple of times in my work, but not excessively), something I believe that a lot of protagonists, especially those in a situation they didn’t quite choose/understand, needs.

6.) Shane Laszlo ~ Catastrophic

This story I began writing while sitting in class during law school (No seriously…I have many friends that can vouch I barely said word for an entire semester our second year), funneling much of my own angst at the time w/ the entire legal system into Shane. It was at once cathartic and liberating, a reason we may again one day hear back from Mr. Laszlo.

5.) Kris Hopkins ~ Quarterback

This was a character that originated in a screenplay, the kind of person I wanted to jump off the screen and take viewers on a truly visceral experience w/. Later when it was reverse-adapted into a novel, I had to take extra care to ensure that those aspects of him (his narcissism, his loss of identity, etc.) were really driven home.  In sum total I spent a great many months w/ Mr. Hopkins, and came to understand both sides of his dilemma far better than I ever thought possible.

(Bonus points, as he won Podge’s character rankings by a pretty wide margin)

4.) O ~ 21 Hours

My first return to the first person since Four, O was both an easy and a difficult character for me to write. On one hand, as an uncle for a very small child, the thought processes and internal struggle he endured were very real, the story spilling out in just about a week. For that same reason though, it was very hard to imagine such a thing happening, my mind wanting to rid itself of such thoughts as fast as possible.

Once it was completed though, I think O became someone that a lot of people could relate to.

3.) The Zoo Crew ~ The Zoo Crew Series

There’s no call for splintering the group on this one, as the whole really only functions b/c each of them are present. The most common piece of feedback I get on these novels is the enjoyment people have from reading the banter between them, which is always a blast for me to write, and the reason I keep going back to them. (Number four is in the works now…)

2.) Hawk ~ Krokodil

As these things tend to do, the story for Krokodil was originally intended to be much different, but kind of took on a life of its own. One of the main reasons for this was Hawk, his backstory emerging bit by bit, providing the platform for this character that I had a hard time leaving behind. (And am now writing a sequel for…)

1.) Ruby ~ Be My Eyes

And honestly, it’s not even close. If you’ve ever read this one, you know why.

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