Today I have a guest post with Laura Howard the author of The Forgotten Ones as well as an excerpt from the book for you guys! This sounds like such a good book so I hope you enjoy the excerpt and the quest post with Laura!
Character Creation for The Forgotten Ones
My protagonist in The Forgotten Ones is twenty-one year old Allison O’Malley. Before I began defining who Allison was as a person, I came up with a basic idea for the plot.
I needed her motivation. It all started with a song. Because of You by Kelly Clarkson was the seed that started me asking questions.
Because of you I never let anyone else in- WHY? Because Allison’s mother is schizophrenic and Allison believes this was triggered by her mother’s relationship with her estranged father.
Because of you I’m ashamed of my life because it’s empty- WHY? Because relationships get in the way of Allison’s goal to take the burden of her mother’s care off of her grandparents.
So now I had some background into why she is so introverted and such a loner.
Pick a general archetype. Allison is a ‘caregiver’ archetype. She has a strong desire to take care of others. She always puts others before herself, even if it causes her problems.
Add quirks: Allison started out as a big chunk of concrete. I brainstormed and came up with traits that would bring her to life, like sculpting the concrete slab.
- She likes to read.
- She loves ice cream.
- She collects quotes.
- She likes to run.
- She’s sarcastic and frequently misunderstood.
Add physical features: Allison started out as Michelle Trachtenberg in my mind. I’m not sure why, that was just who I pictured. Light brown hair, big blue eyes. Full lips, but a smile that was reserved and not seen often.
Define the characters fears, weaknesses, motivations and secrets:
I already knew why Allison is motivated to focus on school and her career: so that she would be financially secure enough to support her mother.
Allison’s father shows up shortly after the start of the story. He reveals secrets that she isn’t able to share with anyone. The most important being that he says he has a way of restoring her mother’s mental health.
As much as she hates to admit it, Allison has a long-standing weakness for Ethan Magliaro. He has a way of getting under her skin even though she has been pushing him away for years.
“You coming over tonight?” Ethan asked as he flipped through the CD's in my case.
“Me?” I stuttered, and tried to swallow down my nerves. “Are you kidding? My bed is calling my name early tonight,” I replied, trying to keep an aloof tone.
Ethan shook his head, smirking down at the CDs . “We're just going to be watching a movie.”
“Didn't your mother teach you not to beg, dude?” Sean asked, teasing. “You probably have a hot date, right Allie-O?” He shook my shoulder lightly. I smiled at his use of that old nickname from the days we used to play hide-and-seek in our neighborhood.
“Yeah, a hot date with Rhett Butler,” Ethan said. I kept my eyes on the road, but I couldn't help the smile that played on my lips.
“Poor Ethan,” Sean said. “I think Rachel wants to snuggle with you tonight, pal.” He was laughing, but I could hear the edge in his voice. The idea of Rachel and Ethan together made my chest squeeze, too.
Ethan chuckled. “No thanks, Rachel is all yours. She's not my type.”
“What? Since when do you have a type?” Sean asked, the tension lifting.
“I'm twenty-two years old, man. Time to start thinking of the future.”
I nearly snorted soda out of my nose, until he slung his arm around the back of my chair. Then it was all I could do to keep the car on the road.
He had to know the way he affected me, how he got under my skin. Years ago, in one of my weaker moments, I'd fallen for his charm. I couldn't let that happen again. But, the memory of that kiss still left me breathless.
I pulled my car into the driveway, thanking the universe for getting me through the trip without too much trouble.
Allison O'Malley just graduated from college. Her life's plan is to get a job and take care of her schizophrenic mother. She doesn't have room for friends or even Ethan, who clearly wants more.
When Allison's long-lost father shows up, he claims he can bring her mother back from the dark place her mind has sent her. He reveals legends of a race of people long forgotten, the Tuatha de Danaan, along with the truth about why he abandoned her mother.
Laura Howard lives in New Hampshire with her husband and four children. Her obsession with books began at the age of 6 when she got her first library card. Nancy Drew, Sweet Valley High and other girly novels were routinely devoured in single sittings. Books took a backseat to diapers when she had her first child. It wasn’t until the release of a little novel called Twilight, 8 years later, that she rediscovered her love of fiction. Soon after, her own characters began to make themselves known. The Forgotten Ones is her first published novel. You can find Laura at her blog, twitter, facebook, and goodreads!