Characters That Would Populate My Literary World
by Augusta Blythe
There are certain characters that stay with us long after we’ve turned that final page. Some grab us by the collar and never let us go; others are a slow burn. They decline to leave at the end of their short stay, their status quietly shifting over time from visitor to permanent resident. Instead of considering them in isolation (e.g., favorite heroine), I decided to gather them all in one place and populate my own personal lit world. Re-imagine my life with fictional folk.
In my lit world, I’ve claimed two men as my father: pioneering Pa Ingalls (from The Little House on the Prairie) and Atticus Finch (To Kill A Mockingbird). Pa was always on the hunt for meat and maple syrup so I only saw him two weekends a month anyway. Atticus was there for me day in and day out, righteous in the best possible sense. If I manage to inherit a smidge of his good sense and ethics, I’m on the right track. My mother is Wendy Darling (Peter Pan), all grown up and motherly, with a whiff of an interesting past. She told me fantastic stories and indulged my imaginative side. She was, however, rather neurotic about whether my bedroom window was locked at night. Growing up, my big brother Holden Caulfield (Catcher in the Rye) was always in my face about issues like ethical consumerism, fighting the good fight. Although he often annoyed me, I would find myself mulling over his points when I was alone in the dark with my bedroom window firmly locked.
As for the men in my life, my cup runneth over in lit world. After a string of fleeting relationships with Fitzwilliam Darcy (too socially awkward), Lancelot (too chivalrous), Jude (too obscure) and Heathcliff (too crazy), I settled down for a bit in Italy with passionate George Emerson (A Room with a View). After that relationship’s amicable end, I married the wise and wonderful Mr. Knightley (Emma). I adore Mr. Knightley, but I don’t think he would have been the right man for me in my younger years. He’s better suited to middle-aged me.
My best friend and loyal confidante is Anne with an ‘e’ of Green Gables fame. When we’re together, let the inoffensive hijinks ensue. Admittedly, I sometimes need a breather from her delightful but incessant yammering, so I’ll grab a mocha with Jo March (Little Women). My favorite crazy girlfriend (let’s face it, we all have one of those) is Bridget Jones. It’s always nice to go out with someone guaranteed to make you laugh and make more of a fool of herself than you. For road trips, my favorite traveling companion is Toad (Wind in the Willows). His fervent love of motor cars gets us in hot water on occasion, but the look on the officer’s face whenever he gets pulled over is priceless.
My accountant (that’s right, I have an accountant in my lit world) is Thomas Cromwell from Wolf Hall. Not the real dude; that guy was apparently a holy horror. I much prefer Hilary Mantel’s version of him, plus I get to picture him as the actor James Frain thanks to Showtime’s The Tudors. Bonus.
I’ve even chosen my lit world leaders – a succession of Jane Austen heroines, including Elizabeth Bennett and Elinor Dashwood. They are compassionate and reasonable women and I trust them to make the right decisions for the good of my lit world people. Long may they reign.
Augusta Blythe is the author of Winterborne, the first book in the Universe Unbound series. She is also a lawyer on two continents and currently lives in England with her husband, two children, a fish, a shrimp and a mine urchin. To learn a whole lot about nothing in particular, visit her blog at http://augustablythe.blogspot.com. Winterborne is available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and iBookstore.
WINTERBORNE BY AUGUST BLYTHESixteen-year old Mia Winterborne is destined to be special. Details are sketchy, though, as her dad disappeared with all the answers when she was five. Mia only knows that she’ll inherit her kickass superpowers on her seventeenth birthday. Helping Mia prepare for her anticipated ascendancy is Loie Bryce, her best friend and eternal sidekick extraordinaire. The girls’ intense friendship has never wavered until now, when Andreas arrives in Salcey Ridge. They both fall hard for the British hottie, who quickly becomes a fixture in their lives. When they discover that Andreas is not who he appears to be, the frightening reality of Mia’s powers finally hits home. The nearer Mia’s birthday draws, the more the danger escalates and long-buried lies are exposed, putting the girls on a path that they never expected.