Family is important to me as a wife and mother. As a writer, I get encouragement and support from my family and they are the first to celebrate a victor or empathize with a setback. Therefore, when developing characters deciding how family figures into a character is paramount for me.
I believe family shapes a person and for most people is probably a mixture of positive and negative experiences. Fun family vacations and the time your little brother trashed your favorite Barbie doll can be fodder for important memories of family life. These experiences are more than just memories however; they are morsels that helped to shape a person’s character.
Each of the main characters in my upcoming book, Order of Fear, shares a common thread; they all have a family that has impacted them in some way.
Justin Tanner, as college sophomore, watched in horror as his parents were killed in an airplane crash. He witnessed the crash but could do nothing to save them. This fueled his desire to become a trauma surgeon. It’s easy to see the connection between helplessly witnessing two of the most important people in his life perish in front of him and his need to use his skill and knowledge to pull the sick and injured back from the brink of death. Justin’s father was also an Army General and he honored his father by joining the Army Medical Corps. In addition to his parents, Justin’s sister, niece, aunt and uncle all play integral roles not only in this character’s life, but also in the plot of this book.
Family is extremely important to me and I’d be hard-pressed to create a character where family was not considered.