Today's guest blog comes from Paula Chase, author of the Del Rio Bay novels. The first book in the line, So Not the Drama, is one of this month's postergirlz recommended reads. (Read the August 2009 issue of readergirlz.)
by Paula Chase
Self-discovery is messy. Sometimes ugly. Oftentimes difficult to face. Always fascinating.
When I started the Del Rio Bay series, the whole point was to take my main character, Mina, through a maze of ordinary hurdles that would ultimately help her discover who she was. I knew who she was, on the surface, but even I didn’t know what mettle she was made of until the books went on.
On some legs of the journey (So Not The Drama), she realized that what she had was better than what she thought she wanted. And on others (Who You Wit'?), she fretted so much about maintaining what she had that she risked losing it. Each time, she was faced with not only battling outside forces like bitchy frenemies and backstabbing ex-boyfriends, but also herself. And without a doubt, she was a more formidable "adversary" than any of her actual opponents because the burden we put on ourselves to make the "right" decisions can crush us if we let it.
Writing Mina taught me that a character can be perpetually optimistic, damn near bubbly some people may label her, well-liked, surrounded by support and still lack confidence in herself. But it's that lack of self-confidence that pushes Mina and can push many of us to be our best. What I love about Mina and Kendra, in Coe Booth's novel, is they're not the ballsiest chicks in the lit arena, but they posses a feisty spirit that won't let them give up, even when they so desperately want to. I'd like to think that a grown-up version of Mina recognizes that as her greatest virtue.
- Paula Chase