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Writer Questions

Another set of questions from Tumblr. Answering those questions about Jane from Magic Inc. In other news, I had an event on Saturday. Which was scary (as always) and disappointing in that Book Two could not be done in time. But I got to see some friends and fellow authors. And of course, my favorite local book store owner, Leana.

1. What was the first element of your OC that you remember considering?

Since Jane is based on me, it’s hard to remember what exactly began to distinguish her as a character apart from me. The best I can figure is when I decided on her powers. I became fascinated with elemental magic from the faeries on Neopets. (This is also why I spell faerie this way.) I felt drawn to Air powers. Jane’s powers deepened and expanded when I began writing her into my first Harry Potter fanfiction series (as Val).

2. Did you design them with any other characters from their universe in mind?

No, Jane was the beginning. But as I remember it, Jenny’s character was the next to really develop. Strangely enough, Chaz’s character was one of the last Parkers to come into being. If I had followed the progression exactly to my original daydreams, Jane wouldn’t have met Chaz until almost the very end of Book One. But this made no sense to me when I was planning out the series as actual novels.

I suppose he could’ve already been in college. And then, Jane certainly would’ve been in love with Dominic the whole book. Which is closer to my original idea/my reality. This was one of the few big changes I made to my original imaginings of this world. I just couldn’t leave Chaz out of the first book. And that really wouldn’t have made sense with things I figured out about the story later on.

3. How did you choose their name?

The name Jane came to me from two different places. One, is the name of Wendy’s daughter in Peter Pan. The other, was Hermione Granger’s original middle name. (I’m not sure if J.K. Rowling changed her mind or if the original interview just made a typo of Jean.) I first gave Jane her name during her cameo in Hate You, Hate Me - my Draco/Hermione fanfiction. When I wrote Jane in fanfiction, she was always Hermione’s little sister.

4. In developing their backstory, what elements of the world they live in played the most influential parts?

Jane is basically living in my childhood reality with a twist. The main structure of her story (both before and after the novels begin) comes from my past. (The one difference is her family’s history. Though Christine became more like my own mother than I expected as I wrote her.) Her environment is the county I grew up in, and everyone’s environment has some amount of effect on their childhood. That’s no different with Jane. Her school. The church. The local park. They all play a role in the novels. In terms of the greater world/universe, there were definitely things that I discovered/decided on in some of my other novels that I had to link with Magic Inc. when I began writing. But it’s hard to explain where crossovers and references occur without spoiling anything.

5. Is there any significance behind their hair color?

Jane’s hair is brown like mine. Nothing more complicated than that.

6. Is their any significance behind their eye color?

Again, Jane’s eyes are blue, like mine. However there are some important reasons why certain characters have certain eye colours in my universe. And I’ll leave it at that.

7. Is there any significance behind their height?

I don’t talk about height much in my writing, unless it is especially remarkable one way or the other. One thing I decided on with my original artist was that Jenny was a little bit taller than Jane. I could tell you this had some deep meaning in the way that Jane admires/”looks up to” Jenny. But that’s not true. It just worked out that way. I honestly don’t think about most of my characters' appearances beyond eyes/hair/skin colour. I struggle to describe physical attributes or even see the details of a character’s face in my head.

8. What (if anything) do you relate about their character/story?

Everything.

9. Are they based on you in some way?

I think I’ve answered this enough already! But I’ll just add… Jane is completely me. Her life is a mixture of the things I went through at her age and the things I daydreamed about. Jane loves deeply, feels deeply, and is easily hurt. She is anxious and obsessive. She feels like an outsider and just wants to feel loved and accepted. Our experiences are not exactly the same, but Jane and I are the same at our core. She is me. And that’s what is scary about sharing her with the world.

10. Did you know what the OC’s sexuality would be at the time of their creation?

I knew very little about different sexualities at nine-years-old, attending Catholic school. I just knew I was always falling in love with boys. At this point in my life, I look at sexuality as more of a spectrum. But since this series is based on my childhood/adolescence, and I didn’t really think about this stuff until my 20s, there will probably be little reference to Jane’s sexuality. Some of the other characters will definitely have defined sexualities eventually.

11. What have you found to be most difficult about creating art for your OC?

I don’t really create art for my characters unless you count sims and a couple of recent moodboards. I’m really not artistic. I worked with a great artist for my first cover, and I had a specific idea for what I wanted, but it was very hard to communicate my ideas with my struggle to describe physical things. I was very scared it wouldn’t live up to my expectations, but the cover turned out amazing. I’ve had to change artists for my second book, but I’m hoping Book Two’s cover will turn out lovely as well and still feel cohesive with the first book. I did find another wonderful artist, so cross your fingers for me!

12. How far past canon events have you extended their story, if at all?

This is a series, and I have so much planned for the rest of it. Not just books following Jane’s journey, but also lots of side stories. And of course, the Timeline Universe spreads out into so many other stories. I’ll probably never get to write everything I know about this world and the characters, but I consider all of it canon, whether it makes it into book form or not.

13. If you had to narrow it down to 2 things you MUST keep in mind while working with your OC, what would those things be?

Her passion/compassion. And her anxiety.

14. What is something about your OC that can make you laugh?

I’m not sure child!Jane is all that funny, but she does make some cheesy video game jokes/references occasionally.

15. What is something about your OC that can make you cry?

She’s just so vulnerable and easily hurt. And a lot of what happens to her at school is very close to the bullying and isolation I experienced at her age. She loves so deeply and is desperate to feel the return of that love in the same intensity. Which is something i still struggle with all these years later.

16. What is the most recent thing you’ve discovered about your OC?

It’s difficult for me to “discover” more about Jane, since she is my past and I’ve already lived her life. You always learn more about yourself as a person, though. And there are some things I think about differently than I did at Jane’s age. I occasionally go back and forth between making Jane more the me of then or the me of now. But when it comes down to it, I haven’t changed that much over the years. Yeah, there are definitely things I have a better perspective on as an adult. (Thank goodness.) And some things I’m (sadly) more cynical about. But I’m still very much that scared, passionate little girl, looking for love and acceptance.

17. What is your favorite fact about your OC?

I love that Jane still believes in everything. Even though she’s been hurt a lot, she trusts much better than I do now. She reaches out to Chaz because she trusts him completely. And that’s something I’m scared I’ll never be able to do with a romantic interest/partner.