Beautiful People is a blogging concept I stumbled upon that was created by the lovely ladies of Paper Fury and Further Up and Further In. Instead of being about characters that already exist in literature, this blog tag is about characters that we writers have created for our almost-existent books. How cool is that?
Anyway because this month is the month of love thanks to St. Valentine, all of the questions are love-themed. Specifically about the central relationship in our one-day bestsellers. For me, this means Élodie Benoit and Mitchell Foster. Élodie Benoit is my protagonist, so Mitchell Foster is my male lead. I haven’t visited with these guys in a long while, so I’m really excited about this. I’ve missed them! Actually, if you want a little snippet of something I wrote about these guys, just click here. You get to meet a couple of other characters I’m playing with too.
- How long have they been a couple?
These guys haven’t been a couple very long. In fact, as is YA custom, Élodie and Mitchell don’t end up together until the end of the book. I haven’t quite decided whether I want Élodie and Mitchell to have their own series. I like the idea of standalone YA, but I also wonder if I could do the myths and legends I want to explore justice if I only write the one book.
- How did they first meet?
They meet on Élodie’s first day of school. Mitchell helps Élodie find her way to her next class.
- What were their first thoughts of each other? (Love at first sight or “you’re freakishly annoying”?)
Élodie simply thought Mitchell was nice. He was kind to her on her first day of school, when she had just transferred from France. So a fast friendship developed.
Mitchell thought that Élodie looked a little lost and wanted to help. He’s that sort of bloke.
- What do they do that most annoys each other?
Mitchell doesn’t like it when Élodie speaks French to their mutual friend Luke, and vice versa, because it makes him feel stupid. He’s a little insecure about his intelligence because Élodie is so smart.
Élodie doesn’t get annoyed easily. She’s fairly unflappable. But Mitchell’s larrikin ways get too much for Élodie sometimes.
- Are their personalities opposite or similar?
I wouldn’t say opposite exactly. But Mitchell is a lot more open and boisterous than Élodie and Élodie takes life a little more seriously than Mitchell. Mostly because of everything that happened before she arrived in Australia.
- How would their lives be different without each other?
I can’t tell you that! It’s a massive plot point! Let’s just say that when Élodie discovers who she really is, Mitchell is a big part of that identity. Without him, Élodie would have been in some serious trouble quite a few times.
- Are they ever embarrassed of each other?
Not really. When Élodie blushes because of Mitchell’s outlandish behaviour (well, outlandish to her), she isn’t embarrassed. She loves how comfortable Mitchell is in his own skin. She can get a teensy bit jealous, but she doesn’t get embarrassed of him, really. She just pretends she does. The blush is because she likes him and when he acts like a larrikin, well, that’s Mitchell being his most Mitchellish and so she blushes. You know what I mean?
- Does anyone disapprove of their relationship?
Well, Luke does. But that’s for a whole bunch of reasons I can’t tell you without giving away a huge plot point. These guys don’t have a love triangle though. Not in any real way.
- Do they see their relationship as long-term/leading to marriage?
Good Lord, it’s like you want me to give away my entire plot! Élodie and Mitchell have a fairly convoluted past. And their past history is fairly substantial (there’s a pun in there that tickles me, but you guys don’t get it yet!). I would love to say that Élodie and Mitchell get married, but they face a lot of obstacles, and a fairly substantial one is their youth. They could end up married high school sweethearts, or simply together for their lives because of all that they’ve been through, but it’s hard to say without sounding like a wishy-washy YA romance author. But, most likely they would be together for a long time.
- If they could plan the “perfect outing” together, where would they go?
Planning an outing together would take forever. I think eventually, Mitchell would tone down his original outrageous plans so that Élodie could do something outside of her comfort zone, and yet not so outside of it that it would be scary for her. Maybe a water park or something like the dodgem cars at the Ekka. Élodie has a tendency to play it safe too often so Mitchell kind of thinks of it as his responsibility to help her loosen up and enjoy life.
I love these two characters and I can’t wait to write more about them. I just need to do their backstory justice. And I also need subplots. Cassandra Clare is the master of subplots and I struggle with them. You can’t have an awesome book without subplots. The book is too shallow when they aren’t there!