Today I get to welcome author Annette K. Larsen to my blog. She likes chocolate, and she's touring the internet with her novel, Missing Lily, hosted by I am a Reader. Today she's here to talk about what drew her to write about her character. There's an excerpt from the book below, and more info about both book and author, plus a great giveaway, so please don't forget to keeping reading to the end. Meanwhile, over to you Annette, and thank you for visiting my blog.
"What drew you to write about someone hiding her identity?”
by Annette K. Larsen
When I started writing Missing Lily, my only objective was to tell Lylin’s story. I started my brainstorming by sticking her in a bunch of random (and usually uncomfortable) situations to see how she would react. I ended up coming up with several different ideas that involved some sort of a hidden identity theme. I think the reason I enjoy that idea so much is that the first meeting between hero and heroine starts with a blank slate. It sets aside any preconceived notions they might have and allows them to meet each other without that filter.
In that sense, I think it can allow for a more genuine first impression. For Lylin specifically, she’s able to experience what it’s like to be treated as a person, instead of as royalty. We all want to be appreciated for who we are, not what we are, and I think we can all agree that that might be difficult for someone in the public eye, whether it’s hundreds of years ago or today.
So, it’s a good thing on the one hand—clean slate, no preconceived notions—but on the other hand, when a character not only withholds their identity, but denies it and creates a different identity, that builds in a bigger complication. It then becomes not a case of mistaken identity, but of intentional misleading, of deception. When that deception is discovered—as, of course, it will be—then what? There are so many outcomes, so many reactions a character could have. There will almost always be anger from the person who was deceived. But how much anger? And for how long? Will the person doing the deceiving be apologetic, groveling, and begging for forgiveness? Or will they refuse to acknowledge any wrongdoing, maybe even blame someone else?
I love working with the inherent tension in a hidden identity situation. There is endless potential for strong emotion, character growth and plot development.
Thank you Annette. I guess it's those tensions that keep readers turning the pages--we identify with the character, and we wonder what we might do, or what we might learn. Missing Lily sounds really intriguing. So... do you have an excerpt readers could enjoy, to introduce them to Lily?
I found a cloak in the wardrobe and put it on, then quietly unlatched the door, hoping to leave without anyone’s notice.
Rhys sat on the floor, leaning against the wall opposite my door, sleeping. It broke my heart to see him there, obviously waiting for me to come out. But with any luck, he wouldn’t discover my departure until later. I slipped through the door and crept past him, trying to keep my breath quiet even with my nerves jumping every which way. I reached the top of the stairs before his voice stopped me.
“Where are you going?”
I looked back. His head still rested against the wall, but his eyes were fixed on me.
I faced the stairs again, contemplating running down them. I cleared my throat. “I’m just going for a walk outside to clear my head.” My foot stepped down.
“The sun is down.” Confusion infused his voice as he stood to follow.
My pace increased. “I won’t be gone long.”
He grabbed my arm, stopping me. “What has you so upset?”
I tried to hold his gaze He hated me, even if he didn’t know it. “I’m just…worried.”
“That’s not it.” How could he know such a thing? “There’s something else.”
I tried to invent a lie, but my thoughts wouldn’t cooperate. He moved closer to me, making my neck grow hot. I swallowed, desperately searching for something to say, or even something to focus on besides the warmth spreading through me. I ignored it. I didn’t know this man, he may very well be a traitor, a conspirator. But all I could feel was his proximity.
“Won’t you tell me?” he pled. I made myself look at him and his eyes delved into mine, searching for any clue to explain my behavior.
I closed my eyes, whispering, “I can’t.”
I opened my eyes at his pleading tone, then opened my mouth, trying to say something. His eyes locked on my parted lips and I stopped trying to talk. He lowered his head, glancing at my eyes before refocusing on my mouth and moving closer. He was going to kiss me. Half of me wanted it, desperately. The other half was terrified. It was all wrong. This was wrong. He was wrong.
I turned my face away and he froze.
“You don’t know who I am,” I whispered. He didn’t move—either away from me, or closer—and after an interminable moment, I stepped back and hurried out of the house.
He didn’t follow me as I fled into the night.
ABOUT THE BOOK “You don’t know who I am,” I whispered. He didn’t move—either away from me, or closer—and after an interminable moment, I stepped back and hurried out of the house. He didn’t follow me as I fled into the night. Lylin was not used to being alone—much less alone, hurt, and lost. So when she is separated from her guard and forced to abandon her horse, she counts herself lucky to stumble upon a manor house. Still frightened by those who chased her into the night, she keeps her identity a secret, calling herself Lily as she accepts the help of kind servants, and the compassion of Lord Fallon. When they fall into an easy friendship, she wonders if her secrecy was too hasty. However, as she gets to know the manor and its residents, Lylin discovers that she’s not the only one hiding secrets, and it may be a very good thing that her host doesn’t know her true identity as a member of the royal family.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR I was born in Utah, part of a crazy, fun family of nine. I grew up in Flagstaff, AZ and St. Louis, MO before striking out on my own college adventure in Virginia. I decided to try my hand at writing novels after I was married and living in Idaho. I write clean romance because it’s my favorite genre, but often difficult to find.
Not yet read Just Ella?
It is on sale for $3.99 for the duration of the blog tour.
Grab your copy on Amazon.
Blog Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 6/15/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.