Constance Jerome wants nothing more than to make it through her senior year of high school without being noticed. But when her mother drops the world’s biggest bombshell, flying under the radar just isn’t in the cards. It turns out Constance is a necromancer—one of the few who can travel the realms of the dead.
Apparently it runs in the family. And now there’s a threat coming: another necromancer with plans to disturb the living and the dead, and Constance and her mother are the only ones who can stop him. If only they knew who he was. Or what exactly he was up to. A quiet senior year isn’t an option, and Constance must race to stop a high school apocalypse before the balance between the living and the dead is overturned.
Creating Real Characters
Characters can be tricky because they easily fall flat if you’re not careful with them. I’ve read novels that afterward I think, “Well, that main character was kind of boring.” Or I’ve thought that secondary characters just disappeared into the background.
To try to make my characters memorable and real, I give them quirks and habits and try to see them as people and not just characters on a page. Constance, my main character in Possession, is a loner. But she’s a conflicted loner. She has one good friend, but she’s starting to reconsider her status as a wallflower. Her conflict over whether to come out of her shell and what to do with certain new powers she discovers helps drive the plot of the book and also makes her more real. How many people do you know what just one dimension?
With minor characters I don’t want them to steal the show, but I do give them one or two attributes that are memorable. For instance, Constance’s choir teacher has a little too much facial hair, and her calc teacher has pit stains by fourth period. And yes, I remember a teacher in sixth grade that had the exact same problem, and it’s stuck with me ever since. A lot of good inspiration comes from real life!
Another important way to make characters real is to let them grow and change. Possession starts off with a few high school stereotypes—the arrogant jock, the mean girl, the wallflower. But as Possession wraps up, you definitely see that these characters are not as comfortable in these roles as they were when the story started. And as their journeys continue over the sequels, they will change even more. That’s part of being human—having the ability to change and become better than we were yesterday.
Away from her writing, Annie is the mother of the most adorable girls in the world, has the best husband in the world, and lives in the hottest place in the world (not really, but Phoenix sure feels like it). She loves to cook, sing, and play the piano.