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How to Create Characters You Love by Aven Ellis


I love creating characters. For me, the best part of sitting down and drafting a new story is creating the characters I’m going to write about. When I first start thinking of a character, usually I think of his or her conflict and obstacles first. For Harrison Flynn, the hockey player hero in my new release Waiting For Prince Harry, I had his conflict first. What would it be like to be a famous professional athlete, but not have a formal education? Especially when your own parents are professors who value education above everything else? Even though he was financially secure, would he fear his future once hockey ended? I knew I wanted to explore that idea first.  But I didn’t quite know the rest of him yet so I went on to work on Kylie Reed, the heroine of the story.

For Kylie, I thought it would be interesting to have her explore her own fear of the future, which is really her internal fear of failure. Where Harrison is hot-tempered and lives in unorganized chaos, Kylie contains her emotions and is rigid in her organization.  To me, these two opposites come together and bring out the best in each other.

With conflict down, I began to fully sketch Kylie. I go into major detail here-what do they like to eat, what do they like to do for fun, favorite TV show, favorite drink, etc. I need to know these people like I know my own friends. While I was sketching Kylie, I decided to have her be obsessed with taking pop quizzes on her phone or in magazines. There’s always one in my Facebook feed, so I thought that would be a fun character trait. Then I thought about her age and who I would have a crush on--and that would be Prince Harry. He’s fun, athletic, spirited, and a gorgeous ginger. 

I took her crush a step further and thought what if she could find her own version of Prince Harry, but one who would inspire her, bring some chaos to her life, and make her want to live in the now? Then  I started thinking about the name for my hockey player and thought Harrison. Harry.  Kylie was waiting for her Prince Harry...and just happens to find him in the form of a professional hockey player...

Aven Ellis has been writing fiction since she was sixteen. She studied communications at a large Midwestern university, and after graduation, Aven worked as a reporter for a community newspaper, followed by a stint at a public relations agency. 

But writing about city council meetings and restaurant franchises was not as much fun as writing for young women trying to figure out their careers and potential boyfriends. So Aven got herself a job in television that allowed her to write at night. Connectivity is Aven's debut novel; Waiting for Prince Harry and Chronicles of a Lincoln Park Fashionista (New Adult romantic comedy) will be published next year.

Aven lives in Dallas with her family. When she is not writing, Aven enjoys shopping, cooking, connecting with friends on social media, and watching any show that features Gordon Ramsay.

Twenty-four-year-old Kylie Reed has always been a rule follower. Organized and cautious to a fault, her dreams for life are often filed away for future use—when she has a house, when she meets her future husband, when she has been at her visual display job at a chic Dallas boutique longer...Kylie always has a reason for living her life in the future, not in the present, and not living her life to the fullest and reaching her dream of becoming a fashion designer. 

The only exception to rules, of course, would be running away with Prince Harry—Kylie’s ideal man. A hot, fun ginger boy would be worth breaking all the rules for, of course. And Kylie is sure Harry just needs the right, centering woman to settle him down. But living in Dallas and not knowing Prince Harry make this a non-option.

Or does it?

Because when Kylie accidentally falls into the lap of a gorgeous ginger boy—yes, even more gorgeous than the real Prince Harry—all bets are off. Could this stranger be the one to show Kylie how to take a chance, to face her fears, and live in the present? And could this stranger be the Prince Harry she has been waiting for? Kylie’s life takes some unexpected twists and turns thanks to this chance encounter, and she knows her life will never be the same because of it...

Q & A with Author Fran Clark

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