Standard writer’s answer applies, of course: I see bits of myself in every character I write. (Except for the nasty ones, in which I see bits of various people I hated in middle school, of course.)
That said, if I’m picking a single character, I’d go with Reggie from Highland Dragon’s Lady. For one thing, the MacAlasdairs themselves are, while a lot of fun to write, a little hard to completely identify with: they’re not human, and they are old. That’s one of their attractions—I’ve always really liked the slightly-antiquated-fish-out-of-societal-water thing you get with elves or vampires or Thor—but I can’t see myself as Stephen, Colin, or Judith. I’m not that cool.
I’m also not a secret agent. Sadly.
And Mina is a lot more devoted to her job than I’ll ever be, and had to overcome a lot more than I suspect I ever will. My folks aren’t rich the way Reggie’s are, but the child of comfort, grown up to enjoy adventure and excitement a lot more than rules? Yeah, that sounds a lot like me. I’m fond of comfort, but also enjoy following impulses; you could probably describe elements of my lifestyle as “bohemian,” if you were the sort to do that; I’ve been on the end of malicious rumors a time or two, though thank God not any time recently; and despite having only lately learned to drive, I do enjoy that.
Also, I live in the city most of the time, but occasionally go out into the country to see my folks, which is where another similarity comes up—one that applies to Mina, too. Both she and Reggie have living parents with whom they have close, functional relationships, regardless of their occasional differences. I don’t read minds (which is good, since I have to commute), I’m not romantically entangled with weird dragon guys, and my life is generally considerably less dramatic than either Reggie’s or Mina’s—but I like to think that my folks would be as supportive as theirs end up being, at least.
(Fortunately, they already are much less Victorian.)
Looking back, although this wasn’t conscious when I was writing, all three of my heroines represent a situation I’ve been in. Mina is trying to get your life where you want it to go—hi, early twenties. Reggie is coming back to a place and a set of people who knew you as you used to be, and maybe as you’re trying to forget being—pretty much any reunion I could name. And Judith is realizing that your world is changing, and you have to start changing with it—welcome to your thirties, huh?
About Night of the Highland Dragon
“They say,” said the girl, “that people disappear up there. And I heard that the lady doesna’ ever grow any older.”
“The lady?” William asked.
“Lady MacAlasdair. She lives in the castle, and she’s been there years, but she stays young and beautiful forever.”
In the Scottish Highlands, legend is as powerful as the sword—and nowhere is that more true than in the remote village of Loch Aranoch. Its mysterious ruler, Judith MacAlasdair, is fiercely protective of her land—and her secrets. If anyone were to find out what she really was, she and her entire clan would be hunted down as monsters.
William Arundell is on the trail of a killer. Special agent for an arcane branch of the English government, his latest assignment has led him to a remote Highland castle and the undeniably magnetic lady who rules there. Yet as lies begin to unravel and a dark threat gathers, William finds himself drawn deeper and deeper into the mystery of the Highlands…and the woman he can neither trust nor deny.
He prays she isn’t the murderer; he never dreamed she was a dragon.
During the day, Isabel Cooper maintains her guise as a mild-mannered project manager in legal publishing. In her spare time, she enjoys video games, ballroom dancing, various geeky hobbies, and figuring out what wine goes best with leftover egg rolls. Cooper lives with two thriving houseplants in Boston, Massachusetts.