Riley Burke

So you all know Mari Abdo, right? She's my MC for The Virginity Thief. She's awesome. She even has a facebook page where she bashes people. I love it.

Well, Riley is very different from Mari. We can start with physical appearance, with the most outstanding difference being their hair. Mari's hair is dark. Very dark. Riley's hair is so blond it is almost white. Mari thinks she is gorgeous, and likes to show off her hair. Riley hates her hair. She thinks it is weird and if her aunt would let her dye it she'd look slightly more like Mari. And all this hair talk is weird, but the way each girl feels about her hair is much like how they feel about their whole persona in the two novels.

Mari is a movie star in waiting. Riley hides in bathrooms. Mari likes to show up and make a scene. Even if Riley is in the middle of a public breakup, she's quiet about it. So your first thought is that Mari is more outgoing, more obnoxious, and Riley is one of those goody girls with great grades and no love life. Mari loves herself, and Riley wants to change. And yet even Mari hasn't had as many boyfriends as Riley has had. Riley seems to go through them like I go through shoes, with a breakup almost every month. In fact, when you first meet Riley she's in the middle of her fourteenth breakup.

When I start writing a story, the characters are only somewhat formed in my head. Usually all I have is a conversation. With Mari Abdo, that conversation was full of sassy energy and obnoxious comments. I was able to take that conversation and turn it into Mari as I know her today. With Riley, the conversation was more of an internal musing. Riley wants to be badass. Dark hair is a must, but more than that she wants to be the kind of girl in the movies who wears a side arm and isn't afraid of anything. That kind of badass. But in real life, I decided, we are usually nowhere near what we want to be without a lot of work, and from that thought came Riley, driven by fear to defeat fear, only in less extreme, more commercial terms.

Physical appearance wise, I never know what my characters look like (or even their names) until I start writing. It is always a shock to me when I sit down at Word and realize "Crap, I need to call this person something." Names aren't my strong suit. The same comes for that moment I realize the reader wants to know what their character looks like, and it amazes me every time I manage to tie in the appearance of a character with the rest of the story. For Riley, her blond/white hair is the first thing that physically attracts Derek, her love interest, and that gave me a lead to enough drama to fill a day of writing.

But for some more hard facts about Riley and less annoying blubbering, see below. In a few days I'll post an "interview" with her. Stay tuned!

Full Name: Riley Anne Burke

School Year: Junior

Dream Occupation: Assassin

Living Situation: Lives with her aunt on the other side of down from her single mother.

Her Spare Time: Spent online creating internet memes (actually, I need to work on this one)

Likes: The color blue, comfy jeans and flip flops, the pizza from the convenience store her aunt manages, crime shows on TV like NCIS or CSI.

Dislikes: Her hair, her mother, soda, lobster, the west side of town, the whole school thing, and mostly Derek.

If she were a season, she would be: Summer.

If she was faced with the death of love insterest in the first half of book she would: Generally feel sorry but also be glad he was out of her hair.