It is my pleasure to feature a guest post from an incredible YA author – the powerful, the pleasurable, the indestructible
Mushu C.C. Hunter. She has penned both the Shadow Falls series and the Shadow Falls: After Dark series, most recently Eternal, the book in the Shadow Falls: After Dark series.
Della finally feels she belongs somewhere – at Shadow Falls. However, belonging somewhere is far from being respected there. Della’s next mission is to prove herself as an investigator in the paranormal world and make the right choices in her romantic life. Her friends Kylie and Miranda might be able to help her investigation, but they can’t help Della understand her heart. Will she choose Chase, a dashing vampire, or Steve, the ridiculously hot shapeshifter? Turns out Della won’t be choosing entirely on her own — the reappearance of someone from her past will help her become who she truly is. Eternal is the fast-paced, exciting sequel to Reborn.
Without further ado, here is C.C. Hunter on creating love interests:
Love. It’s a complicated thing. Single people everywhere are trying to find that special someone. There are advice columns and experts offering information. And if you read or listen to them they can really screw you up. I mean, some of the advice can even be contradictory.
Some experts tell you to look for someone who shares your interest. Others say opposites attract. Some think you should look for a mate just like dear old dad, or mom? But that just sounds creepy.
Some think we have only one true love, our soul mate. Others follow the policy of: If you can’t love the one you want, love the one you’re with.
Ah, like I said, love’s complicated. And yet, as a writer who uses words to forge relationships and to make them so intense, so believable, that millions of readers become invested, I had to figure love out.
So what did I conclude? Well, I decided that all the advice has some merit. The shared interest counsel makes sense. We all like to be validated. And nothing validates us more than finding another person who shares our beliefs and passions. The opposites attract guidance is justified because people grow bored if their life has no spice, no unexpected thrill. Plus, we all need to grow and one way to do that is to find someone who has strengths where we have weaknesses.
As for the soul mate theory. I think most of us want to believe it. When you find that someone—sometimes by a mere accident—who fits into your life like a familiar sweater, it feels like fate. Then again, the ‘love the one you’re with’ advice bears truth to everyone who has loved and lost and found happiness with someone they’d not considered before.
Nevertheless, creating a love story isn’t like making soup. You can’t throw it all in there and expect perfection.
So I kept looking.
I finally found my answer in a line from a 1996 romantic comedy movie. In other words, it didn’t come from an expert, just another writer. (Who, by the way, I think is pretty smart.)
That’s right, it was a corny, frivolous line in Jerry Maguire that solved my problem. “You complete me.”
You see, there isn’t one formula to finding love. The elements that makes love work are as individual as DNA. So before I could write the perfect love connection, I had to create imperfect people.
Yes, imperfect. It goes back to the ‘complete theory.’ If someone isn’t whole, she is lacking. She might need someone to understand her plight—relating to the common interest. She might lack motivation and need someone who encourages her to take risks—referring to the opposites attract. And as creepy as it might sound, it might even be someone just like dear ol’ dad who makes a person happy.
Take Della Tsang, the heroine in my Shadow Falls: After Dark series. Della, a sassy, sarcastic vampire, is a little insecure, who feels abandoned by her family, and she’s often a little too spontaneous. So I created Steve, a shape-shifter who is grounded, soft spoken, and levelheaded. Of course, he’s hot, and looks really good in his jeans. And then I created Chase, a mysterious sexy vampire, who has confidence to spare, lost his entire family, and due to a blood transfusion considers Della his soul mate.
Do you see what I did? I created two guys who both have elements that could complete Della. And that creates even more tension. It’s not just about finding love, it becomes about finding the perfect love.
Which guy will complete Della?
I don’t have a freaking clue.
Why? Well, it relates back to another thing I learned about life and love. You see, life changes us. Especially trauma and conflict. That’s why in real life a lot of people break up and get divorces. And in novels, if there’s not trauma or conflict, your book’s boring. So Della, through the course of my series, faces a lot of tough situations, and as a result, she’s changing.
Because I haven’t written the end yet, I’m not completely sure what all those changes will be. Because I created two guys who both have things Della needs, I’d like to think that either of them could make her happy. But I know, after Della survives her journey, one of these guys will be the better choice. Only one will truly complete her.
So here’s to love, real or fictional, and finding that perfect person.
Eternal came out on October 28th. It is available at your local bookstore!