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Real Life Character Development

I think just about every one of us, as human beings, has something in common. We love an underdog story. We love to see somebody rise up and overcome adversity. We love to see the Cobra Kai’s and evil empires overthrown. More than that, we like to see people succeed when the odds are stacked against them.

The odds, I believe, are stacked against almost each and every one of us. We come out kicking and screaming into a bright and scary world. It’s cold, we haven’t really eaten anything in nine months, and what’s that smell? From there we’ve only got the good grace of our parents, guardians, or mentors to help us figure out what to do and how to do it.

What defines is isn’t what we achieve, but what we overcome. The more you think about it, the more you realize everybody has a story and everybody has roadblocks they have to get past. Even the rich kids have issues (sometimes more, except they can afford a personal therapist).

The funny thing is, in a sad and ironic way, when somebody does break free with something remarkable, there are always several people who become bitter and denounce them for their success. I think we’ve probably all done it a time or two, I know I have. Perhaps it’s justified but how can we truly know without having been in their position?

That’s another reason why books are remarkable things. We can read about characters who aren’t real, or at least they’re not real in the medical sense. We can see them run through a meat grinder and emerge battered, scarred, and improved. Things get worse for them but they dig deep and find a way to climb out of the hole. And when they do our spirits are lifted with theirs. We share their triumphs just as we shared their pains. We’ve all had times where things seemed bleak and like we had no way to turn, so we can connect with those characters. To see them succeed reminds us that you and I can too, it just takes hard work and the ability to seize an opportunity when it presents itself. Who knew you could learn something about yourself from fiction?

I believe every single word I’ve written, and I’d go on to share some of my own pitfalls and successes, but I don’t want anybody thinking this is about me. Well it is, but not me personally, rather it’s about another example I want to share with as many people as I can. It’s a fictional example, but it’s also about a character that almost every single one of us can identify with.

Her name is Katalina Wimple and she’s a cop with a bad attitude. She’s a good cop, but she’s got a lot of issues and a lot of bitterness in her. She’s been abused and heartbroken and if that wasn’t enough she keeps putting herself in situations that allow the beatings to continue. Her family life is broken and confused and her love-life is reminiscent of a demolition derby. Yet in spite of all of that – or because of it – she wants to help people so badly she doesn’t care what happens to her. If you pointed that out to her she’d probably pull her gun on you though, so don’t try it.

And this character, Katalina Wimple, she’s as real as they get as far as I’m concerned. She’s feisty and someone you just can’t live with even though you end up loving her and rooting for her. Trust me, I know, she’s been smacking me in the back of the head for months now. Case in point, she just wacked me for saying that about her.

She’s featured in my latest book, The Lost Girls, and will also be readily available to be beat up, shot at, and exposed to some truly terrifying events in the near future when I release the next book in that series, Traitor. I will warn you that the genre is confused, mystery / hardboiled detective but I also tossed in a touch of science fiction. Nothing like aliens and robots though, just some near future gadgets and cool tech stuff.

With that in mind I ask you to give this new book of mine a look. It’s different than my prior Voidhawk series by far, and it’s far from the lawless post apocalypse of Wanted and Ice Princess. It’s everyday life for the most part, and I can’t begin to tell you how very thrilling and exciting it is to me.

The Lost Girls, a Dark Earth novel by Jason Halstead

The Lost Grls, a Dark Earth novel by Jason Haltead

The Lost Girls can be found on Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, Smashwords, and other places where e-books are sold.

To learn more about Jason Halstead, visit his website to learn about him, his books, sign up for his newsletter, or check out some free samples of his books at http://www.booksbyjason.com

  1. October 18, 2011 at 21:43

    Hey Jason! I must admit that I enjoyed reading your blog. I like the time you’ve taken to share your thoughts and, honestly, your style is comparable to some of the articles I wrote a few years ago.

    I absolutely love the way you introduced Katalina and brought her to life, as though she existed in reality. That’s so cool…

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