Skye is one of my favorite characters because she is very near and dear to my own heart. I honestly didn’t know where to take her when I first started writing the book. She was, by far, the hardest character I have ever had to develop. Because I didn’t know where to take her in the story, I gave her a lot of personal character flaws that are mine.
I’m a HUGE neat freak with HORRIBLE OCD. It’s a flaw I struggle with daily. I find it most torturous on my Fibro Flare days because I have to leave the mess in order to rest. That’s tough!
One of the worst things I do is that I actually count how many sprays I use from the kitchen cleaner on the counter, it’s three by the way. Four if it’s a big job. I also use exactly two sheets of paper towels to wipe. I started doing that because money was tight in the beginning of my adulthood and I figured if I counted, I’d be in better shape to stretch the cleaning supplies.
After a while, though, it became ritual and I felt that if I didn’t count, the world would somehow end and survivors would see my unclean counter! OH NO! That would be bad!
The snippet in Forever Friends about clean carpets and hardly sitting on Raine’s couch so Skye wouldn’t make a mess, is all me and my mind. Putting bottles in a row, or in my case, lining the drinking glasses in the cupboard is pretty much me too. And I’d NEVER, no not EVER put a wet glass upon a book or a magazine. I’d use a coaster, sometimes two in case I need a backup. Yup, I’m a little Adrian Monk crazy LOL! And I also sing. So Skye’s retort to Raine’s version of Prince would be my snarky response.
The problem I ran into was developing Skye in the story. At one point I hit a dead end. It was probably a death trap that all writers go through when they choose to write their characters too close to home. Once you put yourself in the literal sense of your work, you want nothing to happen to that character because that character is you! Survival of the fittest has to happen! You don’t want that character, the one that’s too close to resembling you, going in the basement! They could get killed down there you know! EEKS!!!
I had to make Skye a little different, well okay, A LOT different than me if I had ANY intention of finishing the book. As I moved through the novel and had her become closer to Raine, I gave her the one personality trait that I lack, BIG TIME, and that’s being able to relax. Skye can find relaxation and peace when she needs it in the story and that worked for the book because if Skye was true to my character, she’d never relax, never sleep, and ultimately, never allow herself to fall for Raine. That would be a disaster!
Raine is a character that I’ve had stuck in my head for about 20 years. He was the first character I thought of for the book, but probably the hardest for me to draw out. I didn’t know his name at first. I just knew a couple of his features, specifically how his eyes could light up a room, even though they are dark. And how he also always had the right words to say at any given moment. It was almost as if he were saving phrases just for such special occasions.
After reading the book, Many Masters, Many Lives I really got into past life regression research in my early twenties. It was very fascinating to me to think that perhaps I may have lived before, and with possibly others that were in my life. This research sparked my interest in writing Forever Friends because I found that I had a lot of questions I wanted to explore.
Many of the questions were geared towards kindred spirits, or as some people mistakenly call them, soul mates. I wondered if one’s soul instantly recognized a kindred spirit, and if that was possible, would true lovers always seek each other out in each subsequent life. It was obviously a romantic thought on my part to think that a kindred spirit would do that very thing, and from that moment on, Raine’s character was born. I had never thought of him with any other name. Raine just seemed to fit right from the start.
The character grew as I started writing. I wanted him to be the opposite of Alec’s impatience. It seemed fitting to have Raine that way, given he was waiting for Skye to enter each one of his lifetimes.