**I should state right here... this isn't all about me. I have some dear friends that have recently come under fire as well.**
If you know me, you know I can be opinionated and stubborn. When I feel strongly enough about something, I can be quite blunt, straight forward, and honest. However, this doesn't always mean that I am as brave and secure in myself as I wish I could be. Small things in your past can affect every decision you make as you progress from that moment and into your future. These events may seem trivial to others, but to you they are one of the many things that have made you who you are and can seem larger than Mount Everest to climb.
I know that when I read a book a whiny character can get old real fast. It's like watching a TV show or movie with my mom. You sit and scream at the character -- grow up, quit whining, open your eyes, you idiot! But, the thing I always remind myself is that fragility is reality, every human being has a weakness. We as humans are known to not see those things that are right in front of our faces. Each of us processes emotions and events differently. Each of us is unique.
My motto has always been -- "Being normal is highly overrated." We celebrate differences in our house.
When I wrote Alvena she took on a life of her own. She screamed at me. She was me. Flawed, weak in some ways and strong in others; she was real and human. She is named after Mr. Reuel's grandmother and my own grandmother. Alvena was a sweet kindly women that was meek and unassuming. Irene was a strong southern belle who helped build airplanes and knew how to point a gun when someone tried to rob her diner. To me they are the two sides of Alvena -- who she is and who she can be.
Can Alvena's demeanor and quirkiness be a bit annoying, probably, I know I can be. She is a conundrum in some respects. She has a strength she doesn't realize and holds on to those things that help her hide behind her flaws. In "Finding the Dragon," Kai and Alvena both learn to accept and let go. That is their growth. For me, not every alpha is an overbearing neanderthal (even though I enjoy some of those too) and not every heroine is a kick-ass know-it-all. Bravery and your inner-dragon can come from unlikely places.
Differences: Weakness, Strength, or Just Who They Are?
My son also has ADHD, but where my daughter's is the outgoing, busy, loud kind; his is the moody, introverted, OCD, focused on those things he loves and nothing else kind. He is on medication. It helps, but not completely. I have watched school officials treat my son like demon spawn. I have seen them write him off as a loss cause. My son is an extremely bright and amazing young man. Yes, I might be biased, but I have had a few others see him the way I do. There is nothing worse for a parent than to watch as others judge their child when they don't know the pain your child is suffering.
For those that haven't lived with the multitude of difficulties that others have, it can be hard to understand. I get that. That is also why I and other authors write the characters we do. We hope that some will connect with that character and know that they are not alone. We hope that others will gain understanding and insight. For those that have not had to live through ADHD, anxiety, depression, panic attacks, shyness, etc. you really can't understand how these issues and characteristics shape who a person is and how they make decisions.
I guess what I am asking is that you keep this in mind when reading a character that you may not connect with. I admit that this is something I have had to do myself, even with my background. These characters are very real to the author who created them. Alvena, Kai, and the rest of the Dásreach are my babies. They have a story that I feel the need to share. I know not everyone will enjoy the story, but I hope many will.