There is a little secret to this character that I haven’t shared to many. Not only is Charlie one of my favorite characters, but in the original script Charlie was actually a guy. During my first read through with my editor, it was pointed out that I had too many male characters surrounding one single female. At first I was in shock, how could I, an adamant feminist and advocate for more females in a story write a book with only one female character?!
After realizing this, I saw a huge hole in the story as well as an imbalance in character representation. I wanted to build a realistic world with realistic characters. Charles Ballen is as real as they come.
Once I was able to see the need for another female character I fell in love with Charles Ballen, known to all as Charlie. And yes, Charlie is a she! Her introduction to the reader is one of my favorite character moments because you not only get to see her bubbly, chipper side, you also get to see the role she will play in the story the second you meet her.
“Well, actually,” Charlie said matter-of-factly, not even looking at Camille as she continued to admire the side of Theo’s face. “Everyone calls me Charlie, but yes. My official name is Charles.” She grinned like a lovesick puppy and poked Theo in the side, her eyes twinkling with admiration. There was no stopping the roaring flood of the girl’s infatuation with Theo. “My father desperately wanted a boy, and when a girl popped out, he wasn’t about to change his mind on the name he’d chosen. I would say it’s always a good idea to prepare with a backup plan no matter how stubborn you are.”Praetorian Rising – Chapter 7, Into the Storm
What’s more enjoyable for me, is knowing that Charlie is not at all what you would peg her to be. She is a spitfire, confident woman that understands her role in the Rogue Rebellion. At the same time, Charlie is vulnerable and naive as most women are when they come of age. character and her story. At first; Charlie is young and incredibly naive, yet she is also a spitfire.
I know that I might get a lot of kick back on this character because of her dynamic role as she is inserted between the fragile relationship Theo and Camille have; but I also feel Charlie’s story and her attitude toward Camille are very realistic. I don’t believe a single woman alive has made it through their teenage years without feeling an ounce of jealousy toward the man or woman they care about. Feelings of insecurity, jealousy, and acting on those feelings is natural as one grows into who they are. I don’t seek to write dull characters, or characters that are unrealistic; I only want to write what I feel is real. One thing I hope to achieve with Charlie’s character is that sense of reality. Every character I write has a base of someone or something I have known or experienced in my life. Even though there are technical ‘cliches’ that books have, if they are written well they are not boring to read, they are a tale as old as time retold in a new way.
Charlie is at the beginning of her journey, and a very steep climb toward her eventual future. I hope as you read Praetorian Rising you can see the promise of this incredible character. There is so much on the horizon for her, and I know that you will enjoy the growth and exploration I push into this story line as much as I do.