When I heard Racheline and Erin had this awesome Advent idea, I knew exactly which unlikeable character of mine needed to have her voice heard. Chris from How to Fall is an Australian woman traveling the world with her long-term boyfriend. But although they have plans to return to Australia and get married once their adventure is up, Chris’s travels lead her down a very different path.
Here’s the truth: Chris is brash, bossy, and not a great listener. She tends to takes charge, which can leave others feeling pushed around. She’s not too popular with the hero and heroine, who wind up having to pick up the pieces she’s left behind. Yes, I made Chris this way intentionally. She has to be someone we don’t mind jettisoning by the end.
But when I started introducing my characters online and sharing tidbits from Chris’s point of view, I suddenly had a Chris Revelation. Because for all this woman’s flaws, she’s also got a pretty awesome side. She knows what she wants, and she goes after it. She’s a thrill seeker, an adventurer, and even though she’s never going to be the polite girl next door, why should she be? She’s too busy living her life to care whether you like her or not.
Chris is in a relationship that’s not working for her, and she doesn’t stay in it just because she’s expected to, or she made a promise what she would, or because she can’t bear hurting the one she’s with. She realizes she needs something different from her life, something her current boyfriend can’t provide, and so she rips the bandaid off. I think if we got to hear Chris’s version of events, we’d understand how tough that decision was, and how much it pained her. I also think we’d hear how much better she—and her ex-boyfriend—are as a result.
This unlikeable character teaches the hero and heroine of How to Fall how to take life by the balls and never compromise who they are. I think that’s a pretty good lesson. I also think we can’t hate on others for breaking a few hearts. It’s the risk we take when we fall in love.
One week of adventure might just lead to love…
Julia Evans has always put others ahead of herself—her high school math students, her troubled best friend, and her ex. But with New Year’s approaching, she buys a round trip ticket to Brazil. For one week, she can put her needs first. She can meet a stranger in the hotel pool at midnight and dance all night on the beach.
Screenwriter Blake Williams has to keep moving before Oz’s latest scandal catches up to him. But the dark-haired beauty with a backpack and an adventurous streak is messing with his plans. He can’t seem to walk away from her. But secrets have a way of coming out, and when the week is up, Julia and Blake will have to decide if they’re jumping into the biggest adventure of all or playing it safe.
Rebecca Brooks lives in New York City in an apartment filled with books. She received a PhD in English but decided it was more fun to write books than write about them. She has backpacked alone through India and Brazil, traveled by cargo boat down the Amazon River, climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, explored ice caves in Peru, trekked to the source of the Ganges, and sunbathed in Burma, but she always likes coming home to a cold beer and her hot husband in the Bronx. Her books are about independent women who leave their old lives behind in order to try something new—and find the passion, excitement, and purpose they didn’t even know they’d been missing.