Hello, hello! Beautiful People is back this month after a little break during April, which came at just the right time what with all the Camp NaNoWriMo fun.
If you’ve never come across this meme before, Beautiful People is co-hosted by Cait @ Paper Fury and Sky @ Further up and Further in. It’s a writer linkup that helps us get in touch with our characters each month, with a different fun theme. In honour of Mother’s Day (which in in May apparently, for us Brits it was actually in March…) this month’s theme is parents.
Meet the Parents
Overall, how good is their relationship with their parents?
Aria gets on really well with her parents, they’re interested in her life and support her, unlike a lot of parents in YA Lit. I wanted to show another side to parents of teens, they’re not always disinterested or judgemental, some parents are actually great! I think more YA books need to show teens a realistic image of good parents, not just bad ones.
Do they know both their biological parents? If not, how do they cope with this loss/absence and how has it affected their life?
Actually, she doesn’t know her biological parents, but she doesn’t realise that until the beginning of the book. Aria’s a Changeling, her parents don’t even know that she isn’t their real daughter, so it hasn’t affected their relationship at all yet. When Aria finds out she’s actually the daughter of a king from another realm she doesn’t believe it, but gradually she starts to accept it and become curious. As she finds out more about her biological father she realises that her real parents are the people who raised her and loved her, and they’ll never be replaced by the man who abandoned her. Ultimately, the whole experience makes her relationship with her parents stronger.
How did their parents meet?
Aria’s mum, Eleanor (Ellie) was a singer with an orchestra that travelled around the country, and her dad, Stephen was a journalist who covered one of their concerts. He interviewed her, they fell in love, and the rest is history!
How would they feel if they were told “you’re turning out like your parent(s)”?
She’d love to be more like her parents! Her mum is an amazing singer and performer with so much talent, Aria’s always been jealous because she has absolutely zero musical ability (despite her ironic name). She’s not particularly academic either, she’s not a bad student but she doesn’t enjoy school and can’t wait to leave – although she’s got no idea what she’s going to do now. Her dad is a writer, he’s published several books and writes columns for local publications, he’s currently writing a piece about the White Hart of Hartwood for an anthology of local myths and legends. So Aria would be thrilled to turn out like her parents – maybe with a better sense of style!
What were your character’s parents doing when they were your character’s age?
Seventeen… Stephen was probably showing off his first car, playing designated driver for his mates and trying to impress girls. He’s adorably dorky, with his horn-rimmed specs and granddad-ish fashion sense, so he was never the biggest lady killer, until he met Aria’s mum.
Ellie would have been practicing her musical instruments, singing with the school choir, probably sneaking out to dance at clubs with her friends. And looking forward to going to University the following year to follow her dreams of being a musician.
Now I’m starting to feel bad that I didn’t let Ellie “make it”… I’m sure she’s happy with the local amateur dramatics company and the Christmas panto. Maybe.
Is there something they adamantly disagree on?
Hmm… well Aria and Ellie gang up against Stephen a lot, particularly when he wants to watch sport and they want to watch the cooking channel. They don’t argue much, but Aria is stubborn and head strong, whereas her parents are quite laid back, so they might disagree on things regularly but it never becomes a huge fight.
What did the parent(s) find hardest about raising your character?
Her toddler tantrums. Her dad still calls her Teacup, short for Storm in a Teacup, because her temper tantrums were legendary. She’s a fiery red head with two pretty chilled parents, which was a struggle at times.
What’s their most vivid memory with their parental figure(s)?
Probably seeing her mum performing on stage for the first time. She loves watching the videos of her mum’s concerts, but watching her in person for the first time was really special.
What was your character like as a baby/toddler?
A bit of a nightmare probably! She was a fast learner and picked up most things earlier than expected out of sheer determination and a desire for independence. She was a very hard headed toddler, cheeky but lots of fun.
Why and how did the parents choose your character’s name?
They’re both very musical, at least Ellie is musical and Stephen loves music and writing about it. Aria was a pretty obvious choice for them. What they don’t know is that Aria’s biological mother named her Ariadne, and when her father swapped the babies he used his powers of suggestion to try and give them the name. It only partially worked, hence Aria.
There you have it folks, Aria’s parental relations – quite an attractive couple if I do say so myself! I really wanted to give Aria a good strong family unit, especially as she was about to go through all kinds of upheaval thanks to the actual plot! I hope you enjoyed finding out more about Aria’s mum and dad and her background, I’d love to read about your main character’s parents, leave your links in the comments.