Subject: Jolie Wilkins
I thought it would be fitting to make my first author discovery blog post about Ms. Wilkins. So, without further ado, this is how I came up with the character of Jolie…
In reading multiple paranormal romances and urban fantasy series, what occurred to me was the fact that all the heroines were these superwomen types—they were strong, beautiful, independent, tough—all fantastic character traits but I wanted to write a heroine who was a bit more…real. Someone more like you and me.
I thought Jolie should be attractive but understated and natural—one of those women who everyone recognizes as lovely but she doesn’t see it herself—she thinks of herself as the girl next door. I actually had the actress James King in mind when I wrote Jolie’s physical features. James King can look drop dead gorgeous but she can also appear very naturally beautiful and most importantly, she has a sweetness that I wanted to recreate in Jolie.
While I wanted Jolie to be strong and independent, I was really interested in witnessing the metamorphosis of her strength—to watch her learn what it means to love herself. I think this is the biggest lesson Jolie learns in Fire Burn—her own worth. And I wanted to paint her this way because I believe this is the plight of many women. We grow up not necessarily knowing how special we are, we downplay our accomplishments and achievements when we should be proud of them. Well, Jolie is no different and her story is one of self awareness and empowerment.
I also wanted Jolie to be extremely feminine but turn the notion of the helpless maiden needing to be saved by her knight in shining armor on its head. Jolie is one of the most powerful characters in the books, she just doesn’t know it and by realizing her own self worth, her powers are realized.
People have asked me if Jolie is based on me and I suppose in many ways she is—I think as an author, you can’t help but have a bit of yourself in all your characters. But, the similarities between HP and Jolie really are the same similarities between Jolie and any woman.
Here is a pic of James King that I think is Jolie 100%