Friday, October 7, 2011

The Brothers: Character Background on Khloe

You may be wondering, why have I waited to talk about the leading lady until now? The series is the Khloe Alwell Series after all. You'd think I'd want to talk about her first.

Khloe is a complicated girl even in the first few pages of The Brothers. I remember my first reader thought the narrator was a boy up until her name and physical attributes were described. This sounds at first, like it may be an insult. But in genre fiction, having your main character be "boy-like" is a backhanded compliment.

I picked the name Khloe because I wanted a name that had definite roots to mythology (it is a secondary name for the goddess Demeter), but I wanted her to blend into the human world. While the spelling and the name might not be the most commonplace, it is certainly believable. When we first meet her, we don't know what her family's history is, what her ethnicity is, or why her parents behave the way they do. She, like the reader, is completely in the dark. Her name and the fact that she is at the same starting point as the reader makes her accessible.  Her last name, Alwell [ALL-well] comes from the Anglo-Saxon meaning "holy spring" or "holy well."  I chose this to give her more of the mixed ethnicity that is common in the U.S. but also to represent her own mixed heritage (as far as any Seelie know) which is Arcana (Greek) and Dannan (Celtic).

Khloe [klo-EE] is mature for her age. She is independent, opinionated, and self-assured, even though she's not always as confident as her exterior may suggest. She is after all, still 15 at the beginning of the first book. She's a little above average height, and by everyone else's account, a beautiful woman - though she herself doesn't see it. Her life has not been the easiest up until this point, with her mother always away, and her biological father completely absent, she only has her academic stepfather on which to rely. Because she has moved around so much, she doesn't form attachments, not even to her stepfather, because caring would be too painful. The only person she has any real connection to is her mother, who disappears for six months each year.

It is only when she meets the Grechs that things start changing for Khloe. She discovers more about her parents, the Otherworld, and herself. She begins to form attachments, though they are hesitant. Except of course, she supposedly forms the strongest of all, which is both terrifying and amazing all at once for our heroine.

Things will continue to morph and change for Khloe as the story progresses, and she has quite a lot waiting for her in Book 2, Lovers and Rivals.

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