|Sort of how Will looks when a particularly beastly|
side of him surfaces...
|Kind of how I imagine Emi. (There's too many sort|
ofs and kind ofs when it comes to character models!)
I had such a blast writing this novella, so I'm excited to give you a glimpse of the protagonists! If I go crazy with snippets, I apologize.
1. How did they first meet?
Emi, recently graduated from university, was driving to her hometown in search of a meaningful job, when her car broke down.
Forty miles from the nearest hint of civilization.
Right in front of a creepy old manor.
That creepy old manor happened to be the home of Will, a reclusive but nonetheless well-mannered young man. (Well, he looks young, anyway.) He offered to give her a place to spend the night, which she warily declined, choosing to sleep in her car rather than in the house of some stranger. But then, you know, the next day she ends up injuring herself. With a twisted ankle and slight concussion, she has no choice but to let Will care for her.
As he stepped through the doorway, Emi turned her head toward him. "Will?"
He looked over his shoulder. "Yes?"
"Why did you run out into the woods?"
Although his gaze never wavered, layers of shadows seemed to shift in his eyes. "Lost something." He gave her a slight smile, clapped a hand against the doorframe, and walked on.
Emi stared at the spot where he'd stood and listened to his footsteps fade down the hall.
2. What were their first impressions of each other?He scared the living daylights out of her, but after that initial shock, she found him strange. Oddly dressed (old-fashioned breeches and a billowy shirt), for one thing. Rather kind and gentlemanly, for another. All this is shaded by her wariness, of course, because as a lone female miles from civilization, she's in a vulnerable position. But Will's actions seem to indicate he is entirely noble.
Will sees her as a beautiful young lady, deserving of respect, but a certain desperation reminds him that she may be just what he needs. It's not long before he also realizes how smart and kind-hearted she is. There's a lot of conflicting emotions on his part.
3. How long have they been a couple?
I never know how to answer this kind of question. What timeline am I supposed to use? At the beginning of the story, they're not a couple at all. That doesn't happen until the very end of the story. It's hard to see your captor in a romantic light when he's already come close to killing you. (Heh. Spoiler alert.)
4. How committed/loyal are they to each other? Would they break up over a secret or a disagreement? Could stress drive them apart? Would they die for each other?
Loaded question! And very spoilery, too, I might add! Their relationship is rife with secrets, particularly on Will's part. Stress? There's a whole whackload of that too. But commitment and loyalty do slowly grow between them. (I refuse to answer that last question about death. One day you may get a chance to read Blood Rose, and then you can see for yourself.)
There's not really anyone around to disapprove. Emi is very much a loner, with practically no close friends. Her parents died in a fire. Will is a complete hermit, and his parents have passed away as well.
7. What would be an ideal date?
I'll answer this one from the perspective of what happens after The End, because as I said earlier, they're not a couple until then. An ideal date would be a long stroll through the woods, where Emi is far from her books and projects. Afterwards, they'd make a simple meal at home and cuddle by the fireplace.
8. What are their personality dynamics? Similar? Contrasting? Do they fight a lot or mesh perfectly?
Both are very intense people, but it manifests in different ways. Will is deeply loyal to those closest to him--though that includes very few. He carries the weight of past mistakes, and it is a heavy burden indeed. Emi is the kind of person who grasps at stars, a person who lives poised on the line between hope and discouragement. She is driven, but kind. She sees beauty where others see only ugly brokenness.
They have a number of fights--some actual, physical fights and some merely verbal--but I have a feeling that further down the road, their relationship will be largely peaceful. They will eventually mesh well, with Emi giving grace to Will, and Will helping Emi to relax and just be.
9. What have been their best and worst moments together as a couple?
To answer that definitively would be to spoil the entire story, but I will let these two snippets speak for themselves.
Here's a good moment (not the best, mind you):
Will was grinning at her, shaking his head slowly.
She grinned back uncertainly. "What?"
"Nothing, it's just—you glow when you are excited."
Emi touched her warm cheeks. Drat, I'm blushing.
His smile softened, and he reached over to clasp her wrist. "There is no need to feel embarrassed. I think your ideas are brilliant. You have much to offer the world."
Sitting there in the old kitchen, with crisp autumn air filtering through the barely open window and a low fire crackling at her back, Emi laid aside her doubts for the moment and simply let the next breath be her focus. "Thank you," she said softly.
And a bad moment, though not the very worst:
He cut her off with a sweep of his hand. "Quiet!" he bellowed. "Ever since you arrived, you have defied me and stirred up things of which you have no part."
Emi backed against the wall, putting as much space between her and Will's hulking frame as possible. "You want me to keep my nose out of things? Fine, I'm leaving anyway. See?" She lifted the potato sack. "Now open those doors."
Will's dark eyes pinned her to the wall as effectively as manacles. "You will not leave," he said between tight lips.
She uttered a short, incredulous laugh. "What?"
"You stay here until your purpose is accomplished."
"Purpose? What purpose?" Emi swallowed, more acutely aware of her vulnerability now than she'd been on day one.
Will leaned in until his face was only inches from hers. He opened his mouth to speak, but winced instead as if struck. He clenched his eyes shut. When they opened, his dark brown irises flickered with red light. "You stay," he growled, "as long as I need you."
10. Where do they see themselves and their relationship in the next few years?
Will and Emi, as of the time of Blood Rose, wouldn't really have an answer to this question. I would like to see them happily married, working together to advance medical science and heal people. In fact, I wanted to see that so much, that I once wrote a little piece of 'fanfiction' to get a glimpse of their lives a couple years down the road. (Can you write fanfiction of your own stories??)
Thanks for taking the time to meet my beastly Will and beautiful Emi!
What are your thoughts on Beauty and the Beast? Have you entered any of the Rooglewood Press contests? Speaking of which, the announcement of the winners is now two weeks away! *cue inner screaming*