Petra. Where do I start with this girl?
She and I have been through a lot together, she bearing the brunt of some of the most painful periods of my life – it was into her story I poured my grief after I lost my Grandmother, when I nearly lost my mom and two youngest siblings just a few months later.
I’ve been writing about her for ten years, and she’s understandably gone through quite a few changes. Since I’ve established that her book was inspired by Narnia, and given her own name, it should come as no surprised that she was originally based upon High King Peter. She’s kept his noble, take-charge personality, but there’s a brokenness to her that Peter doesn’t have.
Petra has an older brother, Tyler, and claims to have two identical triplets, Sarah and Sylvia, both of whom disappeared mysteriously, one when they were four, the other when they were fourteen, and no one besides her and her best friend, Reuben, can remember them. She also has an adopted sister – Ashley, whom she resents because she was adopted the same day Sarah “disappeared.”
Originally, Petra was supposed to be a ENFP, like me. However, she has morphed over the years into a INTJ. As such, she’s not a people person, nor is she overly emotional (there are a few situations involving family, but for the most part, she’s a cold cucumber). Not your typical heroine, but then, she is expected to kill the Lady Dragon. That requires a certain level of heartlessness.
Since I was going to play her when this book was a script, I feel a close connection to her, and it has been difficult indeed to learn to step back and let her be her own person. The change from an ENFP to an INTJ has helped immensely. Similarly, changing her from an oldest to a possibly middle child allowed her to stand on her own and show some of her fallibilities. I won’t hesitate to say that she was rather a Mary Sue in previous drafts.
After all, she was basically a rolled up mess of both my and Peter’s best qualities, filling a mixture of Lucy and Peter’s roles. (Leaving nothing but cute kid for the actual Lulu…)
She’s a very different heroine from Clara, though my beta readers tell me that they share a similar spirit. She has not grown up with the training Clara has, and I wouldn’t exactly call physical activity her forte, unless it be hiking in the woods.
However, what she lacks in brawn, she makes up for in heart and brains. She loves strategy, even though this is her first actual chance to use it, and she’s a passionate soul that throws herself into whatever task she takes upon herself, though she is picky about what she throws herself into.
You’ll be seeing a lot more of Laura in book two than you did in book one, partly because of Laura’s relationship with Amber, but mostly because of Laura’s relationship with Petra. Petra used to babysit Laura, so she cares about the girl in a sort of big-sisterly way, even though she’s a bit weirded out by the world traveling skills that the girl is suddenly displaying.
Petra’s relationship with Reuben is interesting. He’s her best friend, almost two years her elder, they spend almost all of their free time together. Do they always get along? Certainly not, but they’re only human. He, perhaps, feels a bit more than friendship for her, and she knows it well, but they’ve both agreed that at sixteen and eighteen, they can afford to wait to explore romantic entanglement. First, they need to finish school, and he, at least, needs a stable job.
He amuses her, a lot, and she trusts him like no one else in her life. She’s quite aware that it would not take much for their friendship to become more, as much as she tries to convince herself that she is not in love with him. For now, though, he in her stability, the one certainty she has in her life.
Theirs is a story I thoroughly look forward to sharing with you.
Also, do you know how hard it is to find pictures of fantasy heroines who wear glasses? Please mentally add a pair of purple glasses to all of the pictures of her that I shared here.