Lucy was one of my simplest heroines to create, but is one of my hardest to talk about. Surprisingly, because it has such a distant, futuristic plot, her journey in The Birthday Present is an extremely personal one for her. Over 10 years ago I was watching a now forgotten anime airing on Disney channel and there was something about the heroine’s expressions really struck me. I set about creating a real person instead of an animated cartoon and Lucy and Aure were there.
It’s difficult to put sensitive matter into words, but essentially Lucy is growing up and it’s a tremendously important shock for her. She doesn’t have much sense of humor and because she’s lived in a very isolated way she doesn’t have a lot of context on what’s going on inside her. Unlike her father’s obsession with the GMFs, Lucy’s willingness to go on this quest is about herself, really, not these larger issues. Throughout the story she is shown as intensely self-conscious, faltering, suspiciously drawn into herself, and very, very vague about exactly WHY she’s here. Of course the plot and Aure’s reactions to her aren’t revealed until the last page, but the vagueness is indicative of Lucy’s motives. She just . . . just can’t describe it. She doesn’t want to.
Naturally, Todd is suspicious of her because she’s acting so weird and Eric, who’s constantly characterized as doing the wrong thing, is the only one who ever actively embraces her ideas. Behind all the worldbuilding, Lucy’s personality is as simple as Juliet’s. She’s very young and exploring something that she doesn’t understand at all. I wrote an alternate version where Aure refused the box and Lucy died. I sent this story to a magazine because I wanted really objective feedback, which was almost impossible to get at the time. I suspected the story was too depressing and the editor confirmed this. (Though I got a very nice letter that complimented my writing.)
And in the end, the happy ending is true, because of Aure. He understands and smooths it over. It might be really lucky that things ended well, because that kind of person easily makes poor decisions and a mess of things, as Lucy is self-conscious herself when dealing with the HInzetzu. But it’s also true there are lots of people in life who can step in and manage it.
And there will be more updates.
7 books published and 3 more on the way. Farmer's daughter, LOTR fan, loves to read rather than talk about reading. Always has time to finish her WIP.