For me, writing is a reflection process. Every time I create a new character I learn something new about myself. Because every character is a little about me and a lot about who I would like to be.
If Jagger has the ability to fire a black death arrow at the pest who ticked her off, chances are high I've got a few enemies I'd like to knock off with a sexy black crossbow. And if Cait's speeding through Milan in a hot sports car chased by a psychotic killer, it's likely because I'm a bit of an adrenaline junkie.
As I work through the rewrite of Absolution, I've had to put Heartless on the backburner. Not anymore. I can't. Partially because I love Jagger's story - but mostly because I love her.
She's far from perfect, but she stands firm for what she believes in. She isn't looking for love in all the wrong places, or acceptance from the people who could never give it to her. She's comfortable in her own skin, and though she views the world through the eyes of a skeptic, she's grounded in realism.
I love Jagger's wit, and her sense of style. I love that she doesn't care about her make-up and hair, or whether fish net stockings are appropriate attire at the Taj Mahal.
And I love that she's a fighter.
Jagger wouldn't let herself be affected by someone else's disapproval of her parenting habits. She wouldn't care if someone commented on her lack of housekeeping. She isn't interested in pleasing everyone.
She'd fight for her dog Seth. Her lover Torek. Her pride and dignity. Her sense of peace. She'd fight for love - because she is bound to duty.
But most of all she'd fight to stay true to herself.
I owe a hell of a lot to Jagger, because with every word I put on the page about her, I'm learning what to fight for. When to take things to heart - and when to back off. She's teaching me when to lean on people, and when to accept they've moved on. And she's showing me that the only person I really need to please is myself.
So I can't stop writing about her, because on my list of what I'd fight for, Jagger is right near the top.