*gasp* What is this, an actual Beautiful People post on my blog in 2016? I know, I’ve been as lax in keeping up with the writing tag as a printer sans ink, partly because I’ve not tackled any new big novels for a while and instead have been trying to focus on the importance of editing. But since I’m working on it at the moment, about two years from its conclusion, I thought we’d revisit my Steampunk novel H, a tale of ghosts, Italian tribes, and dirigibles.
Beautiful People is a monthly segment focusing on the fictional people of our novels with the intent of uncovering their little tidbits that although may not come into fruition or play in the novel, round the character into more than a paper cutout. It is hosted by Cait at Paper Fury and Sky from Further Up and Further In.
So, let me once again, introduce you to the lovely, yet audacious, Miss Cathleen Cattoway, betrothed to Squire Alexander Sterling. Or so she hopes…
- How did you come up with this character?
Like most of my character creation, I don’t recall coming up with Cathleen Cattoway specifically. I know I wanted a female main character to look through, someone with brown hair and eyes as a template for her appearance. Confident and not docile to the sexism of the day, but not someone who liked mechanics. Her name was something of a pick-out-the-hat, as I tend to do. It stuck, thank goodness.
- Have they ever been starving? Why? And what did they eat to break the fast?
Totally boring here, but no. She’s had to be self-sufficient, and she has been hungry, sure, but never starving.
- Do they have a talent or skill that they’re proud of?
Linguistics. That is, the study of language structure. Cathy’s particular speciality comes from translating Latin and Greek, and so she is fascinated by how different languages use different syntax to create different meaning. This also helps her pick out when people are not being so truthful—as she is more likely to hear the false way they are using language.
4. List 3 things that would make them lose their temper.
People thinking she has to need help.
People stopping her from reaching her potential or helping others.
Liars, because she can read them more easily than most.
5. What is their favourite type of weather? Least favourite?
Does nighttime count as a weather? I guess that’s cheating. 😛 Cathy’s favourite time of weather would be blue skies, though not too hot. Her least favourite? Thunderstorm rain.
- What is their Hogwarts house and/or MBTI personality?
I went with Hogwarts house because, although I’ve done numerous Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator tests and read loads on my own type (INFJ here 😀 ), I’ve not had the time to read that much into other types. Since INFJ’s are the rarest, even if my characters do share my attributes and interests, I don’t think if they were to do the test, they would come out so.
I’d say Cathy’s a Ravenclaw. She’s not brave enough for a Gryffindor, is too frank to be a Hufflepuff, and honestly, I see very few traits of hers as Slytherin-y. She aspires to not aspire.
- Are they more likely to worry about present problems, or freak out about the unknown future?
Well, Cathy would consider the two irreparably linked – her present problems are the small cogs in the machine of the unknown future; if there are present issues, that means that the future is not going to be set out the way she would like it to be.
- What is their favourite drink?
Tea. Definitely. Just your average India Leaf tea, though she was recently introduced to lemon Green tea, and she rather liked it.
- What is their favourite colour? Least favourite?
Her favourite colour is a rich maroon or burgundy. She likes the rich reds that can be transformed to taffeta fabrics. Her least favourite colour…I’d say that would be black, simply because it lacks texture and the potential to see other colours through it.
- What is a book that changed their life?
Wow. Now that’s a loaded question. I mean, I don’t have a favourite book, and – as Cait herself would say – I am a feelingless Vulcan, whose life has very rarely been changed by a single book, so I don’t know where to start with Cathy. What springs to mind would be the first book she translated: a series of poems in elegiac couplets by Catullus, one of a group of Roman writers known as the ‘new poets’. She would’ve been inspired by the way the poetry is clever and full of imagery – yet, also is poetic in the sense that it does not stick to the poetic boundaries English is forced to.
What about you? Are you in the deep depths of editing at the moment, or have you just started making a new book baby? Let’s chat 😀