Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Lily's Post: AKA HOLY CROW that was hard...

(That's what she said). Actually, I almost gave up on trying to pinpoint the proper "feel" of Lily via visual, because all the actresses I came across that had the right hair color, age, etc. looked like they were trying out for the cover of Playboy and/or were severely malnourished. That depth of feeling, the compassionate eyes, the sweetness of face and determination that came with her character, I couldn't find it anywhere. I was about to give up and tell you guys that I just couldn't locate a good facsimile. But then... a stroke of luck.

I'd been looking in all the wrong places, I guess. Not sure why it didn't occur to me that Liv Tyler would make a beautiful Lily, but, for lack of a better response, DUH.

Lillian Hunt - Main protagonist, Seers of Light.

Fun facts

~Has an innie belly button.
~Gets turned on by sarcasm.
~Has a super sensitive sense of smell.
~Cannot stand fish.
~Burns everything she tries to cook... even toast.
~Likes cats more than dogs.
~Likes dresses more than jeans.
~Favors very hot weather over cold.

Where to even begin!

I was reading a review of Seers by someone on Goodreads the other day, and though they loved the book, they wanted to strangle the hell out of Lily. This really fascinated me, that someone had such a very negative feeling about the character. It also didn't surprise me, to some extent, that people would be angry with Lily's initial foolishness and over-emotional responses. Remember that she is an Empath... and every strong emotion someone else is feeling around her becomes her emotion, at least until she is enlightened enough to know the difference. Christian felt hate--she trusted Christian, therefore, she hated William. In the beginning, that is.

Moving along, you guys have probably read my feelings on strong women. You know how important a self-aware, independently significant female character is to me. And it's even more important when paired with someone who can show and display, bravely, their love and emotion.

There are a lot of books out there that utilize the damsel stereotype. And come on, we all enjoy that sometimes, right? Heck, my main protagonist in Whisper of Light isn't exactly up to par in the sense of self-worth area, but inevitably I hope that every woman finds her inner strength and purpose in this life so that she doesn't depend on anyone else for happiness or validation. That was Lily's job in Seers of Light--to learn to love with all her soul, to experience the needs and feelings of others, but not to lose her head in the process. Abram tells her,

"Until now, you've only ever sensed the depth of Narcissus’s fixation. I have brought you here that you might glimpse it with your own eyes. Glimpse it without, of course, losing yourself in it. Live along side it with wisdom, lest it absorb you."

Abram knew that, as humans, especially as women, we have a tendency to give ourselves away without caution, to let others drain us dry of ourselves while trying to make everyone happy. Lily was especially susceptible to this risk.

You'll notice how much she cries about pretty much everything that moves her. This sensitive nature annoys some folks, confuses others, and amuses the heck out of William. It comes almost without choice. How can you not feel for people, when all you can do is feel for people? This is the downside of an Empathic Endowment.

It also means that she can sense her own purpose, even though she can't begin to imagine what it is without a little help from those crazy Sentients. Haven't you felt this way? Haven't you had that nagging, "What the hell is missing in my life" feeling? Has it led you to change, whether dramatically or not, the events in your life for the better? Some folks give these feelings negative labels. A quarter/midlife crisis, maybe. But I don't buy that. I think that when we feel like something is missing... it is. When life is picking and stabbing and prodding at you to change something... you should! It's not an accident, by any means. It's a calling. And it's scary as hell.

I should know. Trust me.

And Lily knew. She knew that whatever she was doing out there in Pennsylvania, it wasn't where she was supposed to be. Her soul felt it. Some readers question Lily's quick and easy transition into a life that would seem absolutely absurd to some. I don't. Not even for a minute. Haven't you ever been so sad, so lost and empty that you just ached for change? You knew it had to come. Lily knew it when she saw it. You would too.

She may have known that change is good, but Lily doesn't see all the details at first. She's still stuck in this mindset that screams black and white, because that is how she was raised. If Christian tells her that William is evil, he's evil. Vampires are bad, right? They killed her mom, they killed Daniel Wright. Her gut emotion rules her. But that same annoying empathic urge that causes her to act impulsively at times is also her saving grace. She can't hide from the truth of William's goodness for very long--not when working so intimately with him. Ah, that Abram. He's no slouch. He knew what he was doing.

Lily finds a connection that is beyond anything she'd imagined for herself because she lets go of those "should be's' that I mentioned in an earlier post. She went with the call of her heart and bliss followed.

She was the hero of the book, in my strong opinion. She was the white knight who conquered her own personal dragons in order to find the courage to help those who needed her. Her character continues to teach me about myself, and I pray that she'll do the same for everyone who reads Seers of Light.

Love you all,


Anya said...

Aaw Jen I love this post! I love how you can make just a blog post sound so beautiful and emotional! And I think Liv Tyler is a great Lily! Also..I don't not like Lily because she was so mean to William at the you said..she didn't know any better and she more than made up for it in my opinion. What she and William have then is just too beautiful for words :)


Jen said...


It is an emotional post for me, really. It speaks of everything I believe very deeply about the heart of women. Plus, I've struggled a long time to find my idea of Lily, so, the fact that I've pinpointed one makes me veeery happy, indeed. Thanks for the response, my faithful girl. And I agree. Lily was dense as a brick at the start, but she would have died/killed for William by the end.

Missie said...

Wha? Strangle Lily?! Why? I thought Lily was fabu! I loved that she stayed true to her feminine style yet totally evoked her tough side when it was needed!

And I don't know why Liv never came to mind for Lily in my head either, but she is kind of perfect!

Jen said...


Women can be feminine, can be romantic and still bad ass! Plus, there was no way I was portraying a women who would give girls any more of body image issues than we already have. I love that you supported these aspects of Lily. You're kinda awesome... but you knew that already. ;)


E.J. Stevens said...

Hi Jen,

Fabulous post. I loved learning more about Lily. The "Fun Facts" were a nice added touch. :)

From the Shadows

Jen said...

Aaaah, thank you!! It was fun to share. Rock on, E.J.


Nicki Elson said...

Yes, Liv Tyler is perfect for Lily! Perfect. I really love when you say:
"I think that when we feel like something is missing... it is."
You must be one of those Sentients, with a soul that is older and far more wise than your years.

I also recently had a reviewer at Goodreads tell me she didn't like my main character! At first that was a little tough to hear, but then I realized that it meant the character was as realistic as I'd wanted her to be. No one on this Earth is well liked by everyone, right? The specific flaws the reader pointed out were very much intended, and I loved my character for them. Imperfections make a character relatable, in a good way for some and apparently in a bad way for others, but I'll take a character that some readers might want to strangle over a character that does everything with perfection any day. So bravo to you for creating a character so authentically human that someone wanted to hurt her. ;)

Jen said...


I hear you! It is very heartening to think that your character was real enough to warrant any kind of strong emotional response from the reader. And you're right, I would take them wanting to bitch-slap Lily (or Christian, or anyone for that matter) over indifference any day.


Shannon said...

Liv would make a great Lily, love her only thing is she is usually soft spoken that is the only negative I see. Minnie Driver maybe, she has some snark to her.

Jen said...

Hmm. Then it would test Liv's acting skills! lol. I looooove Minnie hard. But I think she is probably older than the character. I'm always looking for suggestions, btw. Bring 'em on.