I’ve seen and admired the Beautiful People questions for years since my friend, Mirriam, started doing them for her characters.

My current novel is The Queen’s Assassin. Seventeen-year-old Emmeline Micheli is sent to Masallia to chose between the royal heirs, Henry and Edward; whoever wins her heart wins a crown… but can she keep her power once she has it?

I saw this Beautiful People post and thought it would be just perfect for Emmeline.

  1. How often do they smile? Would they smile at a stranger? She smiled more when she lived with her father, Enzo. Now she smiles to keep other people at ease. She would only smile at a stranger if she felt they weren’t a threat.
  2. What is the cruelest thing they’ve ever been told? And what was their reaction? Dante, her grandfather, was very cruel to her during her years of training with him. In all likelihood, the cruelest thing was being told she would never return to sail on Allegra’s Pearl with Enzo. She wept inconsolably for two days.
  3. What is the kindest thing they’ve ever been told? And what was their reaction? It hasn’t happened just yet, but will in a few chapters. She is broken down after years of suffering, she can’t keep it together anymore, she’s had simply too much sadness. Kneeling in the snow, covered in bruises, blood around her, someone wraps their arms around her and tells her that he loves her in spite of everything. She weeps on his shoulder.
  4. What is one strong memory that has stuck with your character from childhood? Why is it so powerful and lasting? She remembers leaving a childhood friend on a sandy shore because her father refused to take him on as a cabin boy. It was bitter for her to lose a friend, but she had to trust her father’s judgment over her own.
  5. What book (a real actual published book!) do you think your character would benefit from reading? A modern medical journal; Emmeline often treated wounded men on her father’s ship and has advanced notions of practicing medicine and experiments. It was a legacy inherited from her mother, but she would be fascinated by complex surgery and the idea of blood transfusions.
  6. Have they ever been seriously injured? How severely? How did they react? YES! She was shot through the side with a poisoned crossbow bolt. She cursed like the sailor’s daughter she is and assisted in the triage performed on her by her half-brother.
  7. Do they like and get along with their neighbours? She would rather get along than fight, but she will never back down from her principles… so a bit of conflict is inevitable.
  8. On a scale from 1 to 10 (1 being easy and 10 being difficult) how easy are they to get along with? 1. She’ll make you tea and tell you stories and die to defend you… as long as you never cross her, you’re good to go.
  9. If they could travel anywhere in the world, where would they go? Everywhere. Twice. Which she mostly has. But when she’d raced around the world one more time, she would settle on an island in the west with her father. By the end of the story, however, she ends up exactly where she wants to be, even if it wasn’t where she thought.
  10. Who was the last person they held hands with? Edward. He held her hand when he brought her on the Hartswell and they kissed under the stars. Before that it was Henry, he held her hand while Ali pulled an arrow out of her flesh and began treating the wound.

Thanks for playing!

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