In The Queen’s Assassin, the novel I’m currently attempting to bleed from my fingers, appearance is very important. Much of what occurs involves political intrigue, allowing people to see certain things while others are hidden. My protagonist, Emmeline, is constantly aware of appearance when in the presence of all but her most trusted friends and allies.

  1. Give a brief overview of their looks. (Include a photo if you want!)

Emmeline is roughly 5’6″, which is a little tall for the time period. Her hair is black, her eyes are green, and her attitude keeps her tall and proud.

  1. Share a snippet that involves a description of their appearance.

Here’s a snippet from a recently-written chapter.

She sat close to his bed.  The light from the window poured down on her book and softened the lines of her face. Her dress was slightly rumpled, as though she hadn’t bothered moving from her chair much in the last eight hours. The black hair, which was normally either free and wild or tightly pinned for court functions, had been gently collected over one shoulder – an errant strand curling down the side of her face.

In all their time together, he had never seen her look soft. The first day he clapped eyes on her, she had been fire and steel and rebellion before Hadrian, pausing a heart-stopping long moment before curtseying as if daring the royalty before her. He watched her shine with joy as she rode the Masallian hills on her big black Cyclone. Once or twice, when she was worried and didn’t want anyone to notice, her face turned as still and hard as stone. But she was never soft.

It was like watching a sleeping mountain lion. Yet somehow, Edward found it unexpectedly comforting. There was a sweetness to her presence that soothed his ruffled mind. It was why her letters were so precious to him, why he missed her the moment she left a room, and why Henry had been right. She would break his heart.

  1. What is the first thing people might notice about them?

The fact that she wears only one earring. She chose to do this to remind the Court of Masallia that she was The Corsair’s daughter every day.

  1. What are their unique features? (Ex: freckles, big ears, birthmark, scars, etc.)

She has several long, thin, white scars on her legs from being tortured, but she hides them well. Her hair is often wild and long, unlike the ladies of the Court.

  1. How tall are they? What is their build (Ex: stocky, slender, petite, etc.)

She’s built like a runner; long, clean-limbed, and ready to take care of herself… or anyone else. Emmeline inherited her father’s athleticism and keeps in shape through various clandestine activities.

  1. What is their posture like? How do they usually carry themselves?

Proud. Her head is thrown back with pride in her heritage and her mission. She bows rarely, and only when needed by society.

  1. Your character has been seen on a “lazy day” (free from usual routine/expectations): what are they wearing and how do they look?

Well… the snippet above is really pretty solid on recounting this, so…

  1. Do they wear glasses, accessories, or jewelry on a regular basis? Do they have any article of clothing or accessory that could be considered their trademark?

The one earring, of course, and a tricorn hat for hunts with the nobles of the King’s Court. She’s dressed tastefully, and with a beautiful variety inspired by the many countries and cultures she visited before being shipped to Masallia to marry a prince.

  1. Have they ever been bullied or shamed because of their looks? Explain!

When she was tortured by her grandfather, he also demoralized and ridiculed her on a regular basis.

  1. Are they happy with how they look? If they could change anything about their appearance, what would it be?

She thinks she looks fine, though she worries that the particulars of her true person, the one who hides behind the façades of confidence or cruelty, might come to light through a slip of the tongue or a some missed detail.

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