Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss

7-8 Kate Jarvik Birch | Perfection Comes at a Price

July 8, 2014

Kate Jarvik BirchPERFECTEDI may have written a book entitled PERFECTED, but that doesn’t mean I believe in perfection, or that I even strive for it.

In my novel, the main character, Ella, was bred to be the perfect pet. She was raised to put her masters’ happiness before her own. In return, she’s been promised a perfect life, one of idle luxury, one of comfort and stability, but ultimately a life that doesn’t truly belong to her.

At first, Ella’s new life at her masters’ house seems charming. Her owners surround her with beautiful things: fancy cars, expensive houses and fine clothes. It isn’t until she finds herself falling for Penn, her master’s son, that her perception of the world begins to shift. This world might appear perfect from the outside, but it’s only a veneer. Scratch the surface and there’s ugliness underneath.

I don’t know anyone who could be considered perfect. Do you? Someone who always has their hair perfectly coiffed first thing in the morning, whose home is immaculate and never suffers from an occasional nervous breakdown? It may be that people like that actually exist in reality, but I certainly don’t know any of them.

Our flaws are the things that make us human. They make us quirky and relatable and let others off the hook for their own imperfections.

My list of flaws might be a bit longer than some of yours, but I like to imagine that they’re part of what make me so funny and lovable (my husband might disagree that my panic attacks at two in the morning are anything but charming).

And when thinking about the characters in books and movies that I truly relate to, they’re always flawed. The characters that stay with me the longest are ones that I relate to, not in their perfection, but in the bits of their personalities that make them struggle.

This was one of the most exciting things about writing PERFECTED. I invented a character that was supposed to be perfect and then I got to make her human, to let her find beauty in the imperfections all around her.


So what are some flaws that you struggle with?

Here’s a few of mine in no particular order:

1. fear and anxiety- Ha, you say. No particular order? Yeah, okay, I get where you’re coming from. This is something that can rule my life if I don’t keep it in check, but it’s a great source for writing.

2. procrastination- Yep, here’s another one that I struggle against constantly. It seems so much easier to put things off until tomorrow, even though in the end it never pays off.

3. loyalty- I’d like to think of myself as a loyal person, but I fear that deep down I might be one of those people that is quite selfish and thinks of self preservation above others.

4. selfishness- While we’re on the subject… I often put my own needs and desires above others. I care about my little family, but often don’t think outside of our own little circle. I’m also very selfish with my time.

5. quick temper- It’s true that this mostly plays out in terms of politics and my opinions of what I think is fair.

6. judgmental attitude- I’m not usually judgmental when it comes to people’s lifestyles, but don’t get me started on aesthetics.

7. gluttony- Yeah, I don’t have willpower when it comes to the yummy snacks in this world. And maybe while we’re on the subject of willpower I should mention that I don’t really have it in any form.

8. envy- The green eyed monster visits me often. I haven’t figured out how to keep him at bay.

I could go on and on. What faults do you find the most interesting in a character?

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