People are always asking which of my characters is my favorite. Favorite? I’ve written over twenty books. Let’s pretend I had forty children… would I play favorites? I sincerely hope not (though I’m also pretty sure I wouldn’t remember all their names). At any rate, my answer to that question changed with THE DUKE IS MINE. I do have a favorite character now: Rupert Forrest G. Blakemore, one of two heroes in Duke. When the novel opens, Rupert is betrothed to my heroine, Olivia. He lost air at birth and consequently he doesn’t speak in full sentences—but he has the clearest and most honorable approach to life of any character I have created. He is a poet and, at the same time, a tremendously brave warrior.
Rupert is not the only hero of THE DUKE IS MINE. I think it’s clear from the back of the book (so no spoiler here) that Olivia ends up with Quin, the Duke of Sconce. But Rupert is the prism through which that love happens. He is the clear, untarnished voice of novel, and it’s through one of his poems that Quin learns to trust his feelings, to grieve and to let go, and thereby to love Olivia. It’s through learning loyalty to Rupert that Olivia learns to fight for what she wants—as he did.
One of my children lost air at birth. There were no consequences as severe as what happened to Rupert. But it did teach me to remember that people we might think of as “other” and treat differently have precisely the same heart as the rest of us do—and often more.
Rupert changes every character in the book for the better. And he changed me. So, after twenty-some books, I do have a favorite character. And in case you’re wondering, I do also have a favorite movie: Forrest Gump.
So, if you could take any movie and transform a favorite character into the hero or heroine of a novel, which movie would you choose? And would you make that person into a hero— or a villain?
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