As much fun as it is to cheer on a Wonder-Woman-style kick-butt heroine, my favorites are always flawed. And, often, far less superhero-y. They’re in the process of working through something big. They’re screwing up along the way.
Maybe the most flawed of all the characters I’ve written is Chelsea from Playing Hurt—and not just because she’s been physically injured. Once her senior-year accident leaves her no longer be a small town athletic celebrity, she’s lost. She doesn’t know who she is anymore. In the midst of her struggle to figure it out, her family goes to Minnesota for a three-week summer vacation. And she meets a guide at the resort, who also lost his own ability to be a small-town athletic celebrity.
Sparks fly, even though Chelsea has a boyfriend back home.
Chelsea doesn’t find her way without messing up and breaking hearts.
Which is why I’m so excited about Play It Again—the sequel to Playing Hurt. It’s four years later, and Chelsea is returning to the same resort. But nothing is the same.
It’s because nothing’s the same that Chelsea has to confront herself—and what happened four years ago. This time, she has to ask herself what kind of person she really wants to be. She has to ask herself what she needs to do to get there.
She has to admit she wasn’t the best person four years ago and figure out how to reconcile that.
Finally, all these years after her accident, Chelsea has a chance to really decide who she is—and what the rest of her life will look like.
It’s not a perfect journey. It’s messy. Chelsea bumbles. But she gets there.
Which is why I’ve always loved reading flawed characters—and why I’m drawn to writing about them. They’ve always given me hope that I don’t have to be perfect, either. I can stumble my way through—and in the end, I can be a heroine, too.
It's a feeling I want to give to my readers.
Play It Again:
The Lake of the Woods Love Stories 2-book series on Amazon.