What can I say about Brittany? She was the first character I ever wrote, her first sketch probably came to be over 10 years ago. I had the idea of the character; of who she was and what she was going to go through, but so much of who she is now has been changed and morphed through the years.
I initially wanted her attack to happen after the book started. I wanted Tommy to stumble upon her without knowing her and then they would become closer through her recovery. That changed when I came up with her backround. I decided upon her singing career after I came up with her story and it fit into the idea that she had been a survivor, much like Tommy, and because of her past, her future was, (at least in her mind) already planned.
Having your main character deal with a disease such as HIV was a gamble and I knew it. I have had many people tell me that a story dealing with a rape and a woman who is HIV positive will never sell. I was encouraged to change those aspects and it was the most frustrating part of the development of the series. Having HIV is who Brittany is, and unfortunately for the many people who also deal with this disease, they wish it wasn’t there, too. However, wishing it away doesn’t make it go away and I decided that Brittany would be the character who showed everyone that she was still someone worthwhile. She was still someone who deserved a chance and more importantly, she deserved love.
Tommy was the perfect match for her. He was just as stubborn as she was and the love they developed through their story was one of my most favorite things to write. They both have a vulnerability that comes with being left behind and although both are wildly successful and confident in their professions, underneath the surface, they are floundering.
Brittany is such a complex character. I try to go for complete accuracy in her health concerns and although it seems like she is constantly in the hospital, someone in her condition would face many struggles and obstacles and although it’s hard, I want to show her continued fight. Her fears are real and her concern over the stigma of her disease is valid. She is a hero and she is my honor to write.
There is much more to her attack that continues to be explored throughout the later part of the books. It was important to me to show her therapy and the support she has from Tommy. He isn’t perfect in how he reacts, but his intentions are completely honorable and he desperately wants her to feel loved. He is ultimately her protector and the one thing she never had was that very thing. He is her hero, her strength, her lover and her equal.
Thank you so much for reading!