The easiest character to write as a baby became the one character I have struggled the most to write as a young adult.
I remember numerous times when I was writing and my family would see me looking puzzled and ask what was wrong.
“I’m just not liking Sabrina right now. I don’t understand her anymore.”
“Well, you made her, so make her do something different. Figure it out.”
It sounded pretty reasonable and this went on for many a writing session.
It wasn’t that I didn’t like her, but she was evolving and changing and I wasn’t giving her the space she needed.
I spent a ton of time developing David and Naomi and even Tess and Josie and Sabrina was always kind of there, the obligatory flirt who had everything given to her. The spitting image of her dad in spunk and beauty and confidence.
Until she wasn’t.
She had become too much of a cliché, and I hated that.
I also hated how she hurt David.
I know- my fault again- but I just didn’t see them fitting together anymore. He would never break it off, so it needed to be her.
“Strength” takes Bee down the path where things must change for her. She does something incredibly cruel and out of character and it directly affects the rest of the family- Naomi the most.
Sabrina has been struggling, and I finally figured out why.
It’s lonely when people think you have it all.
It’s hard being left behind.
It’s tough to admit when you make mistakes and for Bee, she doesn’t understand a huge part of what happened to her.
What I mean, is that dumping David was one thing, but going out with Drew, who turned into such a terrible person was something she can’t comprehend. Being surrounded by people like Derek and Jacob is not anything she wanted.
Why didn’t she see who he was?
How could she leave someone so amazing for such a pig?
Bee has always been beautiful and confident, but she is honest and caring and doesn’t hurt people for spite. She wanted to move on, but in doing so, she realized a harsh lesson.
Sometimes you can’t go back.
In talking with her, or rather listening to her, she was hurt that David moved on so completely.
Nobody blames him. Bee broke his heart, and what he found with Desi is nothing like what he had with Bee.
But for Sabrina, she was replaceable, and that hurt.
Being thrown together their whole lives, Bee and David have the kind of relationship I never want to disappear completely. I see them as adults, relying on each other and being there for each other through everything, much like Julie and Jack.
But we aren’t there yet, and as teenagers, there are a lot of lessons still to learn.
I’ll let you in on a little interview with Bee. Maybe it will reveal more.
This book will be full of harsh lessons for Sabrina, but ultimately, it’s about hitting bottom so you can begin to move up.
I see great things for her. This is just a bump in the road.
Okay, a boulder 🙂
Interviewer: Hi Sabrina. Thanks for taking the time to talk to me.
Interviewer: Are you ready to be back in school? How has summer been going for you?
Bee: Fine. It’s been okay I guess, but it’s time to go back. Besides, things are different now, so I don’t really know what to expect.
Interviewer: What do you mean?
Interviewer: Oh, well it sounds like something has changed.
Bee: My mom is pregnant with twins, so that’s weird, but I’m also kind of a loner now and that’s not something I like.
Interviewer: How do you feel about your mom being pregnant?
Bee: Fine I guess. Tess is worried about her health, but I think she’ll be fine.
Interviewer: Is your mom sick?
Bee: Well she’s older and has MS, so it’s a lot for her to handle, but she handles everything, so I’m sure this will be okay.
Interviewer: I’m sure it will, too. Why are you a loner now?
Interviewer: You said you are kind of a loner now.
Bee: Oh, well I don’t have a boyfriend and I got rid of most of my friends who liked Drew and Derek. I may be a lot of things, but I will never be with people who support rapists.
Interviewer: Wow, that’s a lot to handle.
Bee: Not really. None of it happened to me. I just hurt people who liked me. I think I still have to make up for that.
Interviewer: Who did you hurt?
Bee: It doesn’t matter. Are we almost done?
Interviewer: Let’s change the subject. You’re into fashion, right?
Bee: Yeah. I want to be a designer. I hope to model, too, but my dad won’t let me.
Interviewer: How come?
Bee: I don’t know. I don’t think he trusts that I can handle myself. Besides, with the new babies coming and his surgical practice, he doesn’t have time to devote to what it would take for me to get an agent and stuff.
Interviewer: Have you asked him or your mom?
Bee: No. They are both busy. My Uncle was hurt really badly and that is most important right now.
Interviewer: Is your Uncle doing any better?
Bee: Yeah, but it was really bad.
Interviewer: So aside from fashion, what kinds of things do you like?
Bee: Well, I would say boys, namely Bryan, but I don’t know much about him yet.
Interviewer: Who is Bryan?
Bee: He is Jason and Amber’s son. They are moving here so he will be in school with us. He’s really handsome and from LA.
Interviewer: What else do you know about him? What kinds of things does he like?
Bee: I don’t know. I guess I should probably ask that.
Interviewer: Other than boys, is there anything else you’re excited about?
Bee: I guess I’m excited to start the year with no expectations. Nobody is expecting me to be with anyone and I can just figure things out on my own, you know? I can do what I want and soon I’ll have my license and I can go places. I’m tired of being stuck. I want to get a job and save money and get ready for college.
Interviewer: That sounds like a good plan.
Bee: I guess it does. This year I need to figure out who I am, you know? Not what everyone else thinks, but who I am.
Interviewer: Well I hope you are able to do just that.
Bee: Me too.
Interviewer: Thank you for talking with me.
Tomorrow Strength is released. I can’t wait to read what you think.
Any more questions? Ask away.