Through the Eyes of the Character


Isaac and Chiara incognito

in the Embattled Spirit studio
two character from The Destiny Series
help us discuss:


The Unsung Character of a Novel


J.A. – Even though you have your heads covered above, we have met you both in Destiny Defied where Chiara was clearly in her element, her comfort zone. But this month, things will change in Destiny Delivered. What are your thoughts?

Chiara – An island is all I’ve ever known. I’m sick of sand and ocean. I’m hungry to experience my new Utopia in the land of the brave. No more tyranny or rules. I’ll be free to do whatever I want, when I want.

Isaac – (lightly elbows her) Ohio is not a Utopia, princess. Cleveland used to be labeled the armpit of the U.S. We only get sixty-five days of sunshine a year. That makes people grumpy. And society does have rules. Just wait till you’re confronted by a police officer.


J.A. – Ha ha ha. Can’t wait to see that encounter. In the first story, you played with dolphins. Will you miss ocean creatures?

Chiara – Yeah, I’ll miss Beaker and the other dolphins. But Isaac’s got a dog, and I’m going to the zoo where I can play with penguins and elephants.

Isaac – What makes you think zoos are hands-on?


J.A. – I smell trouble coming with that one, but this odor of trouble has a humorous tinge to it. So, Chiara, what do you feel you’ve most missed out on living in isolation?

Chiara – People, of course. I hope to be mobbed by happy people as soon as I step off the plane in Cleveland.

Isaac – No you don’t.

Chiara – Who straightened your bent toward optimism, Wild Man? I expect to squeeze my way into libraries, and museums, and grocery stores.


J.A. – (Laughs) Isaac, you clearly hold a different view of your “comfort zone” or homeland than Chiara does. What are your greatest worries over her upcoming endeavor to rebuild her life from scratch?

Isaac – Everything.

Chiara – You’re getting overly emotional.

Isaac – (Faces Chiara) Your home was the only house on the island, and now you’ve gotta learn the unspoken rules of neighborhood living. You don’t even know how to cross a street because there were no vehicles on Omeàla. Sabio’s fiancée is taking you shopping for the first time, and poor Stacy’s . . . Never mind. I don’t want to think about it.

Chiara – What part of luxuriating in a Utopia could be worse than stinging scorpions and shark attacks, or being brainwashed by a demonic cult?


J.A. – I’m beginning to get the picture. 

Isaac – Look, Chiara, everything my friends and I do naturally and take for granted is gonna be alien to you. It’ll frustrate you. (Turns to J.A.) Just watch. The island girl will get herself into trouble because she’ll be operating out of a completely foreign mindset in a world with which she has zero familiarity.

Chiara – (pouts) I’ve read books about the real world. Are you calling me ignorant?


J.A. How about you two take this argument into the next room while I show my readers what you’re talking about.

An excerpt from Destiny Delivered:

Holding her achy side, Chiara followed the woman through the garage. Intricately carved wooden frames hanging on the wall invited her admiring fingers. They smelled and felt freshly stained.

“Fletch made those. Part of his hobby.”
Oops. Chiara withdrew her hand from the overlord’s stuff. She’d have to fast track her assimilation into this new world so she wouldn’t ruin it. Or lose her freedom.

Once inside the house, she froze and took in a panoramic view of the salmon-colored living room. She inhaled the aroma of dried flowers, reminiscent of the arrangements her mother used to create.

Impressionist paintings. Vases. Wreaths. Floral sofa and armchair. She dared to touch a green plant.

Plastic! How could that be?

The house appeared empty except for the mildly graying hostess. Elegant as a swan, Katherine Fletcher had an overall sweet fragrance of a mango grove in season. The girls Chiara had known on Omeàla were young, excitable, and ambivalent—not females to emulate.

Mrs. Fletcher placed her arm bag on the kitchen counter bordering the living room. “I’m sure there’s a lot going through your mind right now.”

Vastly understated. Nervousness lumped in her throat. “Affirmative.”

From the middle of the room, through the window, she spotted an object in the front yard she’d missed while distracted with Adam. An enclosed wooden crate held up by a post.

Another book image bumped loose in her mind. Mailbox.

The Fletchers get mail? She searched the sidewalk, disappointed not to see a postman.
A kid rode a bike down the street. Girls jogged along the sidewalk. Houses, garages, lawns, neighbors.

Overloaded by the visual intake, her heart hurdled beats to keep up . . .

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destiny2eDESTINY DELIVERED, book 2 of The Destiny Series officially releases this month. If you haven’t had the delight of reading book 1, you can find it on Amazon: Destiny Defied 

To participate in the Author Chat Party for Destiny Delivered on FEBRUARY 24th, click this FB PARTY. Win a copy of the book! Gift certificates and more.

Read the synopsis for book 2 here: Destiny Delivered




**J.A. Marx will be holding a workshop on Turning your Setting into a Character at the Ready Writers, a DFW Chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers in May 9th, 2015. Watch for it here: Ready Writers

“The more conflict a character has with his surroundings intensifies and highlights the personality of that setting.”

The Way of the Embattled Spirit

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2 Responses to “Through the Eyes of the Character”

  1. Louly says:

    Oh I don’t know — how about Katie Holmes (she’s from Ohio) and just for fun Ben Affleck 🙂

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