In Character With Jae Dansie

Monday is here…again. I can hear the moans and groans as many of us return to another fun filled work week. Rub the sleep from your eyes and prepare to be dazzled by another guest writer as we step in character with them. This week we have the always adorable YA author Jae Dansie. You guys are in for a treat. Sit back, relax, and sip your favorite beverage because we’re about to get started.

Why don’t we start with a little bit about your WIP and how it came about?

A lot of my inspiration comes from dreams.  It’s usually just one little scene, like a small spark that starts quite a fire.  In one particular dream, I saw all the details of what my protagonist looked like and during the dream his house was raided by thieves.  It grew from there into this idea involving demons, half-demons and angels.  But as fate would have it, that original spark of a scene is no longer in my current WIP.  I guess that’s the way stories evolve sometimes.

What, in your opinion, makes a memorable character?

For me, memorable characters are flawed.  I forget too easily the perfect characters, I like to see them struggle through something.  I especially like those characters who are able to overcome some of their flaws.  Quirks, too, I think help.  With protagonists, I like to see them falter sometimes—that they’re not always cool and perfect.  With antagonists or villains, my favorite villains are the ones who aren’t all bad.  The ones who can almost convince you they’ve got good reasons for what they’re doing, and like messing with the hero’s mind.  But on both, whether protagonist or antagonist, I want to see passion in obtaining their goals.  If they don’t care, why should I?

What makes your main character unique?

He’s a part-demon teenager who’s lived such a restricted life his understanding of emotion is severely stinted, so he sees the world in a more stark, or honest way.  Sometimes that’s beneficial to him, like it’s harder to intentionally make him mad, but other times he feels totally clueless and at a disadvantage because of it.  I like that he has to figure out how to live in a loud, colorful, crazy human world in order to be free or go back to his rigid, cold life where it was predictable and safe.  He also has a cool demon dog that can teleport, fly, and change its size.

Who, or what, served as the inspiration behind your main character?

It’s probably a combination of a hundred things.  I pull inspiration from everywhere, including my own life.  I guess I felt awkward as a teen dealing with my emotions, something I think a lot of teens can relate to.  With my character, I’ve just kicked it up to maximum awkward.

How important are physical traits, or quirks, in the creation process?

Very important.  Sometimes the quirks come before the physical traits.  To explain it a little better, I see some of my character’s personalities and try to imagine what kind of person they would have to look like in order to best embody those traits.  Other times their appearance just comes to me from the beginning.  It’s definitely one of the more intriguing parts of the creation process.

How much of yourself, if any, is in your main character?

There’s probably more of my teenage self in him than my current self.  I think I’m hoping to bring him into a happier adult life once he gets things figured out.  That’s one thing I love about writing Young Adult.  I remember so vividly how frustrating, difficult, and trying the teenage years were.  But at the same time, there’s something strong in teenagers you don’t see as often in adults.  They dream of ideals some see as impossible, and yet many of those teens grow up to change the world (like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, etc.)  Most of the ideas that come to me end up being YA ideas.

How does your main character change by the end of their journey?

What I want to see happen for my character is him coming into his own identity and realizing he doesn’t have to be what anyone expects of him—he can choose his own destiny.  It’s still a WIP, but he gradually becomes warmer and more accepting of the human world, realizing everything his parents wanted for him isn’t the path he wants for himself.

What can we expect from your main character in the future? Will we see more of them or is their story finished?

You’ll definitely see more of him.  He’ll learn that in the real world there’s no black and white when it comes to people.  Those whom he should be able to count on as good can turn bad, and those he thought bad can turn good.  He’s got a lot worse things coming too, the poor kid.  But his abilities will only continue to grow in awesomeness.

Name a character who most closely resembles your main character and tell us why?

It’s hard to just point to one.  He’s a little bit like Katsa from Graceling, but colder—at least in the beginning.  A bit more reliant on the intellectual, like Klaus from A Series of Unfortunate Events, maybe a hint of Snape from Harry Potter if I’m being honest.  But he evolves quite a bit in the first book, so I’d say closest to Katsa.

How would your main character respond if they knew this post had been  written about them (a response in the voice of your main character)?

I’d rather you didn’t write whatever this “blog post” is, but if I can’t stop you then leave me anonymous.  I have enough enemies hunting for me and I don’t need you giving away my location.  I envy the time you have for these sorts of things.  Lately I feel like I haven’t got five seconds to catch my breath.  You shouldn’t write this post.  If my mother catches wind of it, she’ll be here in an instant, torturing you for everything you know.  Honestly, it’s better if you forgot you ever met me.


We all know how much I love music. Can you share a song which best represents your character?

This was a tough question.  I couldn’t think of anything for awhile, then two popped into my head.  One is the theme song from Alphas (sung by Trey Lockerbie).  But since it’s only 30 sec, the other that popped into my head is “It’s My Life” by Bon Jovi.

A big thank you to Jae for talking characters with us this week. I can’t even describe how awesome it is to be a doodle! Anytime you want to come back, for any reason at all, you will be most welcome. I’ll be sure to keep everyone up to date on the status of Shade as more details become available. Stay tuned and make sure to come back next week when another writer steps in character. This is where we would cue the theme music, if we had any.

Author Bio:  Jae Dansie is a graphic designer, doodler, and writer.  Jae wrote her first novel when she was 14 and has probably written a dozen or so in between which she calls “practice.”  She’s in a love/hate relationship with her current novel SHADE but knows it’ll all be worth it in the end.  When Jae isn’t doodling (she calls it scribbling) and obsessing over her WIP, she likes to karaoke, travel, and tantalize her tastebuds with tasty new treats.  You can find Jae on her blog at litandscribbles, or out patrolling the streets for truth, justice and the American way.

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6 comments

  1. Awww, my poor awkward teen scribble… Don’t you just want to give him a hug and tell him it’s all gonna be okay? Thanks for letting me come over to the blog today. 😀

    1. You are welcome back whenever you like. I find it fascinating that you get much of your inspiration from dreams. Most of my inspiration comes from me seeing or doing something and blurting out, “Wouldn’t it be better if this happened?” Does that make you more of a dreamer and me more of a thinker? I don’t know. That’s what makes these In Character posts so interesting. We get to see the way different writers approach the same subject of characters. I enjoyed most of your answers. All except Bon Jovi. 🙂 To each their own. I’m looking forward to the day I can announce Shade’s publication. Great job. The doodles were above and beyond, and I think a direct reflection of your attention to detail. Not to mention what a great person you are. Thank you so much.

      1. Yeah, all but one of my novel ideas was inspired by a dream. My dreams are pretty lucid. In some of them I remember saying, Nope, I don’t like how this is working, let’s try this. I guess because during the day in my head that’s what’s going on with scenes and I usually think about scenes just before I go to bed. But it’s usually only little tidbits that are dream inspired, the rest of the story I have to think and think and think about. That’s the way it goes for the musicmakers and dreamers of dreams. 😉

  2. Awesome post! I can’t agree enough about the too perfect characters, they annoy me to no end! The only thing worse is flat villains. If they have to be all evil, at least make them charismatic about it. 😉

    Thank you, both of you, for a great post!

    1. I agree on flat villains. I don’t think any villain is truly all evil. They have a goal they want, a desire for something good at its basic element, but go about it in the wrong way—some very wrong. Besides, it’s creepier when you almost agree with the villain.

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