Guest Post: Jamie Canosa on the Characters of Fight or Flight
I’ve done several guest posts so far for this blog tour—most of them focusing on either me or the book in general. For this particular stop, I’d like to take a closer look at the characters. Characters are as diverse as people, each one has their own distinct personality, and as an author I get to interact with a LOT of them. Some I enjoy writing, others . . . well, others can be a bit more of a challenge.
Let’s start with Jay, shall we? Jay is awesome. The end. I freaking loved writing Jay. Several of his chapters were actually completed early because I liked being inside his head so much. As much as Jay is a private person and doesn’t share his story with many people, once you know it, he’s easy to understand. His actions, his motivations, it’s all obvious. He may not let many people in, but those he does are his to love, cherish, and protect. That is how he sees the world, and how I got to see Em through his eyes. Cue swoon.
Em was a lot more challenging. She has her own demons, just like Jay, but while his anger is directed outward, hers is centered back on herself. It’s difficult for her to accept that someone could genuinely love her when she can’t even love herself. She’s also more of a passive character than I’m used to writing. My previous female leads—Kaleigh from Dissidence, Mel from Heart and Soul, Callie from Our Own Worst Enemies, and even Sara from How We Came to Be—were independent, kick-ass ladies. They fought back against their circumstances and didn’t take crap from anyone along the way. Em didn’t fight back, she ran away. She hid. She thinks of herself as a coward, and until she can shake that pre-conceived notion of herself, she has trouble reacting any other way.
Em’s character was a bit of an eye opener for me. While my previous characters all reacted in ways I hope I’d react in their circumstances, I got real with Em. Her thoughts and actions are more openly honest. How many people could leave behind everything they know, escape some pretty heavy stuff to a scary, dangerous place where they don’t know anyone and immediately start kicking ass and taking names? Not many. I know I couldn’t. I would be scared, hesitant, and probably a complete disaster—just like Em. While writing her POV was sometimes a taxing and emotional task, I enjoyed every single second of it and I fell completely in love with her.
Then, there’s Sam. No joke, until I started writing this post I did not realize I have a formerly unidentified baker fetish. In my previous novel, Dissidence, I also wrote a character who comes to the rescue, who is also—you guessed it—a baker. Not really sure what that’s all about. Possibly my sweet tooth showing through? But I digress, then there’s Sam. I love Sam. Seriously, every time he’d pop up, it would make me smile. He’s the rock of the story. While their lives are a storm of action and emotion, Sam is the one unchanging constant. The one thing in their world that can be counted on. Everyone needs a Sam in their life.
And, Al. Oh, Al. I cannot tell you how much I adore Al. She was my dose of kick-ass in this book. She’s about as different from Em as you can get, but they were still able to bond through similar circumstances and grow close in a short amount of time. Al was someone for Em to confide in. Someone who managed not to take things to a dark place, by keeping even the heaviest conversations light. She’s funny and strong-willed, but still caring and loyal to a fault. I actually enjoyed writing Al’s character so much that she earned her own book, coming out sometime this summer. Unlike Jay, I couldn’t just let her go.
I hope you grow to love and care for each of these characters—these individuals—as I have. If you let them into your heart, they may break it, but then they’ll put it back together again stronger than ever before.
Keep your head down.
And look out for number one.
These are the rules Jay has lived by for the past two years. The rules of surviving life on the streets. But when Em comes bursting into his life, in all her disastrous glory, the rules go right out the window.
Flee what's been left behind.
And never look back.
Emerson's plan was simple. Though, it was easier said than done. The city streets are dangerous and unforgiving to a new arrival. Especially, a seventeen-year-old girl who's never known anything but life in the suburbs. Sometimes, however, what's lurking behind those white picket fences can be more frightening than any dark alley.
Both of them made the same decision when life got overwhelming - to run from their demons. Brought together by fate or circumstance, Em and Jay find the kind of love neither of them ever expected. But, when those demons come back to haunt them and their love is on the line, which instincts will they choose to follow this time...Fight or Flight?
Jamie Canosa is a full time author of YA literature, which she absolutely loves. When she’s not writing or spending time with her family, she can usually be found with her nose in a book. She currently resides in Upstate NY with her husband, and their three crazy kids . . . plus the dog, the bird, and the rabbit.
Her debut novel, Dissidence, was published in 2012 along with several novellas, including the first in her Heart and Soul series, ‘Temptation’.