Every author has a favorite character whether they want to ‘fess up to it or not. Mine is Claire Vargas, the snarky best friend from my Zellie Wells books.
Now, my snarky best friend would say that I’m most like Zellie – Zel’s an awkward, kinda, sorta brave pastor's daughter and I attended A LOT of church when I was a teen – but I identify with Claire more. She was the easiest character for me to write.
I like to say that I started out as a Zellie and ended up as a Claire. How cool for me that I got to create them both.
You find out you have powers.
You are not awesome at them.
You’re constantly embarrassing yourself in front of the boy you like.
He secretly thinks you’re amazing, but you don’t get to find that out for five more chapters.
One or both of your parents may be dead. If they aren’t dead, then they just don’t get you.
You’re in high school.
That’s not to say that a PNR YA heroine has to be a depressed, introverted, self-hugging Debbie Downer and can’t be funny, but girlfriend’s got a lot on her plate.
SBFF (Snarky Best Friend Forevah) to the rescue!
Need to make a move at a party, but are too mortified to talk to THE boy? SBFF will deflect attention off of you with her killer dance moves and saucy talk.
Got a ballroom full of innocent bystanders unaware that you are about to have a deadly showdown with evil spirits? SBFF says, “It’s karaoke time.”
Involved in a love triangle? Let SBFF take one of those fiiiiine lads off your hands.
When Zellie finally reveals that she has visions of the future and knows how people are going to die, Claire’s first reaction to the news is, “Have you seen my death? Do I look hot? Who comes to my funeral?”
What she’s really saying is, “You’re my best friend and I already knew you were a freak. Who cares? That’s how we roll.”
Claire meddles. She jokes. She quips. She says the right wrong thing at the right wrong time.
She loves Zellie like a sister.
Claire’s super power is that she lacks embarrassment and she will only use it for good.
Without Claire, Zellie wouldn’t be as believable a character. Readers, just like in real life, learn about a person through their relationships with their friends and family. Even with all the heavy stuff going on in Zellie’s life, because of Claire we know that she’s got a sense of humor, that she’s loyal, and that she’s capable of acting exactly her age. Through Zellie we learn that Claire would do anything for her, even when she’s cracking wise.
And she’ll do that anything wearing a micro-mini and expensive sunglasses.
It’s the SBFF way.