June 21st will see the release of my 4th published solo novel, Devious Little Lies. Writing this novel pushed me to my limit in a lot of ways. For starters, it is the longest novel I've ever written. Pre-edits it was a whopping 98.3K. That's a lot of words. Add in writing it under a deadline in the middle of nursing school and I can truly say DLL was a true labor of love. It was also a labor of heart ache as well.
As some may know, I am a die hard fan of General Hospital. That soap opera has inspired more than its share of fan fiction from me. But General Hospital also created something else, a complex, beautiful but deadly "villainess" I have come to love and adore, Ava Jerome. Played by Emmy winner, Maura West, Ava is one of those characters you either hate or love. She is a mob princess, a liar, manipulator, adulteress, cradle-robber, ect. The list goes on. But Ava is also a mother, a sister, and a miraculously flawed woman and I couldn't love her more.
While I named the heroine from my first novel Dirty Little Secrets after her, my "heroine" in Devious Little Lies was without a doubt, wholeheartedly inspired by her. Rena Rosetti is not your typical novel heroine. In fact I would go so far as to say that she is not a heroine at all. What Rena is, is a multi-faceted woman who makes a lot of mistakes and does some less than stellar things. Who am I kidding? She does some terrible things.
Creating Rena was strangely cathartic. I had the freedom to tell the story of a woman who goes on the most difficult character journey I have written so far. From a woman desperately searching for her own identity to a woman who finally discovers what she really wanted all along, I'm proud to have created her. Now there are going to be people who will not like her. Some will find her off-putting and rail at the choices she makes. But regardless of that being the case, I love Rena.
Telling her story forced me to push my limits. I had to reach deep down inside of myself and realize that although the choices she makes are so far removed from who I am, that she was her own person with her own decisions to make. And make them she did with a bang.
So if you're looking for a female anti-hero not afraid to hang with "the big boys," and do WHATEVER needs to be done to get what she wants, then Rena Rosetti is the woman you've been looking for.