Giveaways Inspirations and Influences

Guest Author and Giveaway: Sarah Rees Brennan on Inspiration and Influences

“Inspiration and Influences” is a new series of articles in which we invite authors to write guest posts talking about their …..well, Inspiration and Influences. The cool thing is that the writers are given free reign so they can go wild and write about anything they want. It can be about their new book, series or about their career as a whole.

Today’s lovely guest is Sarah Rees Brennan, debut author of the fabulous The Demon’s Lexicon (reviewed by Ana here which has a most intriguing main character: a boy named Nick.

The Demon’s Lexicon is Sarah Rees Brennan’s first novel , the first in a trilogy, and here is what she has to say about writing it.

Inspiration and Influences: Sarah Rees Brennan

Here we have Ed Westwick, smouldering like a napkin placed on a hot stove and playing Heathcliff later this year,

Toby Stephens playing Rochester in the latest Jane Eyre,

and of course the inimitable, the irresistible, the slightly damp Colin Firth as the One True Mr Darcy.

‘Well, we appreciate the pictures of handsome men and everything, Sarah’ you might say, ‘But we were under the impression you were here to talk about your book?’

And I am! These three fictional guys have had a profound influence not only on my book, but on ALL books. Think about how many dark, mysterious and silent, bad-tempered but extremely foxy strangers we see in romance, in fantasy, in historical novels and in space.

I thought of them, and then I wondered what was actually going on inside the head of one of those tall dark strangers. So I decided to write from inside the head of That Guy – surly, silent and… in keeping with the tradition… English. (Since I’m from Ireland, it really wasn’t much of a stretch.)

One of the very first things I learned inside Nick’s head was, of course, that he found everyone else was as mysterious as they found him. (Also, he wondered why they all talked so much.)

Another thing about the source material heroes is that they were really edgy. The modern versions might just be concealing their inner pain, but the original type was honestly mad, bad and dangerous to know. Darcy, well, he was just sulky at parties, but Heathcliff hanged puppies. And as for Mr Rochester, even if you overlook the whole ‘secreted first wife in the attic’ business, I was always a bit concerned about the cross-dressing.

Nick is not into puppy hanging or cross-dressing, I promise, but I did want to make the point that guys who behave like this – well, they’re messed up. Heathcliff could certainly have done with therapy. Loving a boy like this is hard to do. ‘Your love is like a knife, baby,’ you would say to him. And then: ‘Oh no, wait, that actually is a knife. Oh my God, PUT THE KNIFE DOWN.’

And yet, even now, those heroes are compelling. The Big Three started a Tall Dark and Handsomely Withdrawn movement that shows no sign of faltering more than a century later. I wanted to portray a guy like that unflinchingly, taking him apart from the inside out, and still… with luck… create a character who compelled readers.

More traditional influences than hot guys: books, plays, and mythology! The world of The Demon’s Lexicon is a contemporary England, with run-down houses and overgrown back gardens – and a darker world lying side by side with ours. I wanted to make the world layered, and convincing, so I combed through myths and literature to find ingredients to use. I read the Hexenhammer, an old German text which warns about witches, and the deals they make with devils.

I found out that in Elizabethan times people thought demons were made of air, and so Ariel of the Tempest would have been recognised by an Elizabethan audience as a demon – in ancient Sumer, they thought demons were made of fire and humans were made of earth.

And I’ve always been annoyed by the phantom incomes that some people in books have – they work as a bouncer and can afford a roomy flat in the city, things like that, and yet the heroes of my story need weapons to fight off their enemies. Weapons are expensive. So I figured that if magicians really existed, there’d be a resistance – and there would also be a black market of magical objects, and I mixed the two, and had the market named after Christina Rossetti’s lovely poem of a market selling dangerous, magical fruit.

Signposting all of this via a hero who doesn’t read is a little tricky, though. At one point Nick is bored by the mention of ‘the beautiful poetry of Christina Risotto.’

My other influences were, I admit, wish fulfillment. I studied fencing in school, and I’ve always loved dancing. I am profoundly and terribly bad at them,.

So my hero can’t sing, can dance, and can handle a sword more than a little. And both dancing and swordfighting are an intrinsic part of the book. I’m sly like that…

Thanks very much, book smugglers, for having me!


Thanks very much, Sarah, for saying yes and for the fascinating article!

Now for the giveaway:

Sarah Rees Brennan is generously offering five copies her book The Demon’s Lexicon and a goodies bag with: the audio book, a sterling silver knife charm, and different-coloured bookmarks with quotes from different characters on them.

To enter, just a leave a comment on this post, answering: What is your Favourite Book Character? The contest is open to all and will run till Saturday 13th June. We will (randomly) pick six winners and announce them on our Sunday Stash. Good luck!

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  • heidenkind
    June 8, 2009 at 12:59 am

    That’s a really, really difficult question. I have a whole cadre of characters of love. 🙂 But today I think I’m going to go with Eugenides from Megan Whalen Turner’s YA series. Just ’cause. 🙂

  • Ana
    June 8, 2009 at 1:27 am

    Heidenkind – thanks for the comment. You know, you are NOT the first person to speak of Eugenides. I have The Thief set to be read in a few weeks. I can’t wait.

  • Tia Nevitt
    June 8, 2009 at 2:07 am

    Wow; just one book character? I really loved Lancelot from The Once and Future King. I hope you did too!

    I almost mentioned Jean Valjean from Les Miz, but he’s almost too good. Lancelot had some flaws.

  • Maija P.
    June 8, 2009 at 2:43 am

    I loved reading The Sharing Knife series by Lois McMaster Bujold. Dag was such an intriguing character: quiet, thoughtful, older man who only spoke when he had something meaningful to say.

  • Sarah Kay
    June 8, 2009 at 3:21 am

    I love Liesel in the Book Thief by Markus Zusak.

  • Leslee
    June 8, 2009 at 4:07 am

    Well, that is a tough question but I would have to say it is a tie between Daemon from The Black Jewels Trilogy by Anne Bishop and Jack Winter from Street Magic by Caitlin Kittredge for male character. For women it would be Corine Solomon from Blue Diablo and Jane Jameson from Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs by Molly Harper. But I have so many favorite characters that I could go on… and on…

  • Mandi
    June 8, 2009 at 4:32 am

    It is hard to pick just one, so I will pick two from my favorites..Mercy Thompson from Patricia Briggs and Bones from Jeaniene Frost.

  • Belinda m
    June 8, 2009 at 4:47 am

    It is so tough to pick just one! I guess that it would have to be one of the popular ones that made it over from book to movie, Jason Bourne

    “Canadian Contests, Freebies, Coupons, Deals, Games and Fun:”

  • Kimberly B.
    June 8, 2009 at 5:09 am

    I have way too many favorite characters to choose just one, but I always keep coming back to Anne Shirley from the Anne of Green Gables books. I never had her spunk, but we have similar imaginations, I think!

  • katiebabs
    June 8, 2009 at 5:25 am

    Favorite book character? This is a hard one! I would have to pick the one character that made an impression on me when I was 16 and still does and that would have to be Jane Eyre. Strong, smart and she ends up with the mysterious foxy stranger at the end.

  • Llehn
    June 8, 2009 at 5:40 am

    Hermione Granger from Harry Potter!!!

  • Courtney Milan
    June 8, 2009 at 5:47 am

    One favorite book character? Hm. So hard. So many choices. I think I’m going to have to go with Li Kao from Bridge of Birds, which is only one of the best books ever written, and which almost nobody has read.

    (Don’t enter me in the giveaway for the books, as I got The Demon’s Lexicon the day it came out–but sterling silver knife charm? Oh yes, please!)

  • Elaine G
    June 8, 2009 at 5:49 am

    Please enter me in the contest.
    Favorrite book character..tough decision,I’m gonna go with Riley Jensen from Keri Arthur books.

  • KMont
    June 8, 2009 at 6:08 am

    ‘Your love is like a knife, baby,’ you would say to him. And then: ‘Oh no, wait, that actually is a knife. Oh my God, PUT THE KNIFE DOWN.’

    Because I’m at least one quarter evil, this part really made me chuckle.

    Don’t enter me in the giveaway, please, I got my ARC the day the book released. I hope to get on it REALLY SOON. All the excitement around this place has got me eager to read it.

    This was a great post, thanks for sharing your thoughts behind the book!

  • Karen Mahoney
    June 8, 2009 at 6:44 am

    AWESOME post! Thanks Sarah & the wonderful Book Smugglers. 🙂

    *sigh* Mr. Rochester will always have my heart…

  • Teresa W.
    June 8, 2009 at 7:27 am

    I’m going to go with Stephanie Plum, love that series and I always get a laugh out of the reads!

  • April
    June 8, 2009 at 8:14 am

    I have so many favorite characters. The one that pops out in my mind at the moment is Edward from Twilight.
    Great post and great giveaway! Thanks!

  • Tiah
    June 8, 2009 at 8:21 am

    Mercy Thompson by Patricia Briggs, I love her.

  • Elyane
    June 8, 2009 at 8:27 am

    It’s a tie between Acheron the dark Hunter or Eric Northman southern vampires.

    Great giveaway count me in.

  • Vanessa
    June 8, 2009 at 8:28 am

    I’m going to have to go with Legolas from LOTR today – lol. Though I can’t say it’s always the same…

  • Neil Ford
    June 8, 2009 at 8:35 am

    Oooh, a hard one.

    I’m going to plump for Harry Harrison’s Stainless Steel Rat. Read the books as a teenager and to this day still have fond memories of the hours spent with them.

    – Neil.

  • Gilgamesh
    June 8, 2009 at 8:38 am

    The first character that comes to my mind is “Fitz Chivalry” from Robin Hobb’s Farseer Trilogy.

  • Cindy Irish
    June 8, 2009 at 8:42 am

    My ulitmate favorite character of all time is:

    Ebenezer Scrooge

    I have many favorite but Srooge wins hands down.

  • Nymeth
    June 8, 2009 at 8:45 am

    It’s hard to pick just one, but I think I’ll go with Death from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld.

  • Ana
    June 8, 2009 at 8:49 am

    Oh, so many characters I don’t know!! Writing it all down for future reference. thanks for all the comments so far!

  • Ruth
    June 8, 2009 at 8:57 am

    Too many characters I love, but I chose for this comment Senneth from Sharon Shinn’s Twelve Houses.

  • Karin
    June 8, 2009 at 8:58 am

    I really enjoyed your comments. The really fun part was trying to think of where these demons get their money for all the things they have! They must have a job that pays well but has no office hours :>) Thanks again.

  • Anonymous
    June 8, 2009 at 9:19 am

    Hi Ms. Brennan,
    It’s funny reading all the comments posted knowing that everyone struggled over their favorite character. Mine has been, is & always will be a NO BRAINER–“Edmond Dantes” from drum roll please “The Count of Monte Cristo.”:D

  • Susan S.
    June 8, 2009 at 9:21 am

    OOOOPPPPPSSSS!!!guess I got all hot & bothered thinking of my Edmond Dantes that I forgot to leave my name ha,ha I have the e-book, the print unabridged & the print abridged not to mention the movies.

  • Nicole D
    June 8, 2009 at 9:26 am

    That is a tough question so I am going back to my very first favorite book character which was Ella from Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine.

  • babygirlG
    June 8, 2009 at 9:45 am

    Bod from The Graveyard Book!

  • Jacqueline L.
    June 8, 2009 at 9:45 am

    the inimitable, the irresistible, the slightly damp Colin Firth as the One True Mr Darcy


    *cough* Where was I? Oh yes, favourite character. That would be Sira from Julie E. Czerneda’s Trade Pact trilogy. If I were allowed another, I’d pick Miles from Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan Saga as my favourite male character. If we’re talking types, sometimes I lean towards characters who are clever and can do things for themselves, perhaps with a dash of sarcasm, spunk and irreverence.

  • Tessa
    June 8, 2009 at 9:45 am

    My favorite character is Eve Dallas from JD Robb’s In Death books, but this is a really hard question – there are so many that I love!

  • MaryK
    June 8, 2009 at 10:03 am

    Hmm. I think my favorite book character is Sir Percy Blakeney. You know, you can pull a lot of modern romance themes out of that book: Big Mis, Marriage in Trouble, Secret Identity. I’ve never thought of that before.

  • FD
    June 8, 2009 at 11:01 am

    Oh god. I’m a cliché, but if I have to narrow it down to only one, it has to be Miles Vorkosigan. I like competent, but real characters, with flaws. And authors who aren’t afraid to bring the funny and the ow in the same sentence.

  • Tiah
    June 8, 2009 at 11:33 am

    Bridge of Birds? I’m going to check it out.

  • Angie
    June 8, 2009 at 11:33 am

    Thanks so much for the awesome post, Ms. Brennan. I’m really looking forward to this book. As for favorite character? Um. *flails* Meg Powers from Ellen Emerson White’s President’s Daughter series? Senneth and Tayse from Sharon Shinn’s Twelve Houses series? Bran and Liadan from Son of the Shadows by Juliet Marillier? Poe from Diana Peterfreund’s Ivy League series? Uh, okay, I’ll stop for now…

    Anagirl, cannot wait for you to read The Thief. You need to have The Queen of Attolia on your nighstand, though, when you finish it. You know, so you can dive right in. It’s the only civilized thing to do. 😉

  • Erika
    June 8, 2009 at 11:40 am

    Great interview!! I think my first favorite character was Wilbur from Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White. He was everything I was when I read the book: young, innocent, and a bit of a crybaby. I could totally relate. 😉

  • Li
    June 8, 2009 at 11:49 am

    I can’t choose just one!

    Reading through the comments, I’m going to say *one* of my favourites is Miles Vorkosigan (also because I’m re-reading Young Miles at the mo).

    Forward momentum and all that 😉

  • Ana
    June 8, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    Angie: I have all three books! I honestly can not wait. They will be part of our YA Appreciation Month , so I will def have them read by July.

    also did you read about a fourth books in the series?

  • veedee
    June 8, 2009 at 12:28 pm

    Sir Alistair Munroe from Elizabeth Hoyt’s To Beguile a Beast!

  • Sara M
    June 8, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    My favorite book characters (I could only narrow it down to _) are:

    Carter (the Angel) from Richelle Mead’s Georgina Kincaid series
    Stefan from Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series
    Faythe from Rachel Vincent’s Werecats series

  • Judi
    June 8, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    I have so many favorite book characters that I can’t even begin to name them all! A few that come to mind are: Jeaniene Frost’s – Bones, Adrian Phoenix’s – Dante, Jaye Well’s – Giguhl, Chloe Neill’s – Merit, Jennifer Rardin’s – Jaz, PC & Kristin Cast’s Zoey, and Lili St. Crow’s – Dru. 😀

  • Alexa
    June 8, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    My favorite book character would have to be Wanda from The Host by Stephenie Meyer.

  • Danielle
    June 8, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    oh, ma, thatd a toughy. id say my favorite character is either Shadow from American Gods or Ray Signh from The Lovely Bones.

  • Danielle
    June 8, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    nope, gonna change that. WEDNESDAY from American Gods. or Mad Sweeney.

  • Laurie T
    June 8, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    Rose Hathaway from Richelle Mead’s “Vampire Academy” series is my favorite character. She can kick ass, take a hit and get back up, is loyal to her BFF Lissa, and likes to have fun. Oh, and she also loves unconditionally as Dimitri can attest to (if only from the pages of the novels). It has been a fun and sometimes heartbreaking ride watching Rose grow into a wonderful, strong young woman comfortable in her own skin. She may be fictional but she’s an example of my kind of role model. :mrgreen:

  • Tiffany M.
    June 8, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    My favorite character from a book is Rikash from Tamora Pierce’s Immortals Series. No other character from a book has stayed with the me the way he has.

  • Angie
    June 8, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    Ana, yes! Cannot wait for A CONSPIRACY OF KINGS! *dies*

  • Renee
    June 8, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    Hard to choose, but the first one that came to mind was Mercy Thompson from the Patricia Briggs series.

    Great interview! I’m totally intrigued by the book!

  • Kristen
    June 8, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    That’s a tough question. I have several favorite characters but my favorite at the moment is Mildmay from Sarah Monette’s The Doctrine of Labyrinth series.

  • Kitten22
    June 8, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    This looks great! Please enter me!

    My favorite book character of the moment is Agatha Raisin.


  • Temoca
    June 8, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    Today, my one character pick is Jace from the Mortal Instruments series, City of Bones. He’s a cocky little rebel that does have a vulnerable sensitive side in the end, besides the image I have of him in my mind is yummy!

    But ask me this tomorrow and I’m sure my favorite will change=)

  • Sarah
    June 8, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    What is your Favourite Book Character?

    Matilda from Matilda by Roald Dahl. She was such an inspiration to me as a child. I would sit on my bed staring at things to try to make them move with my mind. Never worked but it certainly gave me an afternoon or two’s worth of fun.

    I have so many other favorite characters that I’d take me a month to list them all off but she still sticks out in my mind. And the horrible Mrs. Trunchabull.

    fun contest and great answers from the author! I enjoyed the pictures too. 😀

  • Jessica Scott
    June 8, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    Lessa from Anne McCaffreys Dragonflight. A scared and flawed heroine who watches the murder of her entire family and survived to extract her revenge.

  • Brooke Reviews
    June 8, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    That’s a toughie! My faaavorite book character…Jo March? 🙂 Gotta love Little Women. I hated Amy. lol

  • orannia
    June 8, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    Fascinating post Sarah – thank you! And all the best for the release of The Demon’s Lexicon 🙂

    As for my favourite characters….hmmm. Such a difficult question as it keeps changing depending on what I am reading! I think (today anyway 🙂 ) it is a tie between Vanyel from Mercedes Lackey’s Last Herald Mage and Felix from Sarah Monette’s The Doctrine of Labyrinth series. I know, two completely different characters. What can I say 🙂

  • abbey
    June 8, 2009 at 5:32 pm

    Great interview. My favorite would be Temeraire from Naomi Novik’s dragon series.

  • stezton
    June 8, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    Kinsey Millhone from Sue Grafton’s Alphabet Mysteries.

  • Samantha
    June 8, 2009 at 6:28 pm

    Wow, no easy answers for that one, hmmm….

    I’d have to say Juliet Marillier’s Liadan from Son of the Shadows or Garth Nix’s Sabriel.

    Oh, and I love Rhuan from Jennifer Roberson’s Karavans series!!

  • Rob Charron
    June 8, 2009 at 6:49 pm

    Hi 🙂
    Thanks for the great blog. Your book The Demon’s Lexicon sounds very interesting & unique. I’ll be sure to read to it!
    My favorite character? Of all time? That’s like asking which of my children I love the most. They are all equally loved. But if I had to choose, I would have to say Killashandra of The Crystal Singer by Anne McCaffrey as that is the book I’ve re-read most often just for that character.
    Love From Canada

  • bridget3420
    June 8, 2009 at 6:52 pm

    My favorite book character is Rachel Morgan from the Hollows series by Kim Harrison

  • FantasyDreamer
    June 8, 2009 at 6:59 pm

    Just one, huh? Well, since I’m engrossed in the Mercy Thompson books by Patricia Briggs right now and lovin’ them, I’m going to pick Mercy Thompson.

    Great post, really enjoyed it! Thank you!

  • Sara
    June 8, 2009 at 7:04 pm

    I’d have to say my favorite book character is Miach of Neroche from The Nine Kingdoms books.

    And coming in at a close second, Rain from the Tairen Soul books 🙂

  • Rebekah
    June 8, 2009 at 7:29 pm

    Ooh, too many choices, too many choices! Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe from Anne of Green Gables (tie) As a young girl, Gilbert was my first character crush, and I loved the trouble Anne got into whether she wanted to or not!! I felt like her. Life was always a comedy of errors and never quite fell fairly on my side.

    I still re-read this one at least once a year!

  • Catch This Article! Sarah Rees Brennan on Inspiration « writefly.
    June 8, 2009 at 7:52 pm

    […] Catch This Article!, Writing Tips and Instruction on June 8, 2009 at 7:52 pm The fabulous gals at Book Smugglers have an amazing author chat online now with the adorable Sarah Rees Brennan , author of the highly […]

  • Kuri
    June 8, 2009 at 8:23 pm

    I can’t wait to read Demon’s Lexicon!

    And favorite book character…this is so hard. I think I have to go with Granny Weatherwax from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld. Tough old ladies for the win.

  • Lexie C.
    June 8, 2009 at 8:33 pm

    My favorite book character would have to be Yelena (from the Poison Study series) or the Rowan (from the Tower and Hive books by Anne McCaffrey). They are both rather feisty and fun and give their men hell!

    (also…yummy yummu ed westwick brooding)

  • Cassie
    June 8, 2009 at 9:13 pm

    I really love Rose from Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy books. She is an awesome combination of adult and girl, hero and self-absorbed teen…the same combo that made Buffy so great!

  • Lori T
    June 8, 2009 at 9:55 pm

    I think that my favorite right now is Mercy Thompson from Patrcia Brigg’s series. I just love this series.

    I would love to be entered and The Demon’s Lexicon sounds really great. Great interview.

  • Donna S
    June 8, 2009 at 10:02 pm

    Just one. So not an easy question, there are so many great characters. Im going to have to say one of my top fav’s is Eve Dallas from the In Death books.

  • Robyn B
    June 8, 2009 at 10:15 pm

    Pick only favorite character…that’s so hard. I guess I would have to pick Henry Tilney from Northanger Abbey.

    Great interview 😀

  • MeganS.
    June 8, 2009 at 10:15 pm

    I see I’m not the only one, but Jo from Little Women has been my favorite book character for a long, long time now.

  • Kate A
    June 9, 2009 at 1:01 am

    Cat from Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress series

  • LadyVampire2u
    June 9, 2009 at 2:37 am

    Wonderful post! Would love to read this book.
    One of my favorite characters in a book would have to be Harry Dresden of the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher.

  • Eva S
    June 9, 2009 at 3:11 am

    My favorite is Daemon from The Black Jewels Trilogy by Anne Bishop.

  • Nadia
    June 9, 2009 at 3:44 am

    What is your Favourite Book Character?

    Ohh…I have so many, but probably Heathcliff.

  • Calcamanin
    June 9, 2009 at 5:43 am

    Favorite character…
    Desiree (from homonimous Annamarie Selinko’s novel)
    or Anna from “Cry Wolf” by P. Briggs

  • chris swan
    June 9, 2009 at 6:01 am

    WOW tough question. I guess Jo from Little Women and I like Kate Scarpetta too.

  • Faith
    June 9, 2009 at 7:42 am

    What a hard question. I could name one from every genre I read? hahha. nope. I’ll just stick to YA at the moment. Since I have an arc of “Fire” waiting for me at work, I’d have to say Katsa from “Graceling.” Strong and independent is generally what I look for in my fav. characters.

  • Jen
    June 9, 2009 at 9:12 am

    At the moment my favorite book character is Joanne Baldwin from Rachel Caine’s Weather Warden series. She’s fierce, tough, loves fast cars and designer shoes. What’s not to love?!

    Thanks for the great giveaway!


  • Christine
    June 9, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    My favorite book character is Anita Blake, vampire hunter. She’s tough and she has men falling at her feet wherever she goes. Well, paranormal men. Regular men are just bitter with jealousy.

  • Vorkosigrrl
    June 9, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    I’m thrilled to see a few others who named Lois McMaster Bujold’s Miles Vorkosigan as their favorite! Miles is mine, too. Second place would have to go to Ista of Bujold’s Paladin of Souls.

  • Kris
    June 9, 2009 at 1:07 pm

    My favorite character would be Zora. She is the heroine of a book called DIE ROTE ZORA (The Red Zora) by Swiss author Kurt Held. I also like Pippi Longstocking. I guess I go for red haired rebellious girls 🙂

  • Matthew Imrie
    June 9, 2009 at 1:13 pm

    My favourite character is the wise-cracking wizard Private Investigator Harry Dresden from Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series

  • Kris
    June 9, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    Great post.

    “Loving a boy like this is hard to do. ‘Your love is like a knife, baby,’ you would say to him. And then: ‘Oh no, wait, that actually is a knife. Oh my God, PUT THE KNIFE DOWN.’

    This made me LOL. Therapy indeed.

    A favourite character? Probably Samuel Vimes from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld. He’s such a snarky bugger. 🙂

  • Beverly
    June 9, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    One of my favorite characters would have to be Yelena from Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder. From a traumatic childhood emerges a strong and determined young woman who never ceases to amaze me. Granted there are many others whom I’ve come to love, but she comes to mind first.

  • Sarah N.
    June 9, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    What a great article! Thank you so much for the insights into Nick’s character; totally cannot WAIT to read the book.

    Favorite character, hmm? Too many to count but for today I shall have to go with Roarke from J.D. Robb’s In Death series. Cheers!

  • blodeuedd
    June 10, 2009 at 6:19 am

    Pick one…too hard!! But ok, I love Bridget Jones. She is so funny and totally me.
    Not to mention that Colin Firth is in teh movie 😉

  • gaby317
    June 10, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    thank you for this contest. i would love to win!

    favorite book character? i think it is tavi from jim butcher’s codex alera series. he’s always so honorable and gutsy – can’t help cheering for him.

    gaby317nyc AT gmail DOT com

  • Christina G
    June 11, 2009 at 7:57 am

    This is a tough one and I can’t just pick one! Some of my favorite characters are: Adrian Phoenix’s – Dante, Twilight’s – Edward, Vampire Acad. – Rose, and Casa Dracula series – Milagro.

    Thanks for the great give away!

  • Sookie Fan
    June 11, 2009 at 3:53 pm

    Why Sookie Stackhouse of course!

    And Mercy Thompson, Rachel Morgan, and Cassandra Palmer.

  • willaful
    June 11, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    Oh man, this is just mean! But I’m going to go with Gaaron from Angelica by Sharon Shinn, because a million other people picked Miles and also because I push that book every chance I get. 😉 And he is so noble and vulnerable and puts everybody ahead of himself leaving him all sad and isolated, sniff.

  • RFLong
    June 12, 2009 at 3:05 am

    That is such a tough question, as everyone has said.

    After a lot of deliberation: Aragon from Lord of the Rings. Not just for Viggo Mortensen. Honest…

  • Adele
    June 12, 2009 at 3:10 am

    Weirdly, that is the first picture I have seen that made me think that Ed Westwick was attractive lol. Great interview!

    My favourite character would be a toss up between the very predictable Elizabeth Bennett and Anne of Green Gables – both female protagonists with the strength of conviction and of themselves. Also, any girl that can brandish a slate as a weapon has my heart!

  • Sara Lindsey
    June 12, 2009 at 3:42 am

    Tough question!
    Angie, so thrilled to see someone else obsessed with Ellen Emerson White’s Meg Powers!
    Absolute favorite character of all time has to be Princess Amy from M. M. Kaye’s The Ordinary Princess.

  • Gemma
    June 12, 2009 at 3:55 am

    Oh, just one character, I am not sure I can so I am going with the character of the moment which has to be Todd in Patrick Ness’ ‘Knife of never letting go’ took me ages to get into it but now I am there it’s just an amazing book…

  • Paul Carroll
    June 12, 2009 at 4:02 am

    My favourite character in a book is a toss up between Sunny Baudelaire from A Series of Unfortunate Events, for being the most charming baby in fiction, Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird for being the best fictional dad ever, and Skellig for being the most vile, yet wonderful angel-birdman thing ever!

  • hagelrat
    June 12, 2009 at 4:46 am

    Memememememee. Awesome contest! :mrgreen:

  • Stephanie
    June 12, 2009 at 6:15 am

    My favorite book character is Charlie from The Perks of Being a Wallflower!

  • Alex
    June 12, 2009 at 6:46 am

    I gotta go with Matt Cauthon from Robert Joran’s Wheel of time series.

    He’s an accidental hero and seems to have a direct courtship with Lady Luck which are both great concepts.

  • dimestore_romeo
    June 12, 2009 at 10:42 am

    My favourite book character has to be Magnus Bane from Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments. He is just sooooooo sparkly and fabulous. <3

  • Scott
    June 12, 2009 at 10:45 am

    I’d have to say that my favorite fictional character these days is Imriel de la Courcel from Jacqueline Carey’s second Kushiel trilogy. There’s just something about him that really resonates with me.

  • Amy
    June 12, 2009 at 10:47 am

    I really love Norah Silverberg right now, from “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist”

  • BladesoftheValkyrie
    June 12, 2009 at 10:47 am

    Tough question. I’m going to have to say Ella from “Ella Enchanted.” That was one of my favorite books as a child, and Ella is just such a fantastic, independent, adventurous character. “Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher” was another great one, though. There are so many good books! 🙂

  • Xiao
    June 12, 2009 at 10:52 am

    This is such a tough question because as soon as you pick one, you end up thinking of dozen other characters you’re neglecting by singling out the first. And neglecting the characters kind of makes me feel like I’m withholding the spotlight from the wonderful worlds and enthralling books that they inhabit.

    I guess I’ll be sneaky and fence-sitting with this then and say that my favourite character is Scheherazade because not only does she kick arse by resorting to her intellect and gift with words, choosing her means that I can simultaneously embrace all the tales she tells over those 1001 nights and I don’t have to limit myself to a single influential story that drew my attention to a character, but a whole host of stories within stories to pore over.

  • lemonsquid
    June 12, 2009 at 10:58 am

    Miles Vorkosigan from Bujold’s series. Smart-talking midgets forever! 🙂

    …Either that, or by now, Nick Ryves from the Demon’s Lexicon.

  • Foxglove
    June 12, 2009 at 10:58 am

    My favourite book character ever would have to be Anne of Green Gables. I love many others, but I always return to her.

  • Jennifer
    June 12, 2009 at 11:06 am

    Well, it changes periodically, I think. Today, my favorite character is Laurence from His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik, although tomorrow it will probably be someone else.

  • Lindt
    June 12, 2009 at 11:08 am

    Bold of the “Animals of Farthing Wood” series. Yes, still!

  • Leah
    June 12, 2009 at 11:08 am

    Scout from To Kill A Mockingbird, hands down.

  • Ann Lewis
    June 12, 2009 at 11:10 am

    I can not pick one favorite book for my whole life, but my very first sf book and the one that kind of kicked off that whole facet of my life was The Forgotten Door by someone Alexander. Story of a boy falling through a door from his world, where there is no such thing as war or hatred, into the lovely (then-) present day America. Fantastic idea.

  • Ann Lewis
    June 12, 2009 at 11:10 am

    Sorry, so I meant that my favorite character from that time is Jon from The Forgotten Door.

  • Lex
    June 12, 2009 at 11:15 am

    While I think this question is impossible because I can’t finish a book unless there is at least one character I am absolutely in love with, I will do my best!

    I think I’m going to have to with Alanna from Tamora Pierce’s Song of the Lioness Quartet. This was the first series I ever read over and over, I think mostly because the main character – Alanna – was a willful, feisty, vertically challenged redhead who hated the cold and wanted to be a boy, back in the day when I was also all of these things, and I felt an immediate kinship to her that warmed me. I love all of Tamora Pierce’s books, but Alanna will always hold a special place in my heart.

  • Liyana
    June 12, 2009 at 11:19 am

    My favourite book character is Artemis Fowl. He’s a sarcastic genius, and it doesn’t get any better than that. 😉

  • Mirella Matías
    June 12, 2009 at 11:28 am

    Now that is a difficult one because I have lots of characters I love, and from every book I read, I’ll have one or two characters who will join that list.
    That said, my favourite character could be Juan Pablo Castel from Ernesto Sábato’s El Tunel, because as much as a total psycho he was, there were some parts of his twisted way of thinking that made such sense. But he must be a weird, awkward but damn interesting character, because the whole book is told from his point of view, or El Tunel would have been unbearable otherwise.

  • Anonymous
    June 12, 2009 at 11:36 am

    Sassinak by Anne McCaffrey. I love that she’s so far from perfect, she allows her temper to get the better of her and she can be extremely stubborn and rather judgemental at times. Yet, she is one of the strongest, most determined, and most persistent characters in fiction. She balances passion and insatiable curiosity with methodical attention to detail.

  • Ghotay
    June 12, 2009 at 11:44 am

    Great post – always great for a wannabe like me to get inside the mind of an Author 😀 And thankyou, Sarah, for giving us all opportunities to do that; I read your every journal post & every interview I can find! (Err, no I am NOT a stalker, though I am often mistaken for one.)

    LOL at Colin as the One True Mr Darcy – I’ve ALWAYS thought that, too ^_^

    As for a favourite book character… I will have to go for Kestrel from The Wind On Fire Trilogy: she always inspired me in my teens and I can’t help but admire her tenacity 😀

    Please enter me in the competition, I’m too poor to but DL for myself right now! 😥

  • mirasymphony
    June 12, 2009 at 11:46 am

    hmm. I think I have to say Ivan Vorpatril from Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan saga, my favourite books. I mean all the other characters in it are awesome, but you have to have affection for the only character than can really be considered sane.

  • mmt
    June 12, 2009 at 11:48 am

    My favorite book character is The Little Prince from the book by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. I knew the words to that book before I knew how to read because my mom would read it to me every night as a bedtime story. I also re-read it every year and keep finding new things I love about it. I can say that I’ve grown up with this book and I also hope to grow old (and hopefully wise!) with it.

  • Diana
    June 12, 2009 at 11:58 am

    That is a tough question. I’ll say Bran Davies, from The Dark is Rising sequence, because I love smarmy little boys, as indicated by other favorite characters such as Artemis Fowl and Draco Malfoy. Then again, I am also a fan of strong female characters; Karana from Island of the Blue Dolphins was one of my childhood heroes.

  • Thanh-Tam
    June 12, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    Oh, I’d love to win a copy and goodies, too!

    My favorite book character has to be Hans Hubermann from Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief. Lovely, lovely man.

  • Isi
    June 12, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    This is such a hard question! Today I think the answer will be… Crowley from Good Omens.

  • Kayleigh W.
    June 12, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    Saaski (a.k.a. Moql’nkkn) from The Moorchild by Eloise McGraw.
    I loved this book as a young teen, and some days I still find myself occasionally thumbing through it to read some of my favorite scenes — of course this normally leads to just reading the book over. ^_^

  • Sophie O-H
    June 12, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    Just one? Right now that has to be Sebastian Flyte, from Brideshead Revisited. He’s flawed, and wonderful.

  • Beth
    June 12, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    Most definitely Sabriel written by Garth Nix! She’s my favorite.

    Of course, Alanna from the Lioness series by Tamora Pierce does come pretty close in second.

  • Laura
    June 12, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    My favorite book character is Princess Cimorene from the Enchanted Forest Chronicles.

    I first read them when I was 13 or so, and I loved everything about her — her impatience, independence and desire to do everything she shouldn’t do. I loved how she snuck lessons in baking, swordfighting and magic behind her parents backs (I wanted to learn karate and vehicle maintenance, but my parents said no).

    Cimorene and the Enchanted Forest Chronicles is one of the few characters/series that I never grew out of. Every time I read it, I find new and funnier bits.

    I love the writing style, too, of course. As a close second, Morwen is one of my favorite characters, too — mainly because of the way the society of witches is set up to have certain rules and regulations in dress and manner, and I like how Morwen dismisses it all as ridiculous and unnecessary.

  • Katherine
    June 12, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    My favorite female book character is Cimorene from Patricia Wrede’s Enchanted Forest Chronicles. She’s not your typical princess:) Favorite male characters are currently tied between Harry Dresden of Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files for battered wizard detectives and Samuel Vimes from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels for determined police captains.

  • Calley
    June 12, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    I’m going to have to go with the ever-classy Crowley from Good Omens. I’m sure there’s more dashing and inspiration folks in literature, but none have ever made me laugh as hard as this demon.

  • Mary
    June 12, 2009 at 12:50 pm

    Well, *a* favorite character anyway, is Sophie from “Howl’s Moving Castle”

  • Sarah
    June 12, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    My favourite book character is probably Howl from Howl’s Moving Castle (by Diana Wynne Jones). He’s a total player, & frequently insincere, but twelve-year-old me was charmed irrevocably by his spoilt behaviour (& eventual reformation).

  • Ady
    June 12, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    Asking for a favorite character is like asking for a favorite book; depends on what I’ve read lately. 😉 So I suppose, after reading Catching Fire last week, Katniss. She really is fantastic, such a thoroughly well-done character, her faults true faults, and how can I not love a girl who’s completely oblivious to the fact that two men love her because she’s too busy being worried about more important things? 😀

  • MJ
    June 12, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    It’s always fascinating to hear about what influenced Sarah to write her book. 😀

    My favorite character would probably be Richard, the Unlucky Everydude protaganist who just wants to go home and have the world to make sense again, from Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere.

    All the other characters were great, but Richard was always so strong and kind, even when the world was falling down all around him. He was also the character that changed the most throughout the course of the book, and I loved watching him grow into a better person.

    Also, he was a bit of a whimp at first, and I am weak for that type of character.

  • Courtney
    June 12, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    Imriel de la Courcel nó Delaunay from Jacqueline Carey’s Imriel Trilogy (Kushiel’s Scion, Kushiel’s Justice, Kushiel’s Mercy). He is not a perfect character at all, he has so many problems, but he overcomes them in such a unique way: Love as thou wilt.

  • Trish Gutierrez
    June 12, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    I’d have to say that Duncan, from C. J. Cherryh’s Faded Sun Trilogy is one of my most favorite characters ever. Oddly enough, he is not dangerously brooding, but rather alarmingly self-sacrificing. Is that a near impossible task concerning the safety of mankind I spy? I must die for it!

    Suicidal heroics are annoying, but sexy.

  • maga
    June 12, 2009 at 1:54 pm


    Aah, my copy of the book is not here yet!! But I have the feeling my favourite´s going to be Nick. Though I already love Jamie, too :p

  • maga
    June 12, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    lol I thought it was about THIS book :p

    There´s no way I can answer that then… 🙁

  • nox
    June 12, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    my favorite character, tbh, would hafta be the one and only draco malfoy from the harry potter series!!

    everyone loves a snarky little loudmouth.. (;

  • Beth
    June 12, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    Hm, my favorite book character ever? That’s a tough one. There are so many books and characters that I’ve loved over the years. So I’m just going to have to go with the book that I’ve read more times than I can count, and say Lyra Silvertongue from Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy. She grew up running around a campus that I imagined like a castle, in an amazing world where your soul is a constant animal companion, and then later went off on mad adventures to save her friend and tricked the King of Bears and ruined a semi-governmental organization’s plans– and that was just the first book! 😀 She’s cunning and clever and uses these traits rather than any super-special ability to save her friends, the world, and the universe, and the trials she has to go through never fail to grab my attention.

  • Leya
    June 12, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    Lymond (from Lymond)
    Hermione (from Harry Potter)
    Artemis Fowl (by Eoin Cooper, also Irish)

    Artemis is the whole mad, bad thing with a criminal operation blackmailing fairies and he’s only twelve.

    For the purposes of this post let’s say Artemis.

    @Xiao: I like your choice of Scheherazade.

    The comments are reminding me of more books to read.

    Please enter me for goodies!

  • Chelle
    June 12, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    Chrestomanci from Diana Wynne Jones’ Chrestomanci Chronicles, especially when he’s still plain Christopher Chant in Conrad’s Fate. He’s just so sarcastic and full of himself, but well meaning under it all.

  • Charlotte
    June 12, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    Hmmm, I reckon I’ll have to go with Jane Eyre. She’s Just That Awesome, what can I say. Good job, namesake of mine! 😉

  • Nicole
    June 12, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    Hmm, this is such a tough question! I’d have to say Alanna from Tamora Pierce’s Song of the Lioness quartet. I’ve loved that series since I was a child, so it wins 🙂

  • hapax
    June 12, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    Gadzooks, just ONE? Well, right at this particular moment: male — Val Con yos’Phelium from Lee & Miller Liaden books, because he is dark, mad, dangerous, and heart-meltingly sweet. Female — hmm. Prolly Cordelia from Bujold’s Vorkosigan books, described as the one person who has gone the farthest in overcoming the universal human Will-To-Be-Stupid.

  • Lex
    June 12, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    How on earth is one supposed to pick a single favorite character? I like to share my love.

    In The Demon’s Lexicon, I’d have to go with Jamie though. He is adorable.

  • Lessa
    June 12, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    My favorite character might be Shadow, from American Gods by Neil Gaiman. But it’s a close call….

  • lecharmediscret
    June 12, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    favourite character: Frankenstein’s monster. he’s got all that psycho stuff going on without the good looks, someone has to feel for him.

  • qtey
    June 12, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    Ella from Ella Enchanted..not only is she witty, but unafraid to get what she wants!! One of my favorite books!!

  • novembersmith
    June 12, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    I went back and forth a lot, but I’m going to have to go with the character that has the most longevity for me. I love Max from Where the Wild Things Are, and I suspect I always will.

  • Laura
    June 12, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    I love Henry from Time Traveller’s Wife.

  • mindy
    June 12, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    I’ve always liked Mary from The Secret Garden in all her bad-tempered and practical glory!! When I was young, she was the first book character that really spoke to me. I loved how she was able to change for the better, without compromising her sassy nature.

  • Kelly
    June 12, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    I have to say my favorite character is Crowley from Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s Good Omens. The Fallen Angel who didn’t fall so much as saunter vaguely downward…

  • Bell Dema
    June 12, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    Eliza Bennet, obviously ^_^ Strong females FTW! Her and Elinor Dashwood have been some sort of role models for me during my teenage years. You wouldn’t see me pining for a bloke in public! But I did learn that there are more important things than what’s happening to one’s self, and since then I have always put my family and friends’ happiness first. It has worked out wonderfully.

  • Alice
    June 12, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    Wizard Howl or Wizard Jenkins or whatever his name is, from Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones. Because who doesn’t love a slightly prissy but pretty much all-powerful diva of a wizard?

  • Eva
    June 12, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    My favorite character is Granny Weatherwax, one of Terry Pratchett’s witches of Lancre. She is good, and terribly ticked off about it. She doesn’t read and is suspicious of those who do. Granny is the leader witches don’t have, holds power of social influence and knows the dangers inherent in practicing magic. In the right light and whatnot she could be called handsome by a good natured lair. What makes me love her is that she is so very, very powerful, can solve problems, extremely intelligent and yet spends most of her time trying to control herself.

  • Susie
    June 12, 2009 at 5:34 pm

    It’s hard to pick just one favorite character D: But right now, my favorite character is Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice.

  • Anonymous
    June 12, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    I love Phedre from Jaqueline Carey’s Kushiel series. Wonderful books, wonderful characters, but I love Phedre best!

  • Shannon
    June 12, 2009 at 5:39 pm

    My favorite character is Billy from E.L. Doctorow’s “Billy Bathgate.” I’ve been a bookworm my entire life, and “Billy Bathgate” was the first book I read where I literally could not read anything for an entire week after I finished it–I had to let the story settle and think about the characters. For an entire week.

    Billy is one of those characters who’s very smart. Not book-smart, but perceptive and quick, and he has a top notch survival instinct. What I love about Billy is that his intelligence isn’t trumpeted or promoted at all by the character or the storyline–he just is.

  • Eva
    June 12, 2009 at 5:40 pm

    I forgot in the process of narrowing favorite characters down to say that your influences from mythology and other characters made a lot of sense but the wish fulfillment aspect confirmed what I thought books were for. After all what is the point in being able to create a world, people and a plot if you can’t have them do the things you want to do yourself? Exactly.

  • Pam
    June 12, 2009 at 5:47 pm

    I’d have to say Eric the vampire from Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series.

  • Ruth
    June 12, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    Oh, that is really hard! It’s hard to narrow down, cos I like so many for such different reasons… but I’m gonna go with Somerled from Juliet Marillier’s Wolfskin/Foxmask books. He was really twisted and in urgent need of some therapy, but you had to feel sorry for him cos he had such a screwed-up childhood he had severe emotional issues with women etc.

    But then he did eventually find a kind of redemption and was a good man in the end. Even if he never reached his dream of becoming a king.

    I would love to read a prequel of his childhood, or even a sequel to Foxmask explaining what happened in his childhood to screw him up so much. But that would probably make for far too disturbing a read….

    Other than Somerled, probably Eliza Bennet (Pride and Prejudice) for her courage and determination or Freddy Standen (Cotillion, by Georgette Heyer) for being the sweetest, most hopelessly unromantic but most genuine hero. 🙂

  • Heidi
    June 12, 2009 at 6:11 pm

    Ael from Diane Duane’s Rihannsu series, the first character that I read that really jumped out at me 🙂

  • Collette
    June 12, 2009 at 6:20 pm

    Holy cow–I’ve actually put off answering this until today because I literally went slack-jawed at the thought of picking just one. (Nice visual, huh? Yeah, I looked charming.) I’m still having a hard time. But, since this quiz isn’t for credit 🙂 I’ll just go ahead and say that my most recent crush is Ian Mackenzie from Jennifer Ashley’s The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie.

  • Ruth
    June 12, 2009 at 6:22 pm

    Wait, what? Courage and determination? I mean, I’m sure Eliza would have had both, but that’s not what I like her. I was totally thinking of something else when I wrote that, so my brain must have just gone into autopilot and wrote something that sounded good.

    That’s kinda weird.

    Oh well.

  • checkers
    June 12, 2009 at 6:28 pm

    I’m not being very original here, but I’ll have to agree with some others–Eugenides from the Attolia books is my favorite. I enjoyed looking at all your smoldering men, though.

  • Yen
    June 12, 2009 at 6:30 pm

    I would have to say Felix Harrowgate in the Labyrinthine series, by Sarah Monette.

    He is complex, but simple, he is broken, damaged, tortured, and he breaks, damages, tortures others. But deep inside, he is innocent, kind, clumsy, and lovable. He is the most interesting character I have EVER read, and the series is amazing, as well.

    I’m looking forward to the Demon’s Lexicon! Nick sounds like the character I look for in books: a mixture of Mr. Darcy and Heathcliff. I am intrigued from the start 😀

  • Nicole Field
    June 12, 2009 at 6:49 pm

    Like Sarah, I’m into the mad, bad and dangerous to know types. I looked into Lord Byron -the man who started it all- expecting that i would find his life more interesting than his writing, but, right now at least, I’m loving his main character of Don Juan.

    And, of course, I’m a woman, so I love Mr. Darcy.

  • Hakkaiduo
    June 12, 2009 at 6:56 pm

    Hm… That is very difficult, because I tend to fall in love with almost all the characters I read. But I would have to say my Most favorite character at the moment is Jaxom from the Dragon Riders of Pern series, I don’t understand why. But he is just awesome ^.^

  • Mezzolite
    June 12, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    I love Torin Kerr from The Valor series by Tanya Huff. There are a lot of strong female characters in Tanya’s books, but Kerr is pretty much the most kick ass. I like that she’s realistically awesome, she keeps going against great odds and kicks ass in an entirely plausible way.

    Can’t wait to read this book, finally able to run to the bookstore for a copy!

  • Karisha
    June 12, 2009 at 7:43 pm

    Hmm… This is quite hard. I’m torn between Crowley from Good Omens, and Roland of Gilead, from the Dark Tower series.

  • Lol
    June 12, 2009 at 8:06 pm

    I don’t have a favourite character but I do have a favourite literary crush, and that’s Thomas Mendip, from Christopher Fry’s play The Lady’s Not for Burning. Thomas is a disillusioned idealist, one of my favourite types. He’s like a cross between Hamlet and Benedic from Much Ado About Nothing with a touch of Hamlet’s drama and despair and even more of his wit and capacity for mockery. He’s kind of balanced between being funny and desperately sad and while funny prevails, you can always see the tragedy through the veneer. Even thinking about some of his speeches makes me smile. It’s a good thing my battered copy is still in storage, otherwise I’d be quoting huge slabs.

  • Allison
    June 12, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    Favorite character. Hmm. Here’s a handful, from which I would probably select one if you held a gun to my head…

    Morgaine, from Cherryh’s _The Gate of Ivrel_ and sequels
    Sam, from Tad Williams’ _Otherland_
    Innowen, from Robin Wayne Bailey’s _Shadowdance_
    Sybel, from Patricia McKillip’s _Forgotten Beasts of Eld

  • Kat
    June 12, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    GAH ask me that question why don’t you. Currently I’d have to say my favorite book character is the smart-aleck, fast-talking, uncomfortable to know but always vastly entertaining Miles Vorkosigan, if only because he’s a hero who’s genuinely physically handicapped and hasn’t let it slow him down at all. Also because he’s a wiseass. Also because he’s very, very smart and curiously stupid at the same time, and I know people like that. Hell, I am people like that. And I’m just going to stop talking now before I start rambling about other awesome book characters and embarrass myself.

  • Anonymous
    June 12, 2009 at 10:02 pm

    hhhmmm, based on the snippets Sarah released on her journal I’d have to say Nick is my favorite character – though I reserve the right to change my mind once I’ve actually had the chance to read the whole book 😉

  • Mel
    June 12, 2009 at 10:03 pm

    hhhmmm, based on the snippets Sarah released on her journal I’d have to say Nick is my favorite character – though I reserve the right to change my mind once I’ve actually had the chance to read the whole book 😉

  • Mel
    June 12, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    oooh damn *hides face* there needs to be a way to go back and delete comments!! Not only did I first post without filling in my details, I then went back and read other comments and realised I’d missinterpreted the question as my fav DL character, rather that character from any book ever *facepalm*.

    Umm, so, fave character ever….I’m rather fond of Laura Chant from Margaret Mahey’s ‘Changeover’, I also recently read Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments trilogy (on SRB’s recommendation) and really liked Jace, her dark and brooding hero.

  • diz_beth
    June 12, 2009 at 10:17 pm

    My ultimate favourite character is Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice. Partially because she has the same name as me, but also because of her awesome independence and brilliance of spirit 🙂

  • Pat O'Brien
    June 12, 2009 at 10:25 pm

    Delightful interview! *snorting and giggling*
    I’m steering clear of classics for my pick, and while I adore Sophie from Howl’s Moving Castle, Aragorn from LOTR and Lyra from His Dark Materials, I’m going to go with a very marginalized character. Her name is Kalix from Lonely Werewolf Girl. If anybody besides Nick ever had a heaping pile of issues to work through it’s her.

  • David
    June 12, 2009 at 11:03 pm

    Ender Wiggin!

  • Otter
    June 12, 2009 at 11:08 pm

    My favorite book character is actually two characters. In many ways they’re similar: they were written into two different books by the same author and they have the same name.

    The first is Mike from Stranger in a Strange Land: Valentine Michael Smith. The second is Mike from The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, also known as MYCROFT, Michelle, and Adam Selene. VMS was born on Mars, raised by Martians, and brought back to Earth where he promptly started a wave of enlightenment destined to divide the race in Capable and Incapable. MYCROFT is a computer, the Holmes III (maybe it was the Holmes VI, I’m not sure) who started life as a ballistics calculator for shipments from the Moon and had so many additional functions, databanks, algorithms, languages, and hardware components hooked into him that he woke up and became sentient. With the help of Prof, a teacher with an appreciation for history; Mannie, a one-armed (or ten-armed) computer technician; and Wyoh, an enthusiastic if somewhat naive activist; Mike liberates the Moon colony (once a prison colony) from the Warden and has it declared a sovereign state.

    I could probably write essays about these two characters, comparing and contrasting them endlessly, but I shan’t do so here. Just one last tidbit: the name Michael carries the meaning “Who is like God?”

  • oryzae
    June 12, 2009 at 11:31 pm

    my favorite book character at the moment would have to be Jacky Faber from Bloody Jack by L.A. Meyer.
    as for my favorite character ever.. i really can’t decide!

  • Sarahnargle
    June 13, 2009 at 12:06 am

    There are quite a few, so I’ll have to narrow it down, but I have a deep enjoyment of Amelia Peabody in the archaeology/Egyptology/mystery series of the same name, authored by Elizabeth Peters. She has an indomitable spirit, a hilarious relationship with her spouse, adopts young lovers left and right and manipulates everyone and everything to the best advantage of all without a blink. She puts the same passion into pyramids as she does into solving murders, and best of all, her deadliest weapon is the one she carries with her at all times: her parasol.

    For years, her husband plied her with jewels for the holidays, and she was fairly appreciative. But then, one year, he gives her the greatest gift of all. “Oh, Emerson!” she cried as she unwrapped and then unsheathed her sword-parasol for the first time. “It’s perfect!”

    What I wouldn’t give for a sword-parasol, or for a nineteenth book about Amelia using one.

  • Alex Cholewa
    June 13, 2009 at 12:35 am

    My favourite character is Ender Wiggin. The 40-year-old Ender Wiggin, that is, although I love the younger version as well.

  • Claire
    June 13, 2009 at 12:43 am

    Elizabeth Bennett, Pride and Prejudice – definitely relate to her amazing ability, despite being fiercely smart, to completely misread a situation and make an embarrassment of herself. Oh yes and she doesn’t simper or giggle, or flutter her fan coquettishly – she gets straight to the point.

    There are far too few Elizabeth Bennetts in books – we need more of them!

  • Chryssie
    June 13, 2009 at 1:35 am

    Hope this isn’t too late! Wasn’t sure if this was closing on Saturday 13th June or before (i.e. Friday 12 June).

    My favoorite book character is Keladry of Mindelan from The Protector of the Small quartet by Tamora Pierce. She’s compassionate, fair, quiet, strong, brave, shy, passionate & all out awesome all rolled into one! She’s a noble, but thinks equally well of commoners and animals. She’s committed to her oath of chivalry, but also loyal to her friends, and isn’t afraid to do what’s right, even if other people don’t agree. I think she’s a really strong role model for people everywhere.

  • Asia
    June 13, 2009 at 1:55 am

    My favourite character (probably) is Bartimaeus from Jonathan Stroud’s Bartimaeus trilogy. He’s hilarious and cynical (and hilariously cynical) but is still (very secretly) devoted to someone thousands of years gone, which is more than a little tragic. And he can do magic.

    Alternatively of course I might choose the infamous Humbert Humbert of Lolita fame, because although on an intellectual level he is obviously horrible and manipulative (and, well, a child-molester), I find it very hard not to inadvertently condone his behaviour. That might be more of a testament to Nabokov’s writing though.

    I suppose I have failed to choose one character. Ah well… 🙂

  • Alex
    June 13, 2009 at 2:41 am

    My favorite book character is Hermione Granger. I love strong female characters who are smart and kick ass instead of wishy washy and completely devoured by their love interest.

  • Alex
    June 13, 2009 at 4:25 am

    Gah! This is such a difficult question, for obvious reasons. But I think my favourite book character right now would have to be Eponymous Clent from Fly By Night. The rogue who’s all bluff and no bite, with a little edge of nastiness to his survival instinct. And of course, that perfect perfect name. 😀

  • Kathryn
    June 13, 2009 at 4:55 am

    Can’t wait to read the Demon’s Lexicon! I think taking the broody male hero and turning it on it’s head is a fabulous idea, I have often thought I would not have married Mr Rochester.

    My favorite character is probably Cassandra Mortmain from I Capture the Castle, she is incredibly real and complex whilst being nothing like anyone I’ve ever met.

  • Mara
    June 13, 2009 at 5:59 am

    Hi there,

    right now I finished Peeps by Scott Westerfeld and I love Cal. He’s a real freak and thus I just love him.
    But that’s right now, will probably change with the next book hehe

  • Carol Thompson
    June 13, 2009 at 6:32 am


    I have just finished reading Toll the Hounds (as well as all the other books in the Malazan Book of the Fallen series and at the moment Croaker is definitely my favourite character.

  • Michele
    June 13, 2009 at 7:55 am

    I’d pick Lu Tze from Terry Pratchett’s _Thief of Time_ (and others), but I feel almost guilty because Mr. Pratchett has done so well for himself and his fantastic, popular series.

    Instead, I’ll pick Uncle Borgel from _Borgel_ by Daniel Pinkwater, because his books are full of wonderful, interesting characters and I’ve just discovered (upon looking up the names of characters from books that I’ve always loved by haven’t read in years) that some of his books are out of print. Mr. Sandy is another favorite, from Pinkwater’s _Tooth-Gnasher Superflash_.

  • Sarah P
    June 13, 2009 at 8:28 am

    Finny, from a Separate Peace. I really identified with the main character Gene, who’s Finny’s best friend– and Finny was everything Gene sorta-kinda wanted to be. He’s carefree and doesn’t over-think everything, and he isn’t suspicious of everyone’s motives. He’s far more in-the-moment, and while I don’t want to BE him, I do really love him.

  • Caroline
    June 13, 2009 at 8:47 am

    Today I’m going to go with Sherlock Holmes. Tomorrow it will probably be somebody else.

  • ballistica
    June 13, 2009 at 9:03 am

    Polgara the Sorceress. I love it when she loses her temper, and I loved her more after the biography of her early life came out.

  • Tess Williams
    June 13, 2009 at 9:51 am

    My current favorite is Howl from Diana Wynne Jones’ “Howl’s Moving Castle” (I say current – there are so many “favorites” that I have to circulate them, giving each two weeks to a month in the spotlight).

    Howl is never anything but Howl and despite the fact that it takes about half the book for him to actually appear in the book, appear he does. By the time he appears, I feel like I already know him. He’s slippery, he’s non-committal, he’s clever, and there was never a more reluctant hero.

    He does a lot of obnoxious, complicated things (in “Castle in the Air” he turns his wife into a cat and his grouchy fire spirit into a genie to avoid capture and makes an awful mess of things while fixing them simultaneously).

    You know, I don’t even think he’s handsome. But I don’t care. He’s Howl and I love him.

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  • Caecandy
    June 13, 2009 at 10:35 am

    I admit that the first person to come to mind was Heathcliff. …I kind of like the whole ‘hanging-puppies’ thing. I am a very messed up person.

    As of right now, I’m thinking Coraline from Niel Gaiman’s book of the same name. It was one of the few books were I wasn’t screaming at the main character for being an idiot. She was all like, “Oh, so you’re my ‘other mother’? Really…? I think I’m going to get out of here…” And then, upon realizing her parents are gone, calls the POLICE! About time someone in a book did that. They don’t listen, but she tries. She then plays on her own strengths to win a game.

    She’s awesome. Sarah Rees Brennan’s writing is also awesome. (How was that for a terrible segue?) I would quite enjoy getting the goodies. I own the book, but the audiobook would make me bounce with glee.

  • Erika Brock
    June 13, 2009 at 11:18 am

    Laurence from Naomi Novik’s Temeraire books. He tries so very hard to do what is right.

  • Michelle
    June 13, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    My favourite character is Mr Darcy, as played by Colin Firth in Pride and Prejudice. It is very difficult to pick a favourite book character though, it depends on what I am reading. I have just finished the Twilight series and love Edward and Bella (although she can be slightly annoying!) I plan to read The Demon’s Lexicon next, it is sitting on the side waiting for me to start and I am sure I will love Nick as much as anyone. Then depending on what I read next, I am sure I will love somebody else. I am very fickle! 🙂

  • Carolyn H
    June 13, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    I choose Eugenides from Megan Whalen Turner’s Queen’s Thief series.

    There are so many good choices, though. I had an especially hard time deciding between Eugenides and Francis Crawford of Lymond (Dorothy Dunnett), and Jimmy the Hand (Raymond E. Feist).

  • Vedrana
    June 13, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    Easy. Miles Vorkosigan from L.M. Bujold’s Vorkosigan books. I’m also very fond of his parents Aral and Cordelia, they should get more screen time. Heathcliff over Darcy every time *owns 3 copies of Wuthering Heights*

  • Catherine Draper
    June 13, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    That is a hard question to answer. Nick is awesome and amazing but so are Alan and Jamie. I think I might lean toward Nick though. he is the awesome Badass hero but he has dyslexia! I love how all of her charachters have flaws and little details that make them real! Yes Nick is definatly my favorite.

  • Catherine Draper
    June 13, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    Oh wait a second from any book. that is a toughie. I love little asmatic arthur in keys to the kingdom by FGarth Nix, I also love Ron Weasley from Harry potter with a passion. I also love Christopher Chant from the Chrestomanci series. Then as mentioned above I love all of the charachters from Sarah Ress Brennans Books. I alsolove Nobody owens from the graveyard book. There are so many amazing charachters that it is hard to pick.

    But I think my all time favoite book charachter would have to be Howl from Diana Wynne Jones’ Howls Moving castle. I Fell in love with him in the studio Ghibli move and when I read the book it just made me love him more.

  • Kayana
    June 13, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    One character? Oh no, how is it even possible to choose? Hmm, I guess, off the top of my head, I love DEATH from the Discworld book series.

  • Samantha R
    June 13, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    My favourite character would have to be Melisande from Kushiel’s Legacy. Who can resist a villainess who does terrible things simply for a love of the game and not for power?

    Mr Darcy! *faint swoon*

  • Emily C.
    June 13, 2009 at 4:00 pm

    Oh, dear, there’s so many. But I gotta say I absolutely loved Bran and Will from The Dark is Rising. Will is just a good kid trying to do good things in the midst of great responsibility, and he gets sick and other kid-like things even while saving the world, and I always felt bad for Bran. His dog gets shot, and his father is a legendary king, and it’s sad!

  • Kristina
    June 13, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    My favorite character? That is extremely hard to say since I’ve read hundreds of books and I’ve had so many favorites. Lets see…I guess the favorite character, besides Alan from Demon’s Lexicon because can you say awesome older brother? (Yes, I have a thing for older siblings who rock since I’m one myself and they are usually portrayed, at least in fairy tales, as jealous, spiteful creatures), would be Trisana Chandler from Tamora Pierce’s Circle of Magic series. I love Trisana because I can empathize with her. She’s not a gorgeous beauty like a lot of other heroines. She’s been called plump. She’s been teased because of her weight. She’s a huge reader and she’s kind but prickly. She has a dry, sarcastic wit. Not to mention, she’s a weather witch who’s the strongest of the four. Tris totally kicks butt! 😛

  • Anonymous
    June 13, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    That’s not just a difficult question – I’d say it’s pretty much impossible since my answer changes with almost every story I read (yes, I am fickle).

    So I’m going to cheat and pick the minor character who I’d most like to see get his own book: Ivan Vorpatril from Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan Saga.

  • Pat
    June 13, 2009 at 4:47 pm

    Ok, posting anonymously doesn’t work if you want to win a book. The post about Ivan Vorpatril was me!

  • Sylv
    June 13, 2009 at 6:20 pm

    Hmm. That’s a tough one. Well. Today? Havelock Vetinari from Pratchett’s wonderful Discworld series. 🙂

  • Anonymous
    June 13, 2009 at 6:56 pm

    Hmm I would have to say my favorite character is… well, tis a tossup between Jack from Pillars of the Earth and Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables. Worlds apart in environment and personality, but they have my undying love in common!

  • Ruby
    June 13, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    Hmm I would have to say my favorite character is… well, tis a tossup between Jack from Pillars of the Earth and Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables. Worlds apart in environment and personality, but they have my undying love in common!

    (had to repost because I posted anonymously, genius that I am)

  • Lucy
    June 13, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    Sarah Rees Brennan, obviously. I have never seen her in person, so I remain convinced she must be a character created by a team of mad (and hilarious) scientists.

  • Maia
    June 13, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    The best fictional character, that touched me most, was poor Michael Henchard from Mayor of Casterbridge. He ended up paying for one mistake for the rest of his life…despite his flaws he was super sympathetic– perhaps BECAUSE of his clear imperfections as a human being.

    But then there’s Cassie from Free Food for Millionares and Seth from Wicked Lovely

  • Lane
    June 13, 2009 at 11:23 pm

    Mac from The fever series.

  • Chitra Bianca Appasamy
    June 14, 2009 at 1:26 am

    I have piles and piles of favourite book characters, but for the record I think I’ll go with Sherlock Holmes, who I think is one of the most brilliant characters ever written (and conforms somewhat to the tall, dark and mysterious type Sarah remarked upon).

    I have to confess that I had a crush on him as a kid, due to his profound awesomeness.

    BOOK: …His eyes narrowed and contracted to two blazing points of steel.
    LITTLE ME: Oooooooo.

  • Alais
    June 14, 2009 at 9:17 am

    My favorite fictional character ever is easily Phedre no Delaunay from Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel series. She’s dark-haired, dark-eyed and dangerous…kind of like Sarah’s Nick 😀

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    June 14, 2009 at 11:45 am

    […] of the questions writers get asked fairly often is who their literary influences are. I rarely know how to answer that question. Mostly because it’s usually asked about a […]

  • Rosi
    June 14, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    To my shame, at the moment I’d have to say Mildmay from Sarah Monette’s Doctrine of Labyrinths series.

  • Regina Lim
    June 15, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    oh mannn i was looking through all the comments and so many names spring up at me and made my insides tingle. I really love Eugenides, Howl, Ender Wiggin and a whole bunch of characters listed up there.

    But my no. 1 favourite right now is Dream from Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series <333

  • Nicole Czirjak
    December 18, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    Wow favorite Book Character? This could take awhile. I don’t have a favorite character but I have a favorite type. I like the bad/charming boys like: Nick – Demon’s Lexicon, Derek – The Awakening, Finnick – Catching Fire and Jace – City of Bones! But if I had to pick one

    Winner: Nick~~~~~~~

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