Saturday, December 22, 2012

LILITH: A character study of Lisa Singleton

An aircraft carrier is like a floating city—when fully loaded for battle, it can carry over 6,000 people, and with a story setting like that, it’s easy for characters to get lost in the shuffle. That’s why they have to have strong personalities.

Enter Lisa Singleton—wife, police officer, mother to be, and as strong-willed and tough as they come.

In my latest thriller, LILITH, I wanted to bring back two favorite characters from my first novel, Hunter and Lisa. Though they had some marital issues, and in fact were on the verge of divorce because of the emotional stress from Lisa’s miscarriage, they patched things up and are now ready to face the world together.

I thought it would be unique to have two main characters who kind of share the spotlight, instead of one guy or one woman. I always liked the couple in the Mummy movie franchise, the O’Donnells, because when one got in trouble, the other one would bail them out. Same principal here.

Lisa, like her husband, is bi-racial—African-American and Chinese. She is short and has frizzy, black hair, which Hunter finds very sexy. She has dark, Asian eyes and pouty lips and likes to work out, so she is muscular, but also very feminine.

Her father is a Chinese immigrant who came to America and became a police officer. He married the daughter of the chief of police, which was frowned on at first by family members on both sides, but was eventually accepted. Lisa was raised in the small town in North Carolina where she met Hunter.

After high school, Lisa’s love of animals and nature coupled with the admiration she had for her father, led her to become a park ranger. She covers the several-thousand-acre Dismal Swamp State Park on the North Carolina side of the border, just miles from where she was raised in River City.

Not only is Lisa a trained law-enforcement officer, she is a third-degree black belt in a type of Kung Fu known as Wing Chun. She also taught Hunter, who managed to earn his own black belt.

Something else Lisa learned as a park ranger was photography. She loves photographing the wild flowers and trees that grow throughout the park, as well as the bears, wildcats, deer and rabbits that inhabit it. Her proficiency with the camera was the reason Hunter was able to convince his editor at the newspaper to send her along, since their regular photographer had come down with the flu.

Hunter and Lisa go through hell in LILITH, literally, as they help the Navy fight a power that is not even supposed to exist. Lisa rides an emotional roller coaster throughout the story and must draw on the strength of her faith in God, in her husband, and in herself. She’s sly, smart and quick-witted, but far from perfect. Her flaws become apparent in LILITH, but I think you’ll find that her humanity outweighs her flaws.

Next time, we’ll take a look at the main protagonist herself: LILITH. Thanks and happy reading!