It’s a new year, and it’s time for more Character Focus! This time, however, interviews will offer a much more personal look into the lives of our guest characters, with additional questions being tailored specifically to the character in the spotlight.
First up, we have Sophia Beaumont with her character: Evie Capelli!
Having always lived predominantly in her imagination, Sophia Beaumont turned to writing and art at an early age. After discovering a fine art degree was not the decisive career move expected, she parlayed her artistic experience into the design of hand-knitting patterns, and now focuses her creative energies on writing fiction, primarily historical fiction and fantasy.
She resides in Ohio with two cats, more books and yarn than a sane human should reasonably have, and a burning desire to one day live in a place that has a palm tree in the front yard.
THE SPIDER’S WEB
After being released from a Toronto psych ward, Evie decides that her life needs a drastic change. Moving 500 kilometers east to stay with her aunt in Montreal, however, is not turning out as expected. Though she loves the city, she can’t outrun the problems that drove her to the edge in the first place.
Recovery might be a little easier if not for Micha. Handsome, kind, always willing to help Evie or cheer her on–and completely invisible to everyone else. He seems to think he’s some kind of guardian angel, and she might need one now that things have gone from bad to just plain weird.
It started with the spiders. Then the owls started following her. Ghosts, goddesses, and secret societies are just the icing on the cake. She’s going to need help from some very powerful friends if she wants to make it to her next birthday, but when one of those friends is the goddess of the underworld, her guardian angel might have to start working overtime.
1. Tell me a bit about your character. Who are they, how old are they? What do they look like?
Evie Cappelli is just shy of her 18th birthday when the story starts. Born and raised in Toronto, she’s 3rd generation Italian-Canadian, so she’s got the whole Mediterranean look going–olive skin, black hair. 5’7″, with grey-blue eyes.
2. Do they have any strange or unique physical traits?
In The Spider’s Web, Evie has recently been released from an in-patient mental health facility. She’s still on the road to recovery, and very self conscious. Even in summer, she wears long sleeves or arm warmers to cover the scars on her wrists. She usually wears black, just because it’s easy to care for and she doesn’t like drawing attention to herself.
3. Does the character have any quirk or powers?
She does! She has the power to manipulate fibers/textiles, and she can also see the dead.
4. Oh, interesting! Was she born with these abilities, or did they pop up later in life?
Evie has had these powers through many incarnations, but they show up at different times. Sometimes they show up at birth, sometimes they need a “trigger” of sorts. This time, it was a near-death experience that jump-started her powers.
5. Are there other people like her, or is she the only one?
She is not the only one, but most of the people with similar powers are trying to catch her.
6. Is anyone else aware of her powers?
Yes. Notably, the cult of Athena is trying to capture/kill her. Her best friend, Adam, also knows.
7. Where do they live? What’s it like there?
Though she grew up in Toronto, Evie now lives in Montreal with her aunt. It’s a bright, vibrant city. July is festival season, so there’s always something going on. It’s a great mix of history–some of it dating back to the 1600s–and modern sensibilities.
8. What do they do for a living?
She works part time at a book store, but mostly she’s concentrating on her recovery, and not getting killed by the cult trying to hunt her down.
9. What do they do for fun?
Evie loves to knit and make things with her hands. She also loves to read–her aunt is a writer and Evie is her alpha reader, going through all of her manuscripts as she writes them and giving her opinion. She also finds a lot of typos. 🙂 The television is usually on at her aunt’s place, so she also picks up a lot of television and movie references through osmosis.
10. Lovely! What’s her favorite genre to read?
Well, it used to be fantasy, but now that she’s suddenly been surrounded by magic she’s starting to rethink that.
11. What is their greatest weakness, their greatest strength?
Evie’s greatest weakness is her self-confidence. She suffers from anxiety and depression, and back in Toronto she didn’t really have a support system. This really did a number on the way she looks at herself and her place in the world. Now that she is in a better place and finding that support, it’s allowing her to start to grow and gain the confidence she needs to stand up for herself and survive.
Her greatest strength is her ability to put aside her own pain to help people when there’s a need. Being brave, being a hero, isn’t something that comes easily to her. She’d much rather run and hide. But if someone else is in trouble, she will find a way to help them.
12. What is the best that ever happened to them? The worst?
Best and worst things to happen to Evie are almost one in the same.
After an attempt at suicide fails, Evie finally gets the resources she needs to improve her life. She moves away from a toxic family situation and into a home where she is loved and welcome. She’s able to start making friends. She’s able to take something really horrible, and turn it around. Her life isn’t perfect by a long shot, but she’s getting better, moving forward, and discovering the good things amidst all the bad. Sometimes it’s something really small, but those little things are what’s worth getting up for in the morning.
13. It’s awesome to see some good representation for mental illness. Evie sounds like an extraordinarily strong girl. Actually at the time I was writing her first draft (back in 2007), I did have two songs picked out. I was listening to a lot of Papa Roach (I’d just gotten one of their albums), and I thought What Do You Do? would be the perfect opening theme song and Roses on My Grave would be for the ending credits. Basically, that entire album (The Paramour Sessions) made me think of her. Of course, that version of Evie was also a lot darker and more morbid–her book was completely rewritten several times over the course of ten years, but those songs still resonate with me when I work on her.
Aaa, such excellent song choices. Thanks, Sophia, for introducing me to your lovely heroine! I had a blast getting to know her.