I wanted to have a diverse group of women at the core of Going Through the Change. After all menopause comes to all the women of the world. It's hardly a homogenous group.
The main characters range in age from 32-67. Some have married, some have children, others have neither. One is a grandmother. They have different backgrounds, different attitudes about life, different joys and disappointments. They have in common a geographical area (Springfield, a non-geographically-specific middle size city in the comic book tradition of Central City and Metropolis), menopause, and, it turns out, Cindy Liu.
|Jessica, as drawn by +Charles C. Dowd|
My youngest main character in Going Through the Change is Jessica Roark. She came to be, in part, because of a conversation I had with my friend +Elizabeth Hein , author of How to Climb the Eiffel Tower and Overlook. She reminded me that age is not the only factor that might cause a woman to go through menopause.
Jessica, at age 32, is atypically young to go through menopause. She still has small children at home (two boys, ages 5 and 3). She was tossed into hormonal chaos by ovarian cancer, which she survived.
When the book begins, Jessica is depressed. She's still grieving for the loss of her reproductive options, and she and her husband aren't really on the same page anymore.
Because he had known her before, known what she had been like, and loved the old her, he mourned the pre-cancer Jessica. Maybe that was the difference. That Jessica had been a lot of fun. She had hosted parties, volunteered in the right charities, represented her husband proudly at formal events.
She had been beautiful, too, glamorous, even. Jessica tugged at her worn yoga pants ruefully. It was hard to care about things like fashionable clothes anymore. It was even harder to listen to the inane chatter at dinner parties and events. It all felt so empty.
Jessica has quite a journey throughout this book and is continuing to impress and amaze me with her resilience in the sequel I'm currently writing. I hope readers will connect with and come to admire Jessica as I have.The girl in the movie didn’t lose the man she had once known; she met him when cancer already had him in its sights. Jessica supposed Nathan had lost the woman he used to love, even though she was sitting on the couch today. She wasn’t the same person.
This posting is part of the A to Z blogging challenge, in which bloggers undertake to post every day in April, excepting Sundays, which amounts to 26 postings, one for each letter of the alphabet--preferably along a theme. My postings will all be about my debut novel and my experiences writing it and seeing it published.
Blogging A to Z is a great opportunity to connect with some excellent bloggers and interesting people. I encourage you to check out other participating blogs, too!
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