LUCKY STRIKE: Release Day Blog Post Featuring Author Janine Amesta!

I don’t think it’s very surprising to hear that, for authors, our characters are as real to us as anyone we’d come across in real life. They may be even more real because we know them, their thoughts, their feelings, so intimately. Even when a character is a “problem child”, you still love them and want everyone else to love them as well. 

In my newest book, Lucky Strike, I have one such problem child named Luna Lanza. (To be clear, she’s not a child. Luna is very much an adult woman, which is a good thing since this book is a romance.) Anyway, when I considered Luna during the story development stage, I always imagined her along the same vein as Emma Woodhouse, who I imagine is one of Jane Austen’s more divisive characters. Both are far too young to be so confident in how they think the world should work, say regrettable things, and are surprised to discover that what they always believed could be wrong.

These qualities can easily make them unlikable due to what society has told us about how women should behave, both in romance books and real life. The line for “likable” female characters is incredibly fine—there’s more wiggle room on a tightrope. But, as a writer, I like a challenge, not only because writing a troublemaker is amusing, but because I see the greatest potential for character growth. Luna can come out on the other side, not necessarily a perfect person, but at least a better version of herself. It gives me hope because I see a lot of myself in Luna, especially from when I was younger. If Luna has hope, then maybe all of us regular, imperfect, real people can have hope too. 

I think Luna knows she’s not romance leading lady material. That would be Mia, her cousin, and who Luna is constantly comparing herself to. As she says to Sam, the hero of Lucky Strike, “I’m not Mia.” For Luna, Mia represents how she should be: sunny, optimistic, sweet, and always saying the right things. In Luna’s mind, they’re as different as the sun and moon. No matter how much Luna tries, she will never be Mia. She can’t help being exactly who she is and, because of this, she thinks she will never be loved as much. It’s as though there’s a limited amount of love in the world and the sun will always be more adored than the moon.

But a person doesn’t need all the love, they only need the right kind. This is how Luna strikes it lucky in meeting Sam. He’s also imperfect, a little rough around the edges. He’s another moon. And while things don’t start off well between them, they eventually see the kindred spirit in each other. These characters who start off as unlikable grow into something likable as they fall in love with themselves and each other. And, hopefully, readers will grow to love them as much as me. 

About the Author.

Headshot of author janine amestaJanine Amesta is a California girl who now lives in the high desert of Oregon with her husband and their cat, Hitchcock. She studied screenwriting in college, but her moody thrillers always had way too much flirty banter. She’s a master at jigsaw puzzles, skilled at embroidery, and critiques bad movies on Twitter.

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