When I began writing the “Solid” series, I was sure of four things:

1. The heroine’s life would not revolve around a boy. (There is a love interest, but Clio can function without him.)
2. She would eat. Real food. Without obsessing over it.
3. She *gasp* had to have a great relationship with her mother. (Specifically, a mutual respect.)
4. She would be a complete mess.

Okay, that last one I threw in for fun. 😉 No, Clio’s not a total disaster, but she’s miles from perfect and she definitely makes mistakes (including one I’ve gotten many reader letters about, but had to happen!) because she’s real.

You see, the teen and tween girls I know aren’t necessarily represented in current popular fiction. In their evolving state of self-discovery and finding where they fit in the world, they don’t always make the best choices. Or even consistent ones. They may be confident in some situations, but wholly insecure in others. Yet, even when their behavior contradicts itself, they remain true to the people they are becoming.

That’s why I believe Clio’s greatest strength is her weakness – since she’s not worldly and experienced, and she doesn’t have all the answers, her actions and reactions are spontaneous and relatable. She makes mistakes, sometimes trusts too readily or not at all, but then she learns from the fall-out and at least makes different mistakes in the future. I think that’s the most interesting and beautiful kind of mess to be. 😉

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Shelley Workinger grew up in Maine, graduated from Loyola University New Orleans, currently resides in New Jersey, and considers all of them home.

When she’s not working on the SOLID series, she’s chatting about FoodFic on her blog: But What Are They Eating? Stop by and let her know what you’re reading and what they’re eating!

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