Who doesn’t love a relatable main character with the same issues we all have? How about a relatable main character who happens to be a superhero but can’t remember any of her multiple past lives? The fantastic thing about Dawn Brazil’s Finding Me series is that her strong female lead is just as confused as any teenage girl and doesn’t hold all the answers. She learns about the world - and herself - through trial and error, but when the world rests on your shoulders, how can you decide who to trust? So many real-life issues, so much in the balance.
YA author Dawn took the time to talk to us about her main character’s story - and her own.
Dawn Brazil writes books for young adults. Her debut novel, Finding Me, is urban fantasy and released officially on April 2, 2014. She also writes science fiction and paranormal romance. She’ll read anything with great characters. She is currently writing a standalone YA science fiction novel. She lives in South Texas with her husband, three kids, and her great big imagination.
Q1. Your Finding Me series revolves around a teenage girl finding out who she is in multiple ways, including her super-powered alter ego and who she really is. How do you think teenage girls (or even teenagers in general) can relate to this character and her multiple levels of self-realization?
Teenagers are going through a similar “identity crisis.” They’re trying to find out who they can/will become with everyone around them giving input into who they “should” be. This process is difficult for my main character, Chloe, because she wants to please everyone. I’m sure most teens can identify with that.
Q2. The main character in the series has some major issues with her mother, but I won’t say too much in order to avoid spoilers. Did you take any of this from real life or just from the struggles young adults and adults typically have in relating to each other?
As a child I had my “mommy issues;” I was adopted - and not as a small child. But I know many teens (girls especially) who have strained relationships with their mothers, so I guess seeing this struggle so prevalent in many of the relationships I know, I had to include it in the story. I hope I did this familial issue justice.
Q3. The idea that you could have a certain significant other meant for you and only you – and proven to be perfect for you throughout several other lives! – seems comforting and sweet. Without giving away how the series might end, is this concept something you believe exists in real life? Or is it an ideal?
I most definitely believe there is a perfect person for each of us out there. We may not realize it right away because sometimes we can be so logical and overthink things. But I believe in fate and all that jazz. My husband was absolutely made just for me. We complete and complement each other in ways that cannot be explained by mere coincidence.
Q4. It’s wonderful to watch Chloe grow in your debut novel, Finding Me, the first in the series. She grows in her own direction instead of the direction multiple other characters want her to. This kind of strength is really important, especially as a teen. How does Chloe resist going in any particular direction, even temptingly easy directions, and decide to do what feels right to her?
She stumbles, a lot. She doesn’t have the confidence she needs in herself at the beginning of the story. But she eventually learns to trust herself. She puts value on her feelings and her needs and realizes that while it might be important to make everyone happy and proud of her, it’s equally important for her to feel pride in herself.
Q5. If there’s one thing young adults take away from your Finding Me series, what do you hope it is?
There is one thing I want teens to take from the series: self-confidence. Today everyone’s more visible than ever. With so much transparency it can be difficult for those who are different or shy or lack self-esteem to be noticed or feel worthy of it. But I want teens to realize their awesomeness even when others can’t see it just yet.