Happy Birthday, Jezel!

I’m not sure if many authors celebrate their main character’s birthday, but I have a rather unique relationship with mine, so it actually holds meaning for me. I have two MC’s that I’m really close to, Jezel and Mystra, but I picked December 27 for Mystra’s birthday, which is also my birthday (I wanted something easy to remember), so I’ve never really celebrated hers on its own. Jezel came first and celebrating her birthday reminds me that her story was once my story.

See, Jezel Kensington isn’t just a character to me–I never sat down with a notebook and pondered over what I wanted her to be like. She was handed to me by my friend Sarah one day, with only a name, an age, and a few sentences of back story to go on. The rest, was me being my pre-teen self. To simplify things, let’s just say that both Jezel and Mystra were characters I created in a type of sci-fi role-playing game I was deeply involved in for over two years. It wasn’t your typical role-playing game, though, it was only me and my best friend fully immersed in our world for hours upon hours at a time. I don’t just write about Jezel, I was Jezel. Her battles were mine to fight and her pranks were mine to play. If you want a more thorough explanation, go to the FAQs section. Someday, I’ll go into the story a little more, but we’ll just leave it at that for now.

I chose Jezel’s birthday during that magical time and I picked May 17 for several reasons. The first is a little embarrassing now because it involves my preteen obsession with Sailor Moon. My favorite Sailor scout at the time was Sailor Mars and because her personality and appearance were similar to what I imagined an anime Jezel looking like, I went to my collection of fan material on the show and found her birthday: April 17. Seventeen is also the age that Jezel is when her story begins. I changed the month from April to May because May is Star Wars month. Every Star Wars movie has been released in May and because the roleplaying game was based in the Star Wars universe, it only seemed appropriate. In hindsight, I kinda wish I’d made her b-day May 16, the day that I would see my first Star Wars movie in theaters (sadly, Episode 2, the worst of the prequels), but I couldn’t have known that back then.

So happy birthday, Jezel! You have to be dragged out of bed every morning, you grin every time you break a rule, you get your butt kicked in a fight and say “let’s do that again”, you are the best improviser I have ever met, and you will always act seventeen, even when you are seventy-five. Sometimes I wonder where you came from because you are my complete opposite in every way. I compare you to Katherine Hepburn, Peter Pan, Shawn Spencer (from Psych), my friends Clarmelia and Kat, and even my mother, but somehow, you are me. We share the same need for the spotlight, the same music on our ipods (Gilbert and Sullivan right next to “Single Ladies”), the same twitchiness during lectures, and the same love of jelly bellies. I should be worried that you’ll get bored of my manuscript and drive off on your own adventures before I can properly paint you on paper, but we have an understanding, thank goodness. Someday, I hope that everyone will know your story, but until then, Jezel, I only have one piece of advice for you:

Never shut up. 😉

But you knew that already.

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