It is known that authors often write a piece of themselves into their characters. This is understandable since we can only draw from our own experiences and lessons throughout life. In the case of Night Hawk, David and I are probably the closest. No, I have not experienced the same traumas. I grew up in a loving home with a mother and father who care deeply for me. I’ve never lost anyone close in a tragic way. And I’ve certainly never faced the front lines of war. However, he and I both know what it’s like to grow discouraged with life and lose hope in the future. His struggles with “What good can I do?” are all too real for me. These are not egotistical feelings. I believe each one of us longs to make a difference in life, and in David’s case, he longs to protect those around him. Knowing he cannot do this all the time and being forced to watch people die leads to serious emotional struggles. By drawing from my own times of “What am I here for?”, along with feelings of helplessness, I’ve hopefully made David resonate on a very real level.
On a more positive note, David’s grief is not the only part he and I share. David was written as a character who learns, grows and strengthens as he recovers from his losses and develops through the experiences he faces. I, too, have grown much through the twenty-two years of walking alongside David. There are other characters I have strong connections to. Amber is my tough, sassy side; one I don’t normally show but is always lurking just under the surface. Perhaps a part of me wishes to express the confidence and leadership she shows (I’m more introverted), so she becomes my outlet. Mike’s playful humor also comes from a side of me. People say I’m easy to get along with, which I hope remains true throughout my life. Even Darkracer and I have a bit of a connection. I’d like to say it’s his wisdom, but that comes from my faith, not my personality. Unfortunately, I’d have to say his slight bent toward pessimism is more in line with me. Maybe I can learn from my own writing enough to lean toward Mike’s optimism.
Overall, the characters and I are deeply connected, but there is still a great deal I have learned from them. I’ve seen them grow into role models I wish to aspire to. My hope is that readers will find the attributes in characters like David, Amber, Mike and General Riechet ones to aspire to as well.
– Jolene Loraine