#CharacterSpotlight · aria fiction

#CharacterSpotlight Jessica Jarlvi introduces Kristen from #WhatDidIDo? @JessicaJarlvi @Aria_Fiction

I have a super special guest today, Jessica Jarlvi joins me to introduce the main character in her new book, What Did I Do?

So, Jessica, thanks for joining me, can you tell us a little bit about Kristen …

Kristen’s husband is dead. She has no children and armed with a life insurance pay-out, she’s packed a bag and escaped Chicago, landing in Helsingborg in the south of Sweden. She is currently unemployed but has a new boyfriend who knows very little about her past.

When did you create Kristen?

Kristin featured under another name in a book I started writing in my mother-tongue (Swedish) a few years ago. The book never really took off but despite her many problems, or perhaps because of these, I struggled to let her go. She simply had to play a central part in my new book.

Did you write the book to accommodate Kristen or Kristen to accommodate the book?

The book accommodated the character, but the story could have gone many different ways for this to happen. I enjoyed playing around with it.

What do you like most about her?

Although it’s not spelt out, the reader will soon realise that Kristin has OCD. The way she deals with this is one of the reasons I care for her so much. She’s a fighter.

What do you like least about her?

She can be very paranoid!

Did your early readers/editorial team like her to start with or did you have to change her in any way?

Thankfully, they liked her. Warts and all, she made an impression as the leading lady.

Do she have any similarities with anyone real?

I have OCD and although Kristin’s is much more severe, I have drawn inspiration from my own challenges. OCD is often misunderstood and that’s why I wanted to shed light on it. Having said that, I didn’t want it to be the sole focus of the novel. It’s simply something she lives with every day, like a character-trait if you like, while also dealing with her husband’s death, and dodging the threatening calls and letters she receives, reminding her of a past she wishes she could change.

What are your plans for her?

My plan for Kristin was to place her in hot water to see how she would deal with it. The result is this novel, which also deals with human trafficking, and is told through various perspectives.

Would you be friends in real life?

Yes, definitely. Kristin is an interesting character and I love being surrounded by unique people! I’m sure it would be challenging at times though, with her paranoia, how she steps back and forth over thresholds, counts the stripes on every zebra crossing, and constantly needs to scrub and disinfect.

Thank you so much! She sounds pretty cool!

Now, if you’d like to know more about Kristen, get over to Amazon now!

… here’s the blurb …

Aria (1 May 2018)

‘Kristin is on the run. From her life. From herself.’

When two murders happen in Chicago, a witch-hunt ensues, and Kristin quickly finds herself at the centre.

The problem is she isn’t sure of what she did or didn’t do. Armed with a life insurance payout, she runs away to Sweden to start her life over.

But it’s not that easy to escape the past. And whatever she’s done, someone is on her tail, wanting her to pay…

The question is: could she be a killer and not even remember?

About Jessica … 

Born in Sweden, Jessica moved to London before her career in publishing, editing and PR took her to the USA and the Middle East. Having also completed her Masters in Creative Writing and taught journalism to undergraduate students, writing is her true passion. Jessica won a Montegrappa First Fiction award at the Emirates Festival of Literature in 2016, catching the eye of her agent Luigi Bonomi. Having since secured a multiple book deal, Jessica, known by friends to be infectiously positive, balances her time between her writing and her growing young family.

I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below :-)

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