You might actually hate Kinley when you first open the pages to The Lava Lord. She is young, ambitious, and slightly ruthless. But with that said, her character arch is in my opinion the most affected, changed, and improved. Throughout the novel she not only conquers her fears, but she also opens her heart and does it in a style that stays true to herself. I also feel a close kinship to Kinley. If I were to be thrown into the situation that she was, I may have behaved in some of the same ways. She is spunky, creative, and most importantly… she’s not impossible to love.
She is most definitely the character I had to adjust the most. My Editor at Black Opal Books had me really “soften” her in most scenes out of fear that my audience wouldn’t get behind her. And I complied as best as I could, but some parts – where I felt it would hinder her personality coming through – I just didn’t have the heart to pull out. I want my characters to be human. And humans are not perfect. They grow, they develop from their experiences, and they (just like us), have a hard outer shell that must be broken down to get to the sweeter spots. And that is how I envision Kinley. She is layered. She is human.
There were two characters that really inspired me to write Kinley. Joan Wilder, played by Kathleen Turner in Romancing the Stone. I have seen that movie way too many times to count. I probably watch it at least 1-2 times per year, every year since as far back as I can remember. Joan Wilder, being an Author was my inspiration for many things in my life. The second character from my childhood that I drew inspiration from for Kinley’s character was Willie Scott, played by Kate Capshaw in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. She too started out as a screechy, seemingly weak, and perhaps even annoying character. Easy to hate. And then grew stronger and more substantial as the movie went on. Both of those movies were love adventures in the wild and not only inspired Kinley but also inspired scenes in The Lava Lord story itself.