By A. Gavazzoni – author of Behind The Door and Lara’s Journal
Lara is a deep and complex character. She is the beautiful woman every woman want to be. She is strong, determined, and she is not afraid to break the rules. She is courageous, and she dictates her own laws, and she has an obscure past.
Who or what inspired me to write Lara?
Lara is a combination of sources of inspiration.
Many, many years ago, I saw a movie titled Boxing Helena, and this film left a deep and lasting impression on me. It’s the story of a beautiful woman destroyed by a man who supposedly loves her, because she didn’t love him. He begins to cut her into pieces—literally—until she fits inside a box. That movie, which I watched almost twenty years ago, never left my mind.
My Lara is not cut into physical pieces, but she is cut and smashed emotionally, and kept in a box for several years. As a result, and in order to survive, she becomes strong and fearless. I know many people like that…those who have to deal with so much in life that it changes them forever.
With Lara, I also wanted to show the conflicts between a mother and a daughter, which is always a difficult relationship. Here I wanted to demystify maternal instinct, showing in Lara‘s story that there are all kinds of mothers. While some can be caring and nurturing, like Lara’s grandmother or Simone, others can be destructive and selfish, like Lara’s mother. It’s not a question of giving birth, it’s about giving unselfish love, and not all people know how to do that.
I use to help out at a home for abused children—kids who were taken from their parents after being abused or neglected, beaten, and/or sold into prostitution. Their stories showed me mothers can have a very finite love, and it is a question of choice… Lara is also a tribute to those kids.
Is Lara a rogue? Or is she just someone trying to find love in a desperate way? I never met one abused kid who was not starving for love, desperate to trust, but also scared as hell from people and their intentions.
Lara was my way to call attention to kids who have had their childhood stolen from them to serve the purposes of evil adults.
Again, with Lara, I wanted to show the world that nobody has the right to judge, because no one knows the true story of a person. I wanted to leave my readers with the idea that we must be kind and considerate to everybody because everyone has a hidden story, a hidden piece of their lives that determine their behavior, so no one has the right to judge or condemn.
A last word for my readers who are also writers and ask me for tips: A character must be built from different sources of inspiration. Creating believable characters is kind of like cooking; you take a main ingredient, and you season it with many different spices, herbs, and add in a few other ingredients to give their personality flavor. In order to do this, you need to open your eyes and observe people, so you can add traces from various people you know, from people you read about, or from a character in a movie that may have moved you. Once you’re finished, you will have an incomparable character born from your pen, feelings and real life.
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