Defined by Others Character Sketches
© M.C.V. Egan
The characters in Defined by Others are predominantly women. They are all flawed and for the most part very superficial. Some of their flaws are surprising and others are logical.
I chose women born in the year 1965, I did this to work with a play on Chinese Astrology. I made them 47 years old as the book takes place in 2012, one of the characteristics of female snakes according to Chinese Astrology is that they are all very beautiful.
I wanted characters that were superficial and very worried about their physique and how others see them; thus being defined by the opinions of others.
The women have a connection as teens from growing up in the same affluent town in the American Northeast. The story is fueled by who they are at 47 and who they were at 17.
ANNE is one of the main characters and the story is told from her point of view, in her voice. She is fluent in many languages and loves words. She likes to define every moment with just one word. Her husband recently left her, and he left her broken and confused. Divorce is hard at any age, but divorce because the man you shared almost two decades with realizes he is gay must be brutal
Anne has a nice side, she is forgiving of her husband, she tries to get into his skin and appreciate that his confusion, she is still however so confused and vulnerable that when life presents her with a way to make other’s suffer as she has, she is pretty quick to grab it.
She has adolescent twins, she is however a very detached parent, as the story evolves she identifies that she continued the family pattern with which she was raised.
In the course of the story she has to make numerous life changing decisions. Anne is in a journey of self-discovery and she has likable and dark traits.
CONNIE is also a main character, she is curiously linked to Anne because her respective husbands have fallen for each other and left them. Connie has been carrying the pain and confusion longer than Anne. She is broken and lonely and in Anne she sees the possibility of a friend, ally or at the very least fellow sufferer.
Like Anne she does not blame the man who left her, and respects that as the father of her children, she needs to wish him nothing but the very best.
She loves to nurture and to cook. She goes completely against her nurturing nature as the story evolves, because she is so hurt, confused and unbalanced.
As much as Connie chooses to also manipulate those she sees as her foes, there is a very tender and likable side to Connie. She loves her children very deeply and is very lost when the main focus of her life changes; she was born to be the quintessential mom.
AMANDA is dead, during the entire story-line she manipulates with her legacy from the very grave. She was ravaged by an illness that magnified her negative traits, and if the other characters are to be believed there was nothing positive about Amanda.
As the story progresses I do give Amanda a background a reason to be so dark, I did so because otherwise the character would be too flat or cartoon like as an image of pure evil.
During her illness she devices away to be cruel and most involved with the women in her past and present. Upon her death (not a spoiler this is the opening of the book) she leaves her “game” to Anne, it is a game of manipulation and deceit through social media.
ALLISON is mean, she identified as Amanda’s mean girl side-kick but she too is a victim of the manipulation game. I have had readers contact me, and it is indeed Allison they seem to dislike the most, I did not feel a need to give her as much depth or an excuse for her nastiness, as she is a secondary character. I just wanted to show that although she is vulnerable, she is also a natural leader.
She is clever and assumes she is far cleverer than she really is. As I wrote Defined by Others I did want Allison to be a sort of live walking continuum to Amanda’s nasty side.
PETER is the only male in the story who is very present, the husbands are in the sidelines. Peter is a lawyer, he connects with Anne at the beginning of the book as Amanda’s lawyer.
He is kind and understanding, he falls for Anne and he falls hard, he is also divorced and as such looking for a new way to fit in. He is not privy to Anne and Connie’s machinations, but he does suspect they are up to no good.
I wanted Peter to be a very easy man to love, intelligent, successful, and vulnerable. I had to make him vulnerable by having his ex drop him in a cruel and hurtful way. I made him Amanda’s reluctant lawyer so that he would be aware that Anne had inherited something odd and questionable from Amanda, I did not want to turn him into a detective, he needed some level of awareness to make him believable.
I also had him fall in love with Anne, but fall in love with Connie’s cooking and thus forming a strong bond with both women.
MRS. G. (Anne’s mother) is a character that is as much represented by her dialogue and appearances throughout the story as she is by her “secret room”. Mrs. G. was a liberal adventuresome lady who is also defined by others, and as such she pretends to be as conservative as those who surround her world.
She has a special room, full of New Age Books and other secrets, she is as such very present throughout the story.
Short Author Bio:
M.C.V. Egan is the pen name chosen by Maria Catalina Vergara Egan the author of The Bridge of Deaths and Defined by Others. Catalina is originally from Mexico City, Mexico. She has lived in France, Sweden and various parts of the U.S.A.
She has called South Florida her home for the last twenty-five years; she is a writer, a mother a wife and a pretty good cook.
Her first book The Bridge of Deaths is available in two different versions, her book Defined by Others is the first in a series Defining Ways exploring what makes us flawed and human.
Book two Climbing Up The Family Tree; Defined by Pedigree will be released in November 2015.
Long Author Bio
M.C.V. Egan is the pen name chosen by Maria Catalina Vergara Egan the author of The Bridge of Deaths and Defined by Others. Catalina was born in Mexico City, Mexico in 1959, the sixth of eight children, in a traditional Catholic family.
She only spent her childhood in Mexico. Her father became an employee of The World Bank in Washington D.C. From the early 1970s at the age of 12 she moved with her entire family to the United States.
Catalina was already fluent in Southern English as she had spent one school year in the town of Pineville, Louisiana with her grandparents. There she won the English award; ironically being the only one who had English as a second language in her class. In the D.C. suburbs she attended various private Catholic schools and graduated from Winston Churchill High School in Potomac, Maryland in 1977.
She attended Montgomery Community College, where she changed majors every semester. She also studied in Lyons, France at the Catholic University for two years. In 1981, due to an impulsive young marriage to a Viking (The Swedish kind, not the football player kind) Catalina moved to Sweden where she resided for five years and taught at a language school for Swedish, Danish, and Finnish business people. She returned to the USA in the late 1980s where she has been living ever since. She is fluent in Spanish, English, French and Swedish.
Maria Catalina Vergara Egan is married and has one son, who together with their five pound Chihuahua make her feel like a fulltime mother. Although she would not call herself an Astrologer she has taken many classes and taught a few beginner classes in Astrology. This is one of her many past times when she is not writing or researching.
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Character Interview; Anne Geyer
- Anne the book Defined by Others is narrated from your perspective, can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I was born in 1965, in New England. I am an only child, my Dad always wanted a son, so he was not particularly attached to me, I think my mom wanted her freedom, it was lonely growing up.
I was able to study in Europe for a few years, people there seem to be more independent, and I relate, so people often see me as a bit of a loner. I don’t dislike people, but I am not one to readily trust people.
I work as a translator. I am married and have teenage twins, well I was married until Frank left me, I am so used to being married, I guess I need to start saying I am in the process of getting a divorce.
- So you are new to the dating scene, how does it feel?
To be honest dating has taking me as much by surprise as the end of my marriage did. I had to visit Peter on a matter absolutely unrelated to my marriage. He is a lawyer and the next thing I knew, we became a thing. Everyone keeps on telling me it is a pity I met him so soon after Frank and I split up, but who knows, sometimes the least likely romances turn out to be the best ones and the long lasting.
- Do you have a favorite Language?
That is a very tough question, I used to always feel I had to have a favorite language, or at least a favorite language for certain things, like Italian should be the language of food, French the language of romance and German the language of logic. Then I realized that it really does not matter what language something is said in, it is what is said that matters.
- Chocolate or Vanilla?
If you had asked me a year ago, before I became such good friends with Connie, I would have answered vanilla. Today I know it really depends when and what you are pairing the flavor with. Connie is the best baker and cook, she knows how to make everything taste in harmony with a moment. My friend Connie is to food what I am to language an expert of sorts.
- Any regrets?REGRETS? Where do I start? Too many to mention. I cannot change the past and all the ruthless decisions I made that cost so many dearly. I can only go forward and make sure that I choose wisely and really consider the future, so I focus as much as possible on my twins.
- If you could have a dinner with anyone living or dead who would it be?
Like I said I am really focusing on my kids, but since the possibilities are endless and I know they will always be there for me, I guess the logical choice would be Amanda. I think if we had found a way to have a nice long adult chat, perhaps all the pain and confusion of our youth would have manifested in a very different way, I guess we will never know.
- Have you found that after dabbling into the psychic and the occult that perhaps you have some abilities?
I am not sure if it is due to all the therapy after we were arrested or if it really is an intuition I always had but was not aware of. Lately I do feel that I can sense far more than I ever assumed was possible. Sometimes when the phone rings I know who it is before I see the caller ID.
I also seem to have developed a very special bond with Connie maybe that is just what being a real friend is all about.
Thanks for inviting me to your blog, I am still trying to find myself after the mess we made of things.