Friday, August 14, 2015

Characters Interviews: Ask Mara Harrod

So the first thing you'll notice is that the blog looks quite a bit different . . . and that is because a wonderful girl named Niki Agoston redesigned my blog for me! Big round of applause! Thanks so much, Niki!

But now, it is time for another character interview! This one is going to be a little different . . . Mara is a unique character because really, there are two versions of her. Her character arc is so drastic that, depending on the time period we're talking about, she's pretty much two different people. For that reason, although I'm only taking questions once . . . I'm going to post two interviews. The first one will be Mara at the beginning of her arc -
- and the second will be Mara at the end of her arc.
Drawn by Annika Smith.
You can address questions to either version of Mara or to both, but since I know her storyline I reserve the right to choose which questions get applied where to make the interviews good. Got it? Okay, here is Mara's bio.

Mara Ebony Harrod was my original protagonist in Shadows and Light, despite her character type actually being more along the lines of "villain" as opposed to "hero." She is about 5'2", has naturally silver hair, and at the start of the book she is a little younger than eighteen years old and trying to finish up her high school education. Her dream is to be a neurosurgeon and she is hopefully applying to colleges, but isn't having any luck in getting accepted because of her Destiny.
Speaking of which, Destiny is the major influence on Mara's life, just as it is in her twin brother Ace's. Mara's birthmark makes it look like she is crying blood, and the Destiny it symbolizes is (simply put) that she will kill someone. For this reason she is rejected everywhere she goes - she can't make friends, can't get a job, can't get a volunteer position at the hospital, can't can't can't. Her Destiny throws up roadblocks at every turn but Mara has been doing her best to fight it since she was old enough to comprehend her situation. She fiercely defends the idea that she can live her life without fulfilling her Destiny, despite the fact that no one has ever been known to do something like that. Her only friend Gabriel Young encouraged her in that dream.
Mara even styled her appearance to contradict the impression made by her Destiny. Her favorite outfits (at least as first) were frilly skirts and tanktops and flip flops. She never wore eyeliner for fear she'd look too gothic. Her favorite color is pale yellow. At this point in life Mara is an optimistic but emotionally unstable INFP.
After Mara met Tempe is when things began to change. Mara began to let the bitterness created by repeated rejections take over her determined positivity when Gabriel had to leave for a multi-week time period and Mara was left with Tempe as the only person who seemed to be befriending her. Mara even agreed to start learning illegal magic in this time period to empower herself to stand up to Ace, should she need it.
Arguments with family, bullying at school, Gabriel's absence, and college rejections snowballed along with Tempe's subversive influence to make Mara snap, creating the bitter and dark sorceress she is at the end of the book. She starts dressing in dark reds and blacks to highlight her birthmark instead of trying to hide it. She becomes obsessed with getting revenge on the world which rejected her. She mentally replaces her real family with Tempe. And she becomes Tempe's apprentice in waging a two-woman war on the Mage League (still working on renaming that by the way). 
At the end her Myers-Briggs type isn't even the same - she becomes ISFP when she loses her idealism.

Remember, there will be two interviews, one for INFP Mara and another for ISFP Mara. As I said above, address questions to either one individually or two both. You don't have as much time to ask questions this time around, since I'll be at college in two weeks. Therefore, you've got a week to get questions in. Then I'll use the next week to get the interviews finalized and they'll be  scheduled to post the week after questions close. 


  1. Hello Annika, I had a few questions for INFP Mara:

    1. Where was she born and was her clothing style an abstract occurrence for her hometown?

    2. You mentioned that Gabriel was her only friend; did he and her have any special place would go where, even when he wasn't there, she would feel safe?

    3. Did she have to go through any bullying because of her Destiny or did people merely avoid her?

    4. Is there a reason why her favorite color is pale yellow and does her favorite color change when her personality does?

    I may come back on the blog and post some more questions but here are some to start with. Thank you for allowing us to get to know your character! ^_^

  2. YOUR NEW DESIGN. Awesome! :))
    Why does she want to be a neurosurgeon? Has she been teased for her hair color? What drew her to Tempe?

    1. It looks great doesn't it? ^_^ Thanks for the questions!

  3. Does Mara ever regret the changes she's made?