What do TV’s coolest forensic specialist, a fictional YA character, and a high school reading teacher have in common?
Sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, but here’s the story.
Almost two weeks ago, I was scrambling around, trying to decide what to be for Halloween. Yes, the teachers where I work dress up, and I don’t need to be asked twice to participate in the holiday. This year, I wasn’t sure what to do, but then I decided to be Abby Sciuto from NCIS. I must be a big fan, right? Not really. I watch limited TV. Still, I’d have to be living in a cave not to know who she is. Then, I must be a big fan of Pauley Perrette’s, right? Not really. I know very little about the actress. So, why Abby? Because a teen version of her is what I pictured in my head as I developed the character Elizabeth Davis for my yet-to-be-published novel, RESURRECTING EMILY.
In my mind, Elizabeth was beautiful, tough, creative, and smart with jet-black hair and light green eyes. While writing the novel, I decided to make a mock book cover that I would pin to my wall. I had just read THE SECRET and listened to a CD about manifesting dreams. Creating a visual of what’s desired was one of the suggestions. Some of friends will laugh about this (go ahead, ha ha), but I grew up with a superstitious Brazilian mother. If she told me to light a candle every Tuesday to ward off the evil eye, I did. No questions asked. So, I created a book cover that would make my graphic designer sister
cringe, but the point is that I chose a picture of Pauley Perrette as Abby Sciuto to represent Elizabeth. I couldn’t find a picture of a Goth teenager that captured the exact image I had of my character, but Abby as a 15-year-old–at least physically–would come close. Here is how my character is described in the novel:
Emily Elizabeth Davis: major attitude from the tone of her voice to the swagger in her walk…A Goth girl in a small, New England town. In a big city, she would blend in. But here? She stood out to say the least. She carried her attitude easily on her sturdy frame. She was taller than many girls her age and had an athletic upper-body.
Her pin-straight hair was dyed jet-black and pulled tight into a ponytail. Uneven bangs and black eye makeup framed light green eyes. Her angular face, with its strong cheekbones and jawline, was decorated with an eyebrow piercing, big black hoop earrings, and a pouty mouth painted deep purple. Loose, army-green shorts sat low on her hips. She wore black wedge flip-flops; her toenails and short finger nails were painted blood red.
Dressing up as Abby Sciuto was fun. I mean, when else could I get away with wearing a red dog collar and neck tattoo to work? But it also made me feel like I gave a little life to Elizabeth Davis, a fictional girl who’s been a part of me for many years now. Hopefully, soon, you’ll have the chance to get to know her.