Why Jillian Atford? A Character Study

On Thursdays and Fridays this month, I’ll be posting about the characters in my upcoming novella, Blood in the Past. Hopefully this will lead up to the cover reveal and the end-of-april-release, but I’m not a fortune-teller. Here’s hoping…

I'd cast Gabrielle Union as Jillian. Check out other inspiration images at http://pinterest.com/jordannaeast/blood-in-the-paint/.

I’d cast Gabrielle Union as Jillian.

The first character I’m going to chat about is Jillian Atford. Hers is the opening story told in Blood in the Past. How did I choose her name? That’s easy. ‘Jillian’ was the first name of my childhood best friend. When I started writing the first full-length novel of the series, Blood in the Paint, I named a character after her and she was also the first to read the chapters I’d written. Boy, was she was objective! But more on real-life Jillian’s comments later, in the post pertaining to Lyla, my main character.

That was years ago. Sadly, in 2009, real-life Jillian and I had a falling out. We never spoke again. Then she died in December 2011. I was devastated. All the things that were never said, the hatchet that was never buried, the water that never ran peacefully under the bridge. I still dream about her. That’s why in January 2012, I decided to finish Blood in the Paint and pursue a writing career head-on.

There are many similarities between real-life Jillian and character-Jillian. Physically, they are both tall, brown-skinned women. I originally had them both going to the same college (Hampton University), but had to alter that due to a plot problem. The artwork in Jillian’s office is patterned after that found in the home of real-life Jillian’s parents. Additionally, and I’m not sure if real-life Jillian would approve of this part, character-Jillian had an affair with a married man. Yikes!

In Blood in the Past, Jillian is a young graduate student, majoring in Clinical Psychology at Temple University in Philadelphia. She was a foster child, so she is damaged and without strong personal relationships. When a married police officer shows her a little attention, she’s confused at first, caught in the turmoil between what’s wrong and what’s right. But eventually the fact the someone who already has a family, but still wants her, wins over Jillian’s conscience. As a foster child, she never had that–and she doesn’t want to let it go.

Learn more tomorrow!

3 thoughts on “Why Jillian Atford? A Character Study

  1. Pingback: Jillian Atford and Me | journeyofjordannaeast

  2. Pingback: Why Jason Brighthouse? A Character Profile | journeyofjordannaeast

  3. Pingback: Why Lyla Kyle? A Character Focus | journeyofjordannaeast

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