June 2022 Featured Article

Love Under Construction Character Inspiration: Cynthia Brady  

One of the most exhilarating things as an author is developing characters. In our imaginary worlds, we create characters with personalities, hopes, dreams, and motivations. Of course, the main characters are the best to create, and they stick with us writers for much longer than after we’ve typed the words “The End” on the manuscript. But what about secondary characters? Those in the supporting roles, whether good or bad? 

How many times have we seen the memes and coffee mugs warning people that if they are crusty, crabby, or just plain difficult, they may find themselves in the pages of our next novel? To be sure, we writers have all had “influences” that have woven their way into our creativity and starred as the antagonist(s) in our books.  

What about the godly secondary characters? The mentors, the ones offering discipleship, the loving parent, grandparent, friend, or relative?  

For my most recent novel, Love Under Construction, I needed a secondary character to play the role of Cynthia Brady, my main character, Irelynn’s, mother. It couldn’t be just any secondary, but a woman full of faith, one who loved and was there for Irelynn, and who had struggles of her own. 

Cue my mom. 

Just like Cynthia Brady, my own mom (ironically, or maybe not so ironically, named Cindee) fit the bill. She is a strong woman, not only in the sense of personality, but, even more importantly, a strong woman of faith. Life has not been easy for her in the past decade, with diagnoses of scleroderma, fibromyalgia, and severe chronic pain. From the time I was a young girl, she tenderly guided me through the challenges of life with a listening ear, a hug, and wise words of advice. Most importantly, through the years, she has discipled me in my walk with the Lord. 

Cynthia Brady does the same for Irelynn. At this moment in her life, Irelynn faces some huge obstacles. The main theme of Love Under Construction is relying on God during all times—the good and the bad. A tender and uplifting story with plenty of humor, this novel also touches on the topics of motherhood, adoption, financial challenges, and PTSD. 

While there are some differences between Cynthia and my mom, namely Cynthia doesn’t struggle to the same degree with her health and she has raised Irelynn single-handedly, there are similarities. 

Everyone has a story, and every story is filled with ups and downs, crabby characters and cheerful characters. As you go about your day, try being the type of “character” that makes someone’s story happier and better. 



This post originally appeared at https://juliearduini.com

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