The Library Mistress welcomes Catherine Doyle author of Vendetta
On creating five brooding characters
When I started writing Vendetta, the image of five brothers was so firmly in my head, I knew I couldn’t change it even if I wanted to. I wanted to create a family of five boys who were similar in their values and loyalties but different in how they viewed the world and how they reacted to their environment.
The result was Luca, Valentino, Dominico, Giorgino and Nicoli, five mysterious, brooding boys, who come from a very dangerous world.
It was important to me that the boys were products of their environment. Sunny dispositions and carefree attitudes wouldn’t fit with a bunch of teenagers who were raised on dark legends and dangerous weapons, who spent their childhood surrounded by the criminal underworld and understood violence as simply being part of life. After all, from the moment they were born, their lives were mapped out for them. Their destinies were dark, and not all of them are happy about it.
Arriving in the middle of the night, with inky black hair and blazing eyes, with olive skin and a quiet confidence, these boys were made to turn Sophie Gracewell’s world upside down.
In Nic, I wrote a boy oozing with passion. He wants to make a name for himself, to make his family proud, but when he meets Sophie, she activates his emotions in a way he wasn’t expecting. He is drawn to her like a magnet, and suddenly that passion starts to sizzle ever stronger and things get complicated.
Luca is world-weary. He’s uncomfortable, but mostly he’s stressed. Being the oldest, he has to keep a close on eye on his brothers and keep them in line – make sure they’re focused, which is no easy feat once Sophie and Millie are in the mix. Mostly though, Luca’s frustrated and that makes him angry, and when his anger surges, it hides all the good in him – the quiet empathy, the protectiveness, the need to make things right.
Valentino is withdrawn from the family in the most obvious ways but he is far from inactive. A creative soul with a lot of pressure on his shoulders, he doesn’t have much time for laughing or playing around like the others.
Dominico is all about girls. Sure, he loves his brothers but he likes the ladies, too, and if one sashays into his path, his focus goes with her! He hasn’t figured out his place in the family but that doesn’t mean he’s not smart when he needs to be. He’s got a lethal manipulative streak, and we’ll be seeing a lot more of him as the trilogy progresses.
And Gino? Well, he’s a little unstable, a little unpredictable. On any given day, he could just as easily be wielding a knife at someone or be in a field chasing butterflies and singing out-of-tune to the latest Katy Perry song. You never know what you’re going to get with Gino, and that’s the fun of him!
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