I’ve had a few people ask me why Ava Pajari is a focal point in The Shape of Honey.
So, I was mildly, but not completely, shocked to find that some people who read male romance novels absolutely hate and abhor the presence of a female character in the novel as a point of view character. There are people who are actually quite rabid in their declarations that they will never, ever read a book with a female point of view that is supposed to be male/male. I get it. I have things that I like and don’t. I respect that decision not to pick up a book with a female point of view, as everyone is certainly free to like what they like, but…
Well, hell. Whatever happened to the love of a good story?
I actually wrote The Shape of Honey before I realized this was a thing. To be honest, if you really wanted to, you could probably just skip the parts labelled Ava Pajari and not miss the main plot of the story, but you would be missing out. I’ve never been one to follow any particular stricture of rule of law when writing. I always write as things come to me or as the story takes me places.
I guess if I had to I’d call myself a lightly planned discovery writer, more emphasis on the discovery part than the planned part. After I did include Ava Pajari as a point of view character she allowed me to tell this wonderful side story and follow the exploits of the Witten brothers as they had experiences away from my other main characters, Rolly Witten and Yulian Volkov.
Ava doesn’t have sex in the book, or romance really. All said and done I’m not entirely sure she is what you would call a likable character. She’s a little bit of a brat, but she is a loving one. She’s Rolly’s best friend. They grew up together in the pack and survived the same ordeals that involved being a wolf. They are both products of the pack, sometimes deadly pack politics, and a similar upbringing.
So, why does Rolly love Ava? Other than they’ve known each other practically since the womb? She gave him a sense of direction and purpose, even though that direction lead him to crime and to getting into trouble. She’s also his secret keeper. She always made him feel loved even when he felt most alone and too different to ever fit in with the pack. She was the one person outside of his immediate family he could tell anything to and always turn to no matter what, and that’s what drives him to overlook her less charitable personality traits. And all said and done, she’s young and needs to grow up a little, just like Rolly. I really enjoy writing characters who have potential to grow and grow up, and maybe someday Ava will, though I think she’s definitely done some maturing by the end of The Shape of Honey.
So, back to this whole –female point of view thing. I guess I could have edited her out of the story, but by the time I realized some people might have a problem with her being there she was so deeply wound in the entire thing it would have been a shame to dismantle the novel just to do that.
And there’s the fact that I was telling a story and she’s part of it.
So, Ava stayed, and I kind of love her even though she’s a shit sometimes. I hope you will too.
Check out The Shape of Honey
Yulian Volkov is an entrepreneur and lone werewolf who hates the city. At a pack meeting, he learns the only member he’s attracted to is being expelled for crimes unspecified. Yulian strikes a deal with the pack leader to allow Rolly Witten to live on his farm and work in his Meadery. Although enjoying handsome Rolly’s company, Yulian must tread carefully, since Rolly doesn’t trust him and the pack doesn’t acknowledge homosexuality exists. Meanwhile, Yulian stealthily courts Rolly by teaching him the value of his wolf side.
Rolly, who’s known he was gay since he was a teen, has accepted a life of solitude—and a life of crime. He has no desire to relocate. Yet Yulian’s trust in his ability to do honest work builds his confidence. As life is settling well for them, Rolly learns a friend from his old pack had a crush on him, and he’s torn between returning his friend’s feelings or pursuing the budding relationship with Yulian. But that’s not their worst problem. Assassins are trying to take out both wolves, and they need to figure out who wants them dead or all the trust and happiness they’re building together won’t matter.