So last week I posted the bio of my villian, Ryan. This week, I’m posting the bio of my heroine, Lily. Take Ryan, think of the complete opposite, and you basically have Lily. Ryan is fun for me to write, but I absolutely LOVE Lily. Out of everyone in the book, she is probably my favorite.
NAME: Lillian Rose Withers
DATE OF BIRTH: March 11, 1994 (17 at time of death, passes herself off as 22 during most of book)
DATE OF DEATH: July 20, 2011
ZODIAC SIGN: Pisces
PLACE OF BIRTH: Cayuga Medical Center, Ithaca, NY
PLACE OF DEATH: Owego, NY
RESIDENCE (PAST AND PRESENT): Bedford, NY (while alive), Newark Valley, NY (while dead)
GENERAL APPEARANCE: She has a small frame, but with some curve to her hips, butt, and a size C bra size. She is mostly ordinary looking, but is known for her vivid green eyes. Pale porcelain-like skin. She burns in the sun so she is diligent about sunscreen. Average natural blonde hair.
WEIGHT: 125 lbs
CLOTHING CHOICES: Nothing that stands out. Plain t shirts, jeans, and sneakers. She lives with an inattentive aunt and uncle who refuse to really support her so doesn’t have access to anything costly and is used to second hand items. Associates wealth and grandeur with expensive brand name clothing.
HAIR COLOR: Natural honey blonde.
HAIR LENGTH: Long; goes to bra clasp (mid back); loose curls
EYE COLOR: Green (grass green)
JEWELRY/TATTOS/SCARS: Pierced ears (normal holes only); no other piercings, wears plain cheap studs. No tattoos. No important scars.
ROLE IN THE STORY: Heroine.
KEY RELATIONSHIPS: Ryan (villain) is the only boyfriend she’s ever had. No parents. Lived with an aunt and uncle after parents died. Chloe; her daughter. Tony and Erick are Ryan’s friends but she used to hang out with them all the time so she knows them, but she does not like them.
EDUCATION: Bedford Central School District: Fox Lane High School. No college, doesn’t even ever plan on going to a college.
WORK HISTORY: She started working when she was 11 by doing little odd jobs for people around the neighborhood; housecleaning, lawn care, dog walking, etc. When she turned 16, she got a job at a local fast food joint (specification not needed). After she dies, she forms her own small business of selling handmade crocheted items (blankets, hats, booties, etc.; she learned this school at a local craft store)
SKILLS: Crochet (learned skill to help make money). She is very empathetic; she is able to relate to people on a more intimate level without having known them for very long. She is very creative so making things out of her mind with her hands is easy for her. She is also musically inclined and in the first year of her death, she uses singing to calm Chloe down and make herself happy. Very hard working and is willing to do anything to survive.
PHOBIAS/FEARS: Ryan, mostly. She avoids confrontation as much as possible. Ryan represents dominance, tyranny, and intimidation. She fears people who use their strength and position to beat others down, but she is not the greatest at recognizing it because she is always looking for the good in others.
BAD HABITS/VICES: Picked up smoking while with Ryan. Even dead, she feels weird sudden urges for a smoke.
QUIRKS: She looks down/cowers/attempts to take up as little space as possible when put in a negative situation. Think of a dog cowering with his tail between his legs when he’s in trouble.
BEST QUALITIES: Compassion. She looks for the good in people.
WORST QUALITIES: No backbone; she doesn’t know how to stand up for herself. Bad self-esteem. Gullible.
KEY CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCES: Doesn’t have any parents. Her dad killed her mom during a very vocal fight when she was 2 before he killed himself, but she was too young to remember anything. She was taken in by her dad’s sister and her husband, but was never happy. While they were more well off than not, they refused to give her anything more than the basics, convinced that she was going to be a druggie nobody like her parents and didn’t want to waste their money on her. They ignored her as much as possible and kept her existence a secret. (Think Harry Potter at the Dursleys).
KEY TEENAGE EXPERIENCES: She meets Ryan at the end of her junior year. She immediately falls into a relationship based off of abuse, sexual torture, extreme secrets, and drugs. She is somehow still able to complete school. Not long after meeting Ryan, he convinces her to claim emancipation with promises of providing for her so she wouldn’t have to work anymore. She agrees and her aunt and uncle don’t put up a fight. She moves into Ryan’s; he got an apartment to do his dirty stuff in and keep secret. They stay there for just a little bit. When Ryan has to ‘go to college’ at the end of August, he moves them and Tony and Erick further upstate to Owego to the apartment that they had been keeping for about a year to do their drug and prostitute peddling in. Owego provides the perfect place to take drug deliveries and then spread the drugs in the local community. She reluctantly participates in the drug business, but refuses to be a part of anything else; Ryan internally acknowledges that she is not a good candidate for murder secrecy. She is high and very pregnant when she goes into labor and dies.
KEY ADULT EXPERIENCES: She dies at 17 but comes back as a fully functioning dead person. Her body and her spirit (deformed from death) are separated; her body is buried and her spirit goes in the real world as if she is truly alive. She is able to hide her dead appearance with meticulous makeup. Because she isn’t in her original body anymore, she doesn’t continue to rot and therefore does not smell. But she has no real need to breathe either (though she does it out of habit). She steals Chloe from the foster home after killing Paula and runs off to Newark Valley and finds an abandoned hunter’s cabin in the woods on the edge of town. This cabin is hidden from the road and she is able to establish new identities for them. She starts her own small business selling crocheted items.
SEXUAL BACKGROUND: Ryan is the only partner she has ever had (and the rape from Tony and Erick).
FAVORITES: She loves all music; will listen to anything. She loves pasta the most, but isn’t too picky about anything else, or is usually too polite to complain about not liking something. Her favorite colors are green and blue. She is a romantic at heart and loves romance books and movies.
GOALS AND MOTIVATIONS: She is motivated by anything happy and/or beautiful. As a teen, her goal is to earn money with her singing, get married, and have a lot of children. As an adult, her goal is to provide for her daughter before her stolen time on Earth is up.
MORALITY/ETHICS: She is highly moral, follows the same kindness code children generally follow. She doesn’t say anything if she doesn’t have something nice to say. She doesn’t lie, cheat, or steal (this changes when she dies and needs to steal makeup to hide her dead appearance, though she makes up for this by giving extra merchandise or selling cheaper).
STYLE OF SPEECH: Slight New York accent. But nothing notable otherwise. Does not appear uneducated.
WORDS/SLANG/JARGON: Nothing of notice. Does not use y’all. Says soda, not pop.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: The relationship between Ryan and Lily is the definition of domestic abuse. Both come from abusive families themselves and aren’t able to recognize it themselves. She is unable to stand up for herself during their relationship due to her background and personality, but learns her value as Chloe grows up and as she spends more time away from his influence. When she first reaches the cabin, she searches every inch she can of it and finds a small stash of money (just a couple hundred dollars). While this is not much, it does help her a little bit. She is forced to ignore her conscience and has to resort to theft to get basic beauty needs (hair care, body wash, and makeup) to hide her appearance as well as clothes, and she has to steal quite a bit of baby stuff for Chloe (clothing, diapers, wipes, body stuff, and formula). Once she has these basics, she is able to take a bus to a town called Vestal to try to find a job and maybe a different place to live. She prefers the cabin she found, because of its secrecy, but knows that it might not work for them because her daughter will need to eat. While there, she is able to take a crochet class at a Michaels; they even let her bring Chloe to the classes. She quickly excels in these classes and is able to produce make different things that she is able to market and sell in her new town (Newark Valley). There are a couple little mom and pop stores there that have contracts with her. While this does not bring in a bunch of money, it brings in enough that she doesn’t have to find another job to sustain their living. Around the time of the fire, Lily had been researching on expanding her business online; she had learned how to make her own patterns and was interested in selling these patterns on Etsy (this allowed her to do something she had come to love without having to worry about having to crochet on demand or hold stock of items that may never sell). Even after the fire, this seems like one of the best courses for her to take, though it isn’t exactly the thing she’s worried about. She still doesn’t buy anything first hand, everything comes from thrift shops. She learns to grow her own food and tends her own garden to help keep food costs down (she doesn’t have to eat, but does for appearance sake).