It has been a long time since I did Beautiful People. The last time I did it for Mazelin, I think: out of nowhere I decided to do a post for Jennalaide.
What is her full name?
Does her name have a special meaning?
No. Her name was originally going to be “Jenna,” but then the “laide” came along as well, a carry over from "Adelaide," which is a pretty name in my opinion. A few people still call her “Jenna” as a diminutive.
Does your character have a methodical or disorganized personality?
Jennalaide has a brutally organized mind: I think Mr. Miyagi would be proud of her. She is fastidious in manner and appearance, but I think most of this is a necessary defence against panic. She has learned to receive everything with a calm demeanour, to think quickly, and to act with an almost irritatingly unruffled air.
Does she think inside herself more than she talks out loud to her friends? (More importantly, does she actually have friends?)
Jennalaide does not have any friends—she does not care much for male company and she cannot abide the presence of other females. She is a pretty, prickly little cat whom only an arranged marriage would wrangle into any kind of relationship, and even then she might contrive to get out of it if she thought it a worse option than being an old maid. She also keeps her own council, a habit which produces acute agonies in some of the other characters.
Is there something she is afraid of?
Yes, but to tell would be to give away too much. But she is of good stock: fear tends to produce in her a compounded determination to get her own way.
Does she write, dream, dance, or sing?
Jennalaide is an accomplished hand and can read, write, and speak in Carmarthen, English, French, and Latin. (“You can’t—you can’t speak Latin. It’s a dead language.”) She is a decent singer but a better dancer, and of course she has dreams.
What is her favorite book?
The Unconquered Sun: the Life and Wars of Auxoris by Margold Becket, Dean of Lamblight.
Who is someone that inspires her?
Auxoris, for one, who was a renowned general in history, and also a singular woman who will at present go unnamed. Jennalaide has met neither as yet (hint: she’s not going to get to meet Auxoris).
How old is she?
It’s not polite to ask a lady her age. My understanding is that she is nearnabout twenty, possibly a year more.
What does she do with her spare time?
Jennalaide has probably more free time than is good for her. When she was younger she practiced the art of pranking; being a young lady now, all that malicious energy has been channeled inward to creating schemes for her wellbeing. She has always been intent on getting her way: this does not change with age. Hobbies include horseback riding, archery, and hunting with falcons.
Does she see the big picture or live in the moment?
She is much more of a big-picture kind of girl, although she is never against enjoying the moment.
Is she a perfectionist?
She is a perfectionist, rather, but she is willing to admit that perfection takes time. But she will get her perfection.
Does she have any pets?
No, not as such, unless you count her horse Essence of Amber, whom you have already met briefly in Horse Sense.
Does she have any siblings? How many? Where does she fit in?
She has quite a number of half-siblings, of which she is by far the eldest. She has absolutely nothing to do with them if she can help it, and they generally have enough sense to keep out of her way. She has a rough, mannish side and has once boxed a half-brother in the ear—forgetting she was wearing a ring at the time, it left quite a mark.
Does she have a 'life verse' and if so what is it?
“Strike all my enemies on the jaw—shatter the teeth of the wicked!”
What type of laugh does she have?
Silvery. It’s positively silvery. It is also maddeningly provoking.
What is her family like?
Hellish, Carmarthen, and dysfunctional.
Is she a Christian?
Yes, she is a Christian.
Favourite kind of weather?
Clear, cool weather in early autumn.
Does she have a good sense of humor? If so what kind? (Slapstick, wit, sarcasm, etc.?)
She has a very sharp sense of humour and an appreciation for the absurd, but she is also very forward—not fast, but definitely forward in her humour. She finds it amusing to watch people squirm, and it is also an excellent weapon.
Right, or left handed?
Jennalaide is right-handed.
A very soft pink, I imagine.
Where is she from?
What are her quirks?
Jennalaide is a very accomplished actress, not through formal training, but through years of basic necessity. In addition, years of habit have given her slightly mannish tendencies which are jarring when you first meet her. She has exquisite poise and a lady’s skill with her expressions, but the set of her shoulders and the hardness of her brow, on occasion, are not what a finished lady’s should be.
What kinds of things get on her nerves?
Her father, women, children, being bullied, and, in general, men.
Is she independent, or needs others to help out?
What is her biggest secret?
“I am glad you have come. I hung my scarlet thread for you.”
Has she ever been in love?
Other than with herself, no.
What is her comfort food?
Red tea and coconut-sugar cubes.
Does she play a musical instrument? If so, what?
She plays the piano (when she has to), the harp, the harpsichord, and the bagpipes (which she plays with irritating frequency).
What colour are her eyes and hair?
Her eyes are blue and her hair is blonde. I’m not sure I’ve ever written a blonde before.
Does she believe in love at first sight?
Yes, I think so.
What does she like to wear?
She looks pretty smashing in pink, so she has a lot of that. She is also very fond of jewellery, both silver and gold, and the paler gems. Her styles run more toward the Carmarthen cut than anything else—they do know how to dress their women…
What do your other characters have to say about her?
None of it is repeatable.
Does she have any habits, annoying or otherwise?
She has a great fondness for playing the cat-and-mouse game with herself in the role of the cat, and for comporting herself in a skin-crawlingly provoking manner of smugness.
How does she show love?
How competitive is she?
Imagine the mother of an emperor crossed with a European football diva.
Sum up your novel in five words or less.
Save-the-world-romance. That is one word. Boo yah.
Does your character have a specific theme song?
Oh, I don’t know. Something from Blackmore’s Night, I think.
If your character had a superpower, what would it be?
“Pyrokinesis.” “That isn’t even a real word.” Let’s just say, given Jennalaide’s character, it is probably for the betterment of humanity that she not be endowed with superhuman powers.
For all she gave the appearance of a half-breed Carmarthen princess in what could have passed among my folk as wedding attire, she had heated iron for a tongue.