Library of Characters: Lillian Keith

Hi everyone! My pen name is Lillian Keith, but you can call me Lily. It’s really nice to meet you all! I’m a children’s/middle grade author, and a Christian, homeschool grad. So far, I’ve only published a short story and a novella, and I can’t seem to stick with just one genre to write *lol*. I love fantasy and dystopian, and recently I’ve been dabbling in realistic fiction for kids. I’ve also become interested in writing historical fiction, but with all the other story characters filling my notebook, perhaps that will have to wait for a bit XD. Oh, and for totally random and useless facts, I live on the sunny West Coast (where we don’t get a white Christmas *sobs*), I used to be in a highschool choir, and I take way too many photos of sunsets.

Introduce your character to me—who is she? What story is she from?

So, this is my character, Lyla. *motions to shy character off to side* *said character waves shyly at audience* She’s the protagonist of my published short story, An Apprentice Escapes, a non-magical fantasy story for kids. She just turned thirteen summers old.

Give a synopsis of her past

Lyla grew up learning about herbal remedies because her parents were a part of an apothecaries’ guild in their province. However, not long after Lyla’s father died, all apothecaries were banned from practicing medicine; so Lyla and her mother took their business underground. She has fond memories of tending the garden with her mother, and she desires to be an apothecary like Mama. But then her mother is found out and arrested, Lyla has to figure out how to escape and be on her own.

What gave/gives you inspiration for her?

I was brainstorming a story idea for a writing class I was taking. Long story short, I jotted down random words that came to mind, and eventually I had this image of a girl all alone. I knew right away there was a character I needed to get to know.

Suddenly Mama was yanked from my view. I glimpsed the officials throwing her into the back of the other cart. With a slash of the whip, the horse hauled it away. Far away from me.

“NO!” I wailed. The floor lurched beneath me and I fell against the wall. “I’m not brave like you,” I whimpered.

I wanted the dark walls of the prison cart to swallow me whole. The forest was supposed to be our refuge. But now, nowhere was safe. Mama and Papa were gone. How could I carry on without them?

How has her past shaped what she is now? What is that personality?

I think Lyla’s parents’ devotion to their work, their genuine care for their patients, and their belief in doing worthy things have influenced Lyla to do the same, even though it’s hard and there’s no instant reward.

What are her strengths and weaknesses?

I’d say Lyla’s strength is her firm belief in everything her mother has taught her. However, she does struggle with fear and doubt in persevering in what she knows is right.

Give a few examples of how she needs to/will grow throughout the story. (Without spoilers😜)

Haha, okay this should be interesting. Lyla’s is a short story, so let’s see if I can keep any spoilers out of it…There are times when Lyla’s beliefs are questioned and she has to make a choice, even when the outcome could cost her her freedom and hope of being reunited with her mom. She has to keep holding fast to what she’s been taught and to not let fear overcome her.

Mama, Mama! I thought. How could I keep going when I am constantly betrayed? Maybe Finn was right. Maybe this gift was too great a responsibility.

Maybe it wasn’t a gift, but a burden.

What is her greatest struggle or fear?

*briefly consults with character* Well, Lyla says her fear is not being able to survive alone without her mom. She isn’t sure whom to trust anymore since everyone seems to be against her and her mom’s work.

What is she most afraid of losing?

She’s afraid of losing her mom forever, along with her freedom and using her healing gifts to help people.

“So, are you a doc in disguise?”

“No.” And I never will be, I thought. But would I continue being an apothecary?

Or would that dream be taken from me too?

Character Appearance:

I don’t go into great physical description of Lyla in the story because it’s from her first person viewpoint. But, from the pictures I saved for character inspo, I always pictured her as having a slender build, long wavy dark hair, and deep brown eyes. Her chin is small, and her face is kinda angular. And her clothing is very similar to late 19 century clothing, but not quite (as she’s from a fantasy/dystopian world)

I felt like I was being ripped in half. What should I do? Where was Mama when I needed her?

I glanced at Finn.

“Whatever you decide, I’ll help you,” he whispered.

Sow the worthy seeds, I thought. Only sow the worthy seeds.

Thank you for having me (and Lyla) Lucy! This was so much fun!

2 responses to “Library of Characters: Lillian Keith”

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