When I read I find myself most fascinated by the characters who grow emotionally and who take chances despite their fears. The ones I carry with me long after I put a book down have a range of emotion and through their experiences teach me a little something about life. When I think back to the influential characters of my childhood these characters and their lessons come to mind: Nancy Drew, be inquisitive and pay attention to the details; Miss Bianca (The Rescuers) be brave and persistent; Lucy (The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe) have faith; and Mary (The Secret Garden) love can changes lives and be magical. The influence of characters has continued as I have read in my adulthood: the cadre of characters in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, that the human spirit can not be conquered by oppressors; The Sister Frevisse series by Margaret Frazer, that human failings and emotions are timeless; and Sissy from The Scandalous Summer of Sissy La Blanc, you have to be true to yourself even if that means bucking the conventional. I find that when I create characters as I write, they teach me lessons too, but that is a topic for a future blog. I challenge you to think about the characters who have been most influential and what they taught you. I think you will find those characters helped to build your own.