I’ve had a lot of questions about Tella Holloway. She’s the main character from my newest series kicking off with FIRE & FLOOD in March 2014 from Scholastic. But who is she, what does she like, and how in the world did she end up fighting for her brother’s life in the Brimstone Bleed? Today, I’ll introduce Tella, the heroine of this story, and next month, I’ll introduce the hero.

Let’s start with what Tella isn’t. Tella Holloway isn’t Katniss Everdeen. In fact, a big part of where I got my inspiration for FIRE & FLOOD was studying Katniss’s character. Katniss is fearless, strong, capable. If there was a fight to the death, my money would have been on her winning after reading ten pages of THE HUNGER GAMES. I absolutely loved the story like hundreds of thousands of other people. But I couldn’t help thinking, How would I fair in a fight to the death? 

My chances would be grim, I’ll tell you that much.

As YA readers, we’ve come to expect our heroines to be just like Katniss. We want them to be brave in the face of certain death, to combat men with unbridled ferocity, and to be selfless beyond measure. So with Tella, I wanted to try something different. You know me, I love to gamble when writing.

So, dear readers, Tella isn’t fearless. She isn’t built of strength and prowess and perfect bravery. She can be incredibly selfless. But she also gets scared. She loves a mean Greek salad and adores getting a good manicure with her best friend, Hannah. She likes fashion and cute boys and the “sicky song” her mom sings her when she doesn’t feel well. Tella is like a lot of us. She is normal. She is flawed. She doesn’t always make the right decision, and when she is thrown into the jungle and asked to make it to base camp with nothing more than an unhatched Pandora egg…she freaks the hell out.

Tella has brown eyes that are similar to her mother’s, and her father’s chestnut-colored curly hair. She is rather short and can run like nobody’s business. She wears a blue and green feather in her hair that hangs over her right shoulder, and she can dish out some serious snark. But more than anything, Tella Holloway loves her brother. So much so that when he gets sick, and she’s confronted with the slim chance to save him, she takes it.

The Brimstone Bleed is set in modern day, and what I wanted more than anything, was to tell this dangerous thriller story with a modern teen girl. One who cries when we would, who gets scared when we would be scared, and who despite how afraid she is at certain times, preservers anyway.

I hope you guys love Tella the way I do. And her Pandora, too. 😀