If you read the original iteration of A Single Thread, you know Lucinda Hightower.
Lucinda is an eighteen year old girl who has been followed by death omens her entire life–so in A Single Thread, when Morgan Fletcher tells her her brother’s life is in danger, she takes him at his word and they team up to stop the attack.
Would you believe she started out as a Weasley?
I’m currently drafting Since Death’s Erasure, book two of the Unliving series, which is a continuation of the stories begun in the original Web books. As I came upon the part in the draft where Lucinda makes an appearance, I felt such an abundance of love for this character that I was about to take to Twitter to force my love on everyone else–it is Valentine’s Day, right?–but luckily for my Twitter followers, this kind of love needs more than 140 characters.
Lucinda was born on a Harry Potter role-playing forum, set at Hogwarts, featuring the children of Harry and company. I was in high school at the time; my character was Lucinda Weasley, Ravenclaw seventh year, a stern academic with few friends and no interest in romance.
Enter playboy Damien Malfoy, of Yes, Those Malfoys, add a “hate to love” trope, and you’ve got all the drama a high school kid like me needed.
That forum didn’t last, but my role-playing friends and I joined and created plenty more, most of them in the Harry Potter universe. Lucinda was my mainstay, a character I was sure to recreate on any board. Her story played out again and evolved most on two other HP boards, one set at a wizarding school in Ireland, the other on our group’s crowning achievement: After Graduation, a board set in Wizarding London, following our Irish characters into adulthood as they dealt with all the shit we’d put them through in school. AG was amazing. It ran for years, and aside from the trappings of Rowling’s wizarding world, was entirely original. It was the site of such genius as the fabric-of-magic-time-space-continuum-connector-gene plot, for heaven’s sake.
I wasn’t about to let Lucinda go just because I ran out of time to role-play. I wanted to officially tell the story of Lucinda and Damien, but I’d learned a few things in the interim. As much as I love a Beauty and the Beast story, that wasn’t quite how I wanted things to go. I wrote The Longing and the Lack, the Unliving #1, which releases later this year–and trust me, “hate to love” is only the beginning.
In our roleplaying days, my friends and I joked about what a Mary Sue Lucinda was. In a lot of ways we were misusing the term, even back then–we meant that Lucy was beautiful, she was clever, she was kind. I used Naomi Watts as her avatar, which meant no end of fragile, lovely photos at my disposal for character art and signature banners.
We made fun of how perfect she was and how all the characters loved her–but we loved her too! I loved writing her, and my friends and I certainly didn’t stop writing the affection that surrounded Lucinda and practically every character she interacted with. We teased to make ourselves feel better, but the joke was on us, in the end, I think.
When I started The Longing and the Lack in 2014, I thought a lot about who Lucinda Hightower was to me. The thing that keeps pulling me back to her is her solidity. For all the old jokes about her early versions being sensitive or emotional, for me Lucinda is a calm, cool presence in the supernatural storm around her. She’s an immovable glacier who will either shelter you or fucking crush you, and I cannot BEGIN to describe the immensity of my love for those kind of characters.
It’s not that Lucinda is icy or unfeeling (though I love characters like that too). She just has this core running through her that keeps her focused no matter what gets thrown at her. As I’ve written her, it’s taken on kind of a life of its own and become, in my view, her defining characteristic.
In The Longing and the Lack, Lucinda must team up with Damien
Malfoy Reed to break a family curse, and I can’t wait to share that story with you this fall. (Add it on Goodreads and sign up for my newsletter to stay up-to-date.)