I’m huge fan of your work and I’m so fascinated about Anna Lightwood. I have great expectations about this character and I’m so excited to read more about her! Could you tell us something about Anna? Also, while I was reading The Whitechapel Fiend I wondered how was the relationship between James and Anna while they were kids. Will they be close in TLH? thankssss ! — bloomingalive
I’m glad you’re excited about Anna! She’s a lot of fun to write.
It’s always hard to talk about characters who are in the process of being formed. Since the first book of the Last Hours isn’t finished, I don’t think of Anna as finished. She’s a WIP until the book is in the hands of readers.
As it stands now, James and Anna have been brought up almost like siblings, certainly as very close cousins. They’re part of a close group, the children of the London Conclave, who all know each other. Anna is a bit older than most of the TLH characters — she has her own apartment/flat on Percy Street, lives alone, does her own thing to some extent — but she’s very protective of “the boys”: Matthew, James, her little brother Christopher and Thomas.
The London group respects Anna; she’s very popular and self-assured. Cordelia is a bit afraid of her when she gets to town, because if Anna doesn’t like you, no one will!
Hi Cassie! I’ve been wondering if Will really had frolicked with prostitutes before he met Tessa and who does Anna Lightwood have a romantic interest in? If she has one at all in TLH — imnearlyalwaysbored
He didn’t, and you know there’s no chance I’d tell you about Anna’s romance/s! That’s the fun of reading a book, to find that stuff out.
Dear cassie I saw your post about anna lightwood on my dash and i happend to see a trivia about alice roosevelt underneath it, both are modern women too hardcore for their respective eras, please tell me if i am wrong or not because i spent 15 minutes on my dash pondering at the similarity of the two and wondered if you based anna on alice? — rhaedarofworlds
That’s interesting! Anna is in part based on the artist Romaine Brooks. She was a portrait artist who lived from 1874-1970. She dressed in men’s clothes and was involved with many famous women, at least one of whom was the love of her life. (Natalie Barney.) According to Wiki: “Her subjects ranged from anonymous models to titled aristocrats. She is best known for her images of women in androgynous or masculine dress, including her self-portrait of 1923, which is her most widely reproduced work.”
I was specifically struck and inspired by her portrait of “Peter, a young English girl”:
I think of Anna as having a similar intent gaze and dark hair. Romaine Brooks also painted herself, again according to Wiki: “Brooks’s 1923 self-portrait has a grimmer tone. Brooks painted herself in a tailored riding coat, gloves, and top hat. Behind her is a ruined building rendered in gray and black, underneath a slate-colored sky. Her eyes are shaded by the brim of her hat, so that, according to one critic, “she’s watching you before you get close enough to look at her. She’s not passively inviting your approach; she’s deciding whether you’re worth bothering with.”
Cecily and Gabriel’s little Anna was a year older than James, and had already blazed her way through the Institute. She sometimes made attempts to go for walks on her own in London, but was always blocked by Auntie Jessamine, who stood guard by the door. Whether or not Anna knew that Auntie Jessamine was a ghost was unclear. She was simply the loving, ethereal force by the doorway who shooed her back inside and told her to stop taking her father’s hats.
You have been in every line I have ever read, since I first came here, the rough common boy whose poor heart you wounded even then. You have been in every prospect I have ever seen since — on the river, on the sails of the ships, on the marshes, in the clouds, in the light, in the darkness, in the wind, in the woods, in the sea, in the streets. You have been the embodiment of every graceful fancy that my mind has ever become acquainted with. The stones of which the strongest London buildings are made, are not more real, or more impossible to be displaced by your hands, than your presence and influence have been to me, there and everywhere, and will be. Estella, to the last hoursof my life, you cannot choose but remain part of my character, part of the little good in me, part of the evil. — Great Expectations, Charles Dickens