Author Amy Caudill on Crafting a Gamer Mom Character

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Virtual or reality?
Virtual by Amy Caudill. Can you be sure what's real?

Today we welcome Amy Caudill, who recently published her first novel Virtual. If you follow her blog then you know she is a lover of sci-fi and fantasy. When I read her book blurb, I knew I wanted to have her here to tell us more about the female character in her book. She has graciously written a guest post today about how she created gamer mom Amanda Connor, the main character in Virtual.

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Virtual or reality?
Virtual by Amy Caudill. Can you be sure what’s real?

Thank you Christy for having me here to talk a little bit about my new book Virtual, and its main character, an unlikely action heroine named Amanda Connor.

Amanda is a typical working mom who spends all her time taking care of her family and her job. At first glance she doesn’t really fit the mold of anyone’s hero: she is meek, a bit timid and afraid of conflict, whether in dealing with her coworkers or the homeroom mothers’ clique at her children’s school.  Before we meet her in this identity, though, we are introduced to her alter-ego.

Once the kids are tucked into bed, Amanda logs into a virtual reality game where she transforms into Leslie Storm, a spandex-wearing adventurer who scales mountains and attacks monsters with a sword.  “Leslie” joins Amanda’s computer-programmer husband Pete in exploring an entire world created by Virtual Technologies, which includes mountains, jungles, and cityscapes.  Players can either compete against each other or join forces to fight against an army of Non-Player Characters, who assume roles ranging from office drones to supernatural monsters to entertain the human players.

Amy Caudill is a blogger and author
Author Amy Caudill explains about her gamer mom character Amanda Connor. Photo used with Amy’s permission.

Without giving away too much, I can say that the dynamic of the Amanda/Leslie role is very important to the central plot.  A devious scheme hatched by the president of Virtual Tech forces Amanda to act in ways outside her comfort zone.

She has to assume the role of protector, and call on character traits that she would normally associate only with her game avatar to save the day.  As Amanda transitions into the heroine she plays in a game, she begins to understand that she had the ability to assert herself all along, and begins to allow this part of her personality to show in other areas of her life.

There is truly a lot of myself written into this character.  While the plot is purely a work of fiction, some of Amanda’s thoughts, feelings, and desires came straight out of my head.  I tend to be shy, and am not always the best at being assertive when it’s needed.  I also spent seventeen years working in a medical office environment, similar to Amanda’s experience, before leaving that career to pursue my dreams of writing for a living.

About Amy Caudill

To contact author Amy Caudill, please visit her at http://www.amycaudill.net. You can also connect with her on Twitter or Goodreads.

Virtual was just released and is available as an Amazon e-book for Kindle.

31 COMMENTS

  1. Fascinating book and intrigued by the concept of the shy gamer Mum ending up as the saviour…battling it out! Great share, Christy and lovely to learn a bit about Amy! 😀😀

  2. About to turn 80 years old, the virtual concepts presented here are far outside my experience, and yet I find myself fascinated by this interview and am eager to read Ami’s book. I even have the idea that this book may have particular relevance to my own life right now. I just downloaded the Kindle version and am eager to begin reading. Thank you for introducing me to Ami.
    Carol

    • I’m so happy to hear that you can relate to my character, Carol. I am not a techie myself, though I’m married to one, so the story is more about the character than the circumstances. I hope you enjoy it!

  3. Reblogged this on amycaudill.net and commented:
    I was honored to be featured this week as a guest author at Christy Birmingham’s incredible blog, When Women Inspire. Christy invited me to talk about the female main character in my new book, Virtual, which was just recently released. To see the entire post, click on the link here or check out Christy’s website.

  4. Love that idea of when the kids in bed, Mom transforms as savior Sounds Awesome..
    Good luck to Amy with her book adventures.. And lovely you shared Christy..
    Sending hugs your way and lots of love xxx <3

    • Thank you very much Sue. I became interested in computer games through my husband and (now grown) children, and still count on them as my best sources of all things game-related. My book character just carries that one step further.

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