I’d like to welcome lovely lady, author and friend, Melissa Foster to Musings today. Melissa’s newest release Come Back to Me is out and Melissa graciously agreed to talk today about the character Suha and how character can truly shape a novel. Enjoy!
Suha’s World, by Melissa Foster
Sometimes a character comes along that touches you in a way that is far different than the rest. Suha, in COME BACK TO ME, is one of those characters. She’s a strong woman who has had to fight stigmas her entire life, she’s not an attractive women, and she’s not even very outwardly warm, and yet I found myself endeared to her from the every first word. Suha gives to others, expecting nothing in return. Suha, is my hero.
Developing Suha was a joy for me. It was not an easy task, though, as I had to crawl out of the comfortable world that I knew and into a new world with new rules and uncomfortable situations. I found depth in Suha by connecting with other women who had experienced some of the same discrimination, and portraying their emotions on the page. The easy part of developing Suha was finding her voice. She’s tough—she had to be to survive in her world. Once I understood her emotions, and which ones she needed to suppress, her voice came naturally.
Suha is a physician in her mid-sixties. She is guiding Samira, a young Iraqi mother of three, and her children, out of the country with the help of an underground railroad. Suha’s mother died when she was young, and she was raised by her physician father—a warm, intelligent man who taught her English and raised her with respect. Some ask if the war changed Suha, but I don’t believe it did. Suha has been a strong, untrusting woman her whole life. She protects those she loves with a vengeance, and has little time for those who treat others poorly. I wonder, sometimes late at night when the house is quiet, if Suha had a softer side that was simply never exposed. Certainly there were softer traits shown toward Beau, but overshadowed by the things she must do in order to survive, and keep Samira and her children safe.
If you haven’t had a chance to meet this extraordinary woman, I hope you will take the time to do so. I think of her often, even know, long after she’s left my fingertips.
Melissa Foster is the bestselling, award-winning author of three novels, Megan’s Way, Chasing Amanda, and Come Back to Me. She has also been published in Indie Chicks, and anthology. She is the founder of the Women’s Nest, a social and support community for women, and the WoMen’s Literary Cafe, a cross-promotional site for authors, reviewers, bloggers, and readers. Melissa is currently collaborating in the film production of Megan’s Way, and hard at work on her next novel.
Melissa hosts an annual Aspiring Authors contest for children, she’s written for Calgary’s Child Magazine and Women Business Owners Magazine, and has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Melissa lives in Maryland with her family. Melissa’s interests include her family, reading, writing, painting, friends, helping women see the positive side of life, and visiting Cape Cod.