Natalia Faucon was a very spur of the moment character who could have easily got nowhere at all. I can admit that I felt like creating her after the second time I watched Prometheus (and loved it in comparison to the first time when I wanted to throw things at the screen) and really liked Noomi Rapace‘s role in it . So, I wanted to have some kind of space explorer at once. The thing was that I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to make Natalia her own person and I certainly didn’t want a rip off from the character in Prometheus.
She eventually became a geologist born at the border of Wild Space, who spent all of her life there. She lost her mother when only a few months old and was raised by her father, who still works in the same region as well. When I began to write her, she already was in her mid thirties. Contrary to people she knew, she never expressed interest in reaching for the more civilized part of the galaxy. She always felt a calling to Wild Space. As she grew up, she showed interest in geology, star charts and old space routes. She didn’t go through any regular school curriculum but learned everything with a mentor who trained her when she joined the crew of a space station called the Lunatica.
Once her mentor left to take a professorial position at the university of Telos, she took his place aboard the Lunatica, but because of her lack of actual degree, she didn’t get enough funding to continue her research properly. She had some solid findings but worked with subpar equipment. Yet, she didn’t want to give up on what she knew was her calling. With a fiery and easily volatile temper, the geologist always liked to work on her own better too, to the dismay of any short term trainees who ever had to deal with her. One thing that was very personal that I put into Natalia is her search for professional validation and be able to make her own stand, despite her not having the exact profile expected by some institutions. I created her at a time when I found myself making the hard decision to quitting my Ph.D. and working on making the transition to establish myself as an independent scholar. I didn’t realize right away how writing Natalia – especially as her personality and choices are otherwise very different from mine – was therapeutic for me in this special matter.
Natalia was a very casual lover who always made the best of any entertaining opportunity she got, without any interest or longing for a steady relationship. So when she randomly met a stranger stopping by the Lunatica under the pretense of writing some article about it, she had no idea that this would eventually become more than a one night stand. Not only did they have great chemistry but they also got along well outside of the bedroom and kept in touch, first accidentally, then voluntarily. Besides the personal aspect, this relationship also saw her gain new professional opportunities and grounds, to the point of joining the New Republic in an official – and unexpected – capacity.
- How do you proceed to appropriate yourself a character when you worry they are too close to a source of inspiration?
- How do your characters choose to deal with professional hurdles?
- How much room to you leave for the unknown (or fate or luck) in your characters’ story?