One of the questions that I frequently get is “what is up with the Denise/Louisa character?” And it’s because I never really found a good way to explain her behavior in the novel (Winged). She enters at a time when momentum is starting to pick up, and I didn’t want to just go off to explain an awkward side character.
In order to understand Louisa, you must understand how she came about. Louisa was born from a strange conversation over a bus stop. My friend, Chantae, and I were in San Francisco, and we’d just been dropped off to an obscure part of town by an unsanctioned taxi (who was ripping us off, by the way) while we were in search for a Peter Pan hat. The store didn’t have said hat, and we were going to try another, but we found that the taxi was no longer present. There were no other taxis in the area and we didn’t have a lot of money anyway because of the taxi that was ripping us off, so we decided to look for a bus stop. And as we were running around San Francisco like beheaded chickens, Chantae saw a rather attractive boy and said, “Him! We should ask him where it is!”
“Well, what makes you think he’s going to know where the bus stop is?” None of the other dozen people we asked knew where the bus stop was.
“I don’t know, but he’s hot. So we should ask him.”
“Oh, that’s a great conversation starter,” I replied sarcastically. To illustrate my point, I straightened up and, doing my best caricature of her, said, “‘Excuse me, you are very attractive. Do you know where the bus stop is?’ Yeah, that wouldn’t be awkward at all.”
After a good laugh, we found a sign that let us know where the bus stop was, and it was decided that I should make a character who might be so awkward that she didn’t know how to interact with normal people in the most basic way. While we walked several blocks to our destination, we worked everything out from her frizzy blonde hair to her glasses with the thick black frames.
Okay, so what is up with Louisa?
Louisa learned that people enjoy compliments, and it was a quick way to boost a person’s ego before asking for something that she wanted. However, this was transformed into a personal rule or tick whenever she asks someone a question no matter how simple.