It’s so hard to choose a favorite character. My knee jerk reaction is to say Persephone or Hades. Imagine my surprise when I realized that simply wasn’t true. Once I sat down and really thought about it, the answer became obvious. Cassandra is my favorite character.
Cassandra’s a background character. She’s Persephone’s friend and guide in the Underworld, and she continues to play a minor role in the next two books. I’m always searching for a way to write her into more scenes, but it’s hard to put her in them without letting her take over.
I can’t really call Cassandra my character. She’s popped up in books, movies, and television shows for centuries. She has a fascinating backstory and manages to appear in a huge variety of myths. She helps Hercules, she witnesses the fall of Troy, and she even made a guest appearance on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But every incarnation I’ve ever seen of Cassandra focused on one thing.
Her life sucked. She was raped by Apollo and cursed with visions of the future that no one would believe so long as she lived. The visions drove her nuts. Can you imagine what it would be like to know something horrible was going to happen and not do anything to stop it? As if all that wasn’t bad enough she was part of the royal house in Troy, and they weren’t treated very well after the war.
But that was life. My Cassandra’s a bit different because she’s dead. And she’s having a great time. She still has the visions, but that whole bit about no one believing her so long as she lived no longer applies. She’s Hades’ most trusted advisor, and she practically runs the Underworld. She’s over the top cheerful, but she’s got a healthy sense of snark. She doesn’t put up with much drama and has a very practical way of looking at things.
In all the scenes she’s in, her voice is always a welcome one. I’m even toying with the idea of writing a prequel that’s narrated by her, and her sister-in-law, Helen of Troy. I’d love to write that story, but the research aspect alone is daunting. Persephone appears in three major myths, and those three myths took weeks of research to tie in as many aspects into the story as possible. Troy… that’s a lot of material, and the Trojan war is just a fraction of the myths Helen and Cassandra are a part of.
It would be a long project, but I think it would be worth it. If I’m willing to wade through all that just to write more scenes with her, she really must be my favorite character.