Dramatis Personae - The Characters of Skin Deep

Being inspired by Ara's character introduction, I decided to write up formal bios of my main characters. Believe it or not, this has helped me greatly in getting over my writer's block and beginning again on Skin Deep. Also, I realized that I did not have a definite vision of what most of my characters looked like. Finding real people to base my characters' appearances off of has helped tremendously in describing them. And having a clear mental image even aids me in developing their personalities.

Thus, it is my pleasure to introduce you to the dramatis personae of my novel...

(Note: the pictures are not mine. And the actors were merely chosen because of physical resemblance, not because any character they have played was in any way similar to the characters of the novel.)

Debby Alston
Debby is the main character of this story; a true heroin. Life was not always as bad as it had seemed for Debby. But in her younger years, things seemed to be worse than they really were. She took everything to heart then, wore her feelings on her sleeve, and was wounded easily by unkind words. Now that Debby is 18, she is having to deal with some emotional and physiological issues due to her childhood. She has no clue what feelings she may have suppressed, or what events may have caused her to become so anxious and scared, but she is willing to do anything to put her life back on track, and find freedom from the eating disorder than has her trapped. There are times when Debby looks at herself in the mirror and wonders who she has become and asks, "Does God not hear my cries? Why does not he help me?" If only she had the faith it took to move mountains. If only she could be assured that God was somehow orchestrating her escape from bondage. If only she could find the courage to forgive and love again. If only God could promise her that she is be at peace and completely happy with herself and her life again. If only.

Paige McGraw Alston

A woman with so much insight and character. She is loving, caring, and very encouraging. She lives for her family and wants what is best for her kids: Debby and Wendy. She stands behind her husband, but sometimes questions his ability to be a father because of the way he acts towards his children. She knows about Debby's eating disorder and blames herself. Maybe if she had been there more for her daughter, or was somehow able to help Debby understand that her father's anger was not directed towards her, then maybe her daughter would not be struggling. And if she had known what her daughter had gone through as a child-the cruel treatment she endured from other kids-then maybe she could have cushioned the blow. Now all Debby's mom can do is watch her child deal with the pain of an eating disorder, grieve, pray, and continue to offer positive reinforcement in her time of need. She wonders, though, if Debby will ever be the same? Will her daughter ever be happy again?  

Nicholas 'Nick' Alston
Mr. Alston has no clue about the fear he has instilled in Debby. He remembers nothing of the night his temper exploded. He does not even realize that it effected his daughter as much as it did. He does not see her pain because of how well she hides it, but he does notice that she is not as receptive towards him as she once was. She's distant and snippy with him and he does not understand why. He is a hard worker, strong, and loyal. He has a quick temper and a foul mouth but the years have changed him and he has mellowed out. But that does little to help him reconnect with his daughter who is afraid of her own father. What can he do to rekindle that connection and bond they once had? Saying sorry only gets him so far. What is Debby needing from him that he hasn't given her already?

Wendy Alaston
Wendy is the polar opposite of her sister Debby. She is a social butterfly who is almost never awkward or unaccepted in a group setting. She is a fashionista and is a very bubbly girl. She is the youth leader at their church, actively involved in youth activities, and is the Youth Praise Band's lead singer. When she is not being active and social, she is worried about her sister. Like her father, Wendy does not understand what is causing Debby to continue with this eating disorder. She does not even understand what caused it to start. All she wants are answers and a solution. The last thing Wendy wants to see is Debby suffering from past offenses that should be the past, but are not easily forgotten by her sister. She is worried about her sister and fears that she will be attending her sister's funeral long before God planned to call her home.


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