Inspired by Valentine's, let's talk the Hopeless Romantic of Aramore
Compared to vampires and princesses, the human daughter of a baker might seem like one of the more "ordinary" customers to step into the apothecary. But for many reasons, I believe Heidi is anything but ordinary. She and Isabel form not just one of the more honest and pure friendships seen across volume 1, but the message in her story is one I hope resonates with many when it comes to love. And because The Thorny Truth is actually the first Apothecary story I ever wrote, she'll always hold a special place in my heart as Isabel's unofficial first customer.
Heidi Hawthorne is just months older than Isabel, born on Febrier 21. She's the hardworking daughter of a baker, and though a bit shy and soft-spoken, she takes pride in helping her parents around the store. Her bakery is located just around the corner from the apothecary, which she enters during a certain quest for love...
(As always, here's your light spoiler warning.)
Isn't she cute?? Look how precious she is!
A Pure Friend of the Apothecary
"I was just thinking about running down the road and grabbing a load of that delicious smelling bread, when at that moment, a customer stepped into the shop. She looked to be about my age, with rich umber skin and braided, black hair that came down over her shoulders like floppy bunny ears. She wore modest clothing stained with what looked like flour, and as she entered, she was looking over her shoulder as if she was trying to make sure no one saw her come into the store."
As you might remember, the beginning of Wis' Apothecary was totally whimsical. I didn't have a story in mind, let alone the goal to turn whatever I was writing into a full blown book. So first there was the clumsy witch's apprentice. Then there was an idea about a love potion. And from there, Heidi was born as the demure counter to Isabel's animated spirit and precociousness.
And while the content remained light, The Thorny Truth quickly evolved into a pretty serious story. Because they're so similar in age, Isabel and Heidi are easily able to connect. Their personalities play off each other nicely, and most importantly, they're able to learn from one another. And while a big misunderstanding leads to a classic Isabel misadventure, Heidi is able to become more confident thanks to Isabel and a strong friendship is born.
Heidi doesn't need fangs or magic to be a compelling character. It's exactly because she's so human that I think she's a fascinating character. We've all dealt with unrequited love. It sucks. And in a world where magic exists, why wouldn't you look to a love potion for help? But as Heidi realizes, the best kind of love is never forced.
The Hopeless Romantic
"I think I've decided I don't want to have to resort to tricks to make someone like me. I want that special person to like me for me."
The teenage years are a complicated time, even in a fantasy world. The emotions Heidi has to deal with are emotions we've all dealt with at some point. It's hard to accept the person you have feelings for doesn't return them, and even harder to accept they could actually be a big jerk. As you get older, you realize everything works out for the best. But for teens like Heidi, nothing is more important than love. And that can mean the end of the world!
Recognizing your own self-worth isn't easy, but as she gains confidence through the story, Heidi is able to do it. She learns that as long as she can be true to herself, the right person will come along. And most importantly, that person will love her for exactly who she is. Heidi is a character that comes to exude confidence, self-love and respect.
For my young readers in particular, if they learn from any of my characters, I really hope it's Heidi.
What's Next for Heidi Hawthorne?
"Friends?" She asked, extending her palm.
"Friends!" I happily agreed, ignoring her outstretched hand and instead going for another big hug.
For my Heidi fans, don't worry, she's too good of a friend for Isabel to go anywhere. And Isabel makes too many stops to that corner bakery, anyway. While I have no major stories planned for her in volume 2, you can count on a couple fun appearances - from the release of a romance novel to a sleepover party.
And while Isabel needs the humanity Heidi offers, I want to see Heidi keep growing too. I'm not sure what that story will look like yet, but when she returns for a proper sequel, I hope it will be just as relatable. And just as human. Her quest for love continues!
Happy early birthday, Heidi!
Until next time, thanks for reading.