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  • Writer's pictureAderyn Wood

Story Insights: Dale

"Her hair was still red. And nobody liked red hair."

Dale is the main character in my YA fantasy trilogy, The Borderlands. I was never going to write a YA series, but I’m so glad I did as Dale has touched the hearts of many readers. She is a character inspired by my own high school experiences both as a student and teacher. It is an unfortunate reality that bullying exists, and in this age of social media it appears to be getting worse. I saw evidence of that on a daily basis when I was a high school teacher myself.

Dale was firstly inspired by a student who attended the high school I did. This student was deemed a little odd. She had no friends and came from a very different family who believed in all the alternative hocus-pocus our conservative parents turned their noses up at. She would tell us how she could see auras and even divulged the colour of each of her classmates’ personal auras. Of course she was laughed at and teased for it, but she also fascinated each and every one of those bullies. I recalled her experience and the loneliness she must have suffered every day just from being so different.

Thus Dale was born and through her we can appreciate the struggles of trying to belong when you feel so different. Of course, to heal from past transgressions one either forgives or seeks revenge. And this is the path Dale finds herself on in the third book in the series when she must face the queen of her childhood tormentors and either attain that revenge so many of us will fantasise about when young, or achieve the superior goal of forgiveness. Which does Dale get? Perhaps a little of both...

Dale is the main character in The Borderlands series.

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