We Are All Andrea
At the core of Forgiven Are the Starry-Eyed is Andrea Cavanaugh, the story's 16-year-old protagonist. We see a volatile, delicate journey play out through her eyes when she meets her first boyfriend and falls innocently into a web of complex, quiet shame as the relationship takes a dark and devastating turn.
I loved writing the character of Andrea because the more I got to know her and the more unique she became on paper, the more I realized that the most profound thing about her was just how absolutely typical she is. We are all Andrea. When we believe in love but can't believe in ourselves, when we naively see the best in people even when they show us their worst, when we crave validation so deeply that it hurts, that's where we intertwine, though we dare not admit it. We want to portray our uncanny abilities to be distinctive and interesting. We choose the softest lighting with the most flattering angles to show our strength and worth. But we're also vulnerable, unguarded, and often aspiring for affection. We are connected in this unspoken thirst for affirmation, and that's where this story finds its breath.