It’s Tuesday, it’s Taking Flight Teaser Tuesday! (And also tax day. Yay “free” money?)
As a person who has lived in both the South (Arkansas!) and New York, I had a lot of fun writing the quirks and qualities that showcase the place within a person into Willa and Dan, who are from New York and Dallas, respectively. Those things can be easy to to pick out, particularly with language—accents, pronunciations, colloquialisms—but sometimes they’re not as readily apparent. It’ll come through in their gate, whether or not they make eye contact with strangers, if they look around or straight ahead when they’re by themselves in a crowded place. It was finding these smaller tells and incorporating them into Willa and Dan’s characters that made writing Taking Flight an adventure, and, I hope, brings some fun regional flavor to the book.
Or maybe I was just showing off my mad observation skillz. (I know, I’m fired.)
“I probably should have just canceled this trip so I could hole myself up and study all weekend,” Willa says, while snaking her way around the people moseying their way through the terminal. If you didn’t know her, you’d know she was a New Yorker just by how well she navigates crowds. I follow after her, doing my best to be a gentleman and keep my eyes off her ass.
“Well that sucks,” I say. “But I for one am glad you didn’t cancel this trip. And I’m sure your dad is, too.”
She doesn’t respond to that. Instead she says, “So how are your exams going?”
“Stressful.” I actually still have a ton of studying to do as well. This year AP Physics has invaded my life and wreaked havoc on my 4.8 GPA, bringing it down to a 4.6. You’d think a guy who grew up reading sci-fi would be able to grasp physics, but apparently not so much.
“Is your physics class any better yet?” Willa asks.
“It’s better in the sense that it’s almost over. I’m actually considering skipping that AP exam. I think it’d be better for my ego.”
She abruptly stops, making the people behind us scramble so that they don’t run smack dab into us.
“You should take it,” she says, tilting her head a little to the side and pursing her lips. “You might surprise yourself.”
On the word “surprise” her eyes widen and, I swear to God, they sparkle. Not like sparks were shooting from her eyes—which would be awesome as long as they didn’t kill me—but they were shinier. Realizing I’m staring at her eyes in a way that was probably more than a little creepy, I rally and say, “Surprise myself that I can actually fail an exam, you mean?”