Introducing Edward

Let me start by saying…

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY my dears! Today is the day of True Love, one of the most promising days of the year, a day with real romantic potential! I happen to be watching The Time Traveler’s Wife on TV as I write this, which is incredibly fitting! I swear the W Network has my brain!

Anywho, I wanted to write something special to celebrate this wonderful occasion (which should be a statutory holiday, in my humble opinion). (Sidenote: I felt this way even when I was single. I feel as though today is a day to celebrate all sorts of love…and the prospect of romantic love that exists in everyone’s future!)

Alright, I think it’s high time that I introduce a very special man to you…

Edward Irving, the green-eyed man.

Edward is my first true love, my forever true love, my one and only fictitious true love. He is the green-eyed, troubled but kind male character I created when I was in university (see ~The Story of the Green Heart~ for more details). He is the star, the glue, of my first ever short story.

And he will always have a piece of my heart…which is only green because he made it so. I know that I’ve spoken about how attached I get to literary characters; how I can talk to Jane Eyre like she’s a best friend, how I can feel Clare Abshire’s pain when her husband time travels away from her, how I can sit and write with Johnny Wheelwright for hours on end. But I haven’t yet told you about how strongly I feel for my own literary character, for this man who is so perfect because he is entirely from my own imagination. He is everything I have ever wanted and looked for in a best friend and lover because he is entirely of my own creation.

I have often wondered what my good friend Charlotte Brontë felt after she created Edward Rochester. Was she ecstatic and proud of herself? Or was she a little depressed and a little concerned, knowing that she would never meet a real man who could live up to those impressive standards? Is it possible to be in love with your own character? I think so – or at the very least, it is possible to love them and to care for them.

Call me crazy, but I care for Edward Irving very much because I have spent so much time with him. He is the star of countless stories I have written since writing that first one, and I remember spending hours daydreaming about him while I was supposed to be paying attention to lectures. He served as a model for the man I wanted to find in my real life, and I inevitably began comparing every guy I met to him.

Perhaps that’s why I gave him green eyes: because I didn’t want him to have brown eyes like mine and because I didn’t want him to have the blue eyes of the guys I’d already encountered in my life (including my own father). I wanted him to be different…and maybe I wanted him to be hard to find. I didn’t really want him to exist in our world.

And he never will…so at some point, I had to give him up because searching for him wasn’t realistic. When I met a guy with pale green eyes (not quite the emerald eyes of EI, but close enough) at a party with my best friend, I thought that I was close…but countless unanswered Facebook messages that I have long since deleted would suggest otherwise. When I travelled to England (the country where EI naturally comes from) and met numerous guys with dashing accents, I thought that I had found all my prospects in one place…but let’s just say that a long distance relationship wasn’t really what I had in mind anyway. It was becoming too hard to wait around for a man that wasn’t even real.

Eventually, I met my boyfriend…and he is an incredible man! What does he have in common with EI? Well, they both study science, they’re both very smart but also playful and laidback. No, they aren’t exactly alike in every way…but I’ve come to realize that I was looking for the wrong things before. I was looking for specifics of appearance and personality when I should’ve been looking for certain values and morals and beliefs – and I think I’ve found them.

So no green eyes for me…but there is that green heart I’m always mentioning. And I wear my green heart on my sleeve, because I will always carry Edward Irving with me.

Photo on 2015-01-13 at 9.11 PM


Girl with a (very) Green Heart

my green heart


  1. camviva says:

    This is so perfect! I love thinking about how real Rochester must have been to Charlotte Bronte. It’s so cool that Edward Irving has come alive for you–I think that’s something I’m still struggling with in my own writing (letting characters become real people in-themselves rather than just written impressions of people I already know).

    And yes, I love that you realized that even though Edward Irving has green eyes and specific physical characteristics–it’s really his green heart aura that you’re attracted to and that you found in S. Such a wonderful, heart-warming message for Valentine’s Day.

    1. JanilleNG says:

      Thank you so much for your comment! I’m glad you enjoyed hearing a bit more about Edward Irving…it was terrifying for me to share all this information, but I felt that Valentine’s Day was the appropriate occasion! And I’m confident that most writers feel this strongly about their characters — if you don’t yet, I’m sure that feeling will come over time, especially if you immerse yourself in one particular story!

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