Today, I would like to give you a brief introduction to the main character of The Azrael Initiative, Kayla Falk. At the beginning of the story, Kayla is finishing her last year as an engineering student at South Dakota State University. Like many people at that stage of life, she is trying to figure out what kind of career to pursue and where she wants her life to go. Highly intelligent, Kayla is an excellent planner and has a talent for thinking her way through tricky situations. She cares very deeply about her family and her best friend, Olivia Bellamy. It is this passion that drives many of her actions throughout the story.
The inspiration for the character of Kayla Falk came from a number of sources. Ever since I thought of the story idea, I’ve known that The Azrael Initiative would feature a female lead. I always enjoy a strong female protagonist and women tend to be underrepresented in thrillers of this kind. Part of Kayla’s background is derived from the experiences of my sister and myself as engineering students at SDSU. I wanted to start the story in a place where many readers could identify with the main character. From there, I wanted to explore what it would take to turn a typical young woman into a motivated and skilled terrorist hunter. What skills would she need to learn? How would she get pushed to blur and cross moral lines?
There are a few elements that Kayla has in common with characters from other works. Like Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series, Kayla is clever and quick to think her way out of a dilemma. Lara Croft from the Tomb Raider video game series is another character who is pushed toward violence by circumstance and tragedy. In the Throne of Glass series by Sarah Maas, Celaena Sardothien is a badass assassin who struggles with the morality of the life into which she’s fallen. If any of those sound like characters you do or would enjoy, I expect that Kayla will be another character you will like. I hope you enjoy following her journey when you read The Azrael Initiative.