Since the book launched in December, I’ve received all sorts of feedback, some good, some bad, and some awesome follow up questions.
The most common question has been: “Are you supposed to be Bobbie and is there a real life Charlie and Oliver?”
I think it’s smart to define who Roberta “Bobbie” Bertucci is first. I’m sure everyone’s perception may be different but my intention was to create Bobbie as a morally sound yet lost character. She’s a young woman still in search of what is important and what she wants out of life. I can’t speak for all young women in America, but I believe it would be difficult to deny a top position at a modeling agency…reaping all the benefits, surrounded by beauty, high salary, the glam, a great city. This is why I chose to make her a modeling agent rather than a…I don’t know…telemarketer (not to belittle telemarketers, but if you read this please take my parents off the call list). It was a job chosen out of temptation and fear that she would fail if she reached for her real goal.
It doesn’t mean that her job at the agency was the “wrong” decision. Through her experience there she became a professional, explored an area that was unfamiliar to her and had become familiar, and in the end learned more about herself than before. Part of life is sometimes figuring out what you don’t want to do before you can truly find what is you want to do…or who you want to be. She realized that working in an industry built on a foundation of “perfection” was not the scene for her. I hoped that readers would realize that what you do is what you are and that these decisions should be made carefully. But even if you veer off your intended course, you shouldn’t lose faith because you will end up back where you are intended to be.
Charlie, goes hand in hand with Bobbie’s relationship with the agency. He’s a distraction and the perfect product of the plastic world she lives in. Bobbie, being who she is, see’s the goodness underneath the facade and Charlie see’s the goodness in Bobbie. It’s a conflicted yet dependent relationship. In the end, Bobbie comes home. She centers herself, remembering who she is and through the guidance of friendship is able to see the big picture. She falls for the one person that has always been there for her. Oliver is real. Although he is not Prince Charming, a knight in shining armor, or contain superhuman powers like Edward Cullen, he’s perfectly imperfect in everything he does. He followed his passions and stayed true to himself, even while working side by side with people that may influence otherwise.
So I guess I’m avoiding the real question, am I Bobbie? Is there a real life Charlie and Oliver? Maybe and sort of. I would hope that unlike Bobbie, I would never alienate my friends and family for a job or a bad relationship. I do see myself in Bobbie, that she is loyal to the people she chooses the love. She sees the goodness in people even when she is taken advantage of. She can be overly independent and afraid to lean on the shoulders of people that are worthy of trust, as I do the same. She’s afraid to be weak, to make mistakes, and painfully strives for perfection in all things. Sometimes people need someone to tell them that they’re doing too much and not to be so hard on themselves.
The real life person that inspired Charlie’s character is bits and pieces of Charlie. It’s important to know that all people, even the ones that hurt us the most, have weaknesses and insecurities beyond our comprehension. People make mistakes out of fear and no one person is bad, just misunderstood.
The real life Oliver is very similar to Oliver in the book and it’s the person I’m in love with to this day.