1. Kanji Tatsumi – Persona 4
He’s confused about his sexuality. As a teenager, that’s normal. It’s refreshing to explore this idea in video games. Watching Kanji grow through personal character quests throughout the game was a great experience.
2. Annalise Keating – How to Get Away With Murder
I respect that she’s a strong character who takes risks. Her relationship with Eve gives Annalise a strong backstory. I enjoy seeing them together on the show no matter what they’re doing.
3. Wil – Saving Face (2004)
This film has had a lasting impression on me. Wil’s relationship with Vivian is special in my eyes. How she deals with her mother’s antics all while juggling her inner struggles makes her an amazing character.
4. Dorian Pavus – Dragon Age: Inquisition
While playing the third game in the Dragon Age series, I was drawn to Dorian right away. His wit and charm are infectious. I liked getting to know him better through his romance plot with my male protagonist.
5. Paulie – Lost and Delirious (2001)
Like Saving Face, I’ll always remember this movie. I didn’t expect the snowballing intensity as the film progressed. Paulie’s powerful performance stands out to me.
6. Frankie – Lip Service
I found this show by accident and I didn’t regret it. I assumed Frankie would be a one-dimensional, predictable character, but she proved me wrong in the best ways.
7. Ray Fiske – Damages
Damages is my all-time favorite television show. I loved that this legal drama explored the facets of many of its characters, and not just the main protagonists. Fiske’s story arc moved me in a way I haven’t experienced since.
8. Alike – Pariah (2011)
An underrated movie with an underrated lead. I appreciate that Pariah goes where few movies dare to tread. Alike is admirable and sympathetic all at once.
9. Ellie – The Last of Us: Left Behind
I loved playing through Ellie’s story as a teenager with her best friend, goofing off and getting into trouble. The writing in The Last of Us is exceptional.
10. Ashley Davies – South of Nowhere
This show was bold for its time. Ashley’s character intrigued me as I watched. I quickly grew to care about her and her relationship with Spencer. She felt like a character I wanted to get to know as a real person.
They all inspire me to create my own great characters. Is there anyone you’d add to the list?
The Scorpion’s Empress
Genre: Erotic romance
Publisher: Solstice Publishing
Date of Publication: June 1st, 2016
Number of pages: 185
Word Count: 60,900
Cover Artist: Michelle Crocker
After years of serving a corrupt government, Ser Videl, an idealistic paladin, learns that her younger sister is tangled in a dark scheme against Raj Mangala, the compassionate yet troubled empress of the city’s oppressed lowtown; the two women meet and are deeply drawn to one another, finding a shared sanctuary in their violently-divided city. The Scorpion’s Empress is intimately written through the eyes of both twenty-seven year old women.
Videl’s loving devotion is just what Raj craves, but Raj is wary of letting her guard down while protecting her throne. Determined to prove her worth, Videl chases after Raj and works to unravel the mystery of the plots against the empress. Raj wants Videl to serve her emotional and sexual needs, and the two explore a meaningful relationship of dominance and submission that delves fully into their deepest wants. When the conspiracy against Raj comes to a head, Videl’s loyalties are tested when she is forced to choose between her past and her empress.
Her stare trailed down to my neck. She kept her eyes there. I watched her pupils widen as she took in my shoulders from her periphery. She watched me breathe, watched my pulse through my skin. When she looked in my eyes again, she held her hand out.
“Will you dance with me first, Empress?” she asked. My breath hitched in surprise. No one dared to be this forward with me. I'd always hoped someone would. I didn't know what her intentions were, and yet… “I know. I'm surprising myself by asking this. We've only just met. But I believe you when you say my sister's all right. I want to thank you. This is the best I can come up with for right now.”
I stared at her in disbelief. This woman was too fucking perfect. Smart, resourceful, determined, influential up in her part of the city, and she had a pair? There was no way this was real.
“…is that a no?” she wondered, still holding her hand out to me.
“Just as a thank you?” I asked, brow raised.
Ser Videl smiled like in her picture. “For now,” she said. Her voice deepened just enough to make me hold back a reaction. She saw enough. She saw just enough to feel me and shed a little more light over her meaning: “I can make it more than that if you'd like. If you'd allow it.”
I laughed softly. “Ser Videl, you're attractin' attention,” I pointed out. It was true—people stared, whispering; trying to figure out what this was all about. “I'm the Empress of this place. You don't just ask me to dance like this. Especially when you don't know me. You ain't from here. I'll give you that much. But you've gotta know some kinda rules from guessin'.”
“I assumed you wouldn't let me into your headquarters,” she reminded me. “Then you told me you would have. I guessed you wouldn't dance with me if I asked. I'm asking you in the hopes that you'll make another exception for me.” She stared down at my neck again, breathing harder. When she moved her eyes back to mine, hers darkened, sharpened in deep, lustful focus. “Or is that too much to ask?”
About the Author:
Yoshiyuki Ly was born in San Diego, CA. She lived there until moving away to college. In high school, she began writing fanfiction as a serious hobby. Her pen name is representative of her multiracial heritage and a unique, diverse outlook that is reflective in her work. While pursuing an undergraduate degree in philosophy, she spent her free time reading the works of Virginia Woolf, Soren Kierkegaard and Simone de Beauvoir. She then spent the next years honing her craft to become a published author.