Penny Evans (the main character) comes into contact with Camara at one of the most critical moments in the story, and Penny has no idea of the devastation that the village just endured prior to her arrival. When they meet, this tall dignified leader is calm and collective, and above all, she’s peaceful. The villagers and Penny’s life is intertwined in more ways than she could ever imagine, and it’s these reasons that also play a role in saving her life. An interesting twist of fate is revealed towards the end of the book.
What isn’t mentioned in the story is the picture of Camara that I had in my head when I wrote her character. I imagined her as a 6 foot tall, relatively thin middle-aged woman, with straight grayish blond hair that sways just above her shoulders. When she walks, she’s slow and precise, and has a pristine gracefulness about her. She’s kind and endearing, and wouldn’t harm a fly, unless you left her no choice. She’s the voice of reason and believes in equality, but isn’t ignorant to those that disagree.
A fault of hers is (that the reader never knows) her rage issues. When she was much younger, she was easily angered, and worked for years to get herself under control. This side of her is well hidden and kept deep below the surface.
The hardest thing about writing Camara, was her name! I constantly did searches for the wrong word Camera and replaced it with Camara. I probably won’t pick such an easily mistyped name next time. And I have no idea how I came up with her name. It just fit. And it still does.
If I were to pick a celebrity that looks close to the picture of Camara in my head, it would be: Uma Thurman