COVIELLE. I did it again. I gave Clopin a rough time. I'm sorry. But I at least gave him the chance to be his normal witty self again---after one encounter with Francoise, I guess you start to learn caution.
About Francoise. It was wonderful getting a chance to flesh out such a weird character...and leave so much room left for you to make up. (Good lord, she's got whip scars, makes references to "Our Father," has a vocabulary the size of Iberia, and...yes, well, I won't go on.) She will not appear in any more adventures with Clopin or Herlikin---but who knows? She might make some independent forays in the future.
As for her 'allure.' Well, I didn't even bother to be subtle with this one---elbows Harley, who goes "OW!" and grins evilly--but I hope nobody came away with the impression that this is Medieval French Dykes. We two authors are too ambiguous to do that---much less our characters. In the end, I just have to hope the romantic elements were done respectfully, and didn't creep you out. If it did---I hope some day you meet somebody truly miraculous, and then discover afterwards that their attraction traits are different from your own. Humanity's a beautiful, many-splendoured thing. Harley yells from sidelines, "Awww, cut the sappy stuff! Ahem, well, yes. I had a marvellous time with my co-author---long ICQ sessions full of double entendres, soul-searching, and goofing off. We wrote this more for each other than we did for anybody else.
HARLEY QUINN. Well helllooooooo. Glad I made it here after trampling through the barriers once more...gets a little hard on a gal's feet sometimes.
Anyway, why, you ask, why be so mean to Clopin? Because it just so happened I couldn't resist Francoise :) And neither could Herli.
Not only that, but it gave me the opportunity to get into Herli's head a little more. What, feelings for a woman? Eh? Herli's only ever been with one man and she's not exactly an - ahem - people person. If someone attracts her, that's just the way it is.
And yes - this wasn't written just to do something that's never been done within the HoND fandom before. Initially it was meant to be one hundred percent humorous and very short. Things just didn't happen to work out that way. The story half led itself , and uh - heh - we couldn't help but follow.
I'm not going to go into minute blow by blow details on motivations, reasons, explanations and secrets - (Ask and I'll tell. Maybe.) but I will say Herli's attraction to Francoise was powered by much of my own - a desire to know her better, a desire to find out her feelings - so it wasn't purely physical. And Herli's repeated assertions that she loves only Clopin is not an attempt to convince herself - it's quite true. It's just hard for to realise she would like to be someone else's support - she's not the most selfless thing in the world - even if she couldn't handle it.
To cap off, working with Covielle was fabulous - coming from the world of theatre, I know how difficult it is to find someone who knows the meaning of the word teamwork, but this was almost too easy to do. I had lots of fun - certainly some of the most fun I've had doing a story .And yes - my gift to Cov and her gift to me (for what, who cares!) so if it's not your style, it's our and that's really all that counts to me. :)