Of course, Rayna Powell is the protagonist in the story The Beast at the Gate, but who is she, really? I would describe Rayna as a smart, highly motivated woman but a bit awkward when expressing herself to others.
Like Arstinax, I didn't want to create a stereotypical cardboard cutout of a character. I wanted Rayna to be flawed and nuanced. I wanted her to react to certain situations--not as the "calm, reasonable person" that always does the right thing--but how a real person (albeit a stubborn one) would react under extraordinary circumstances. And those reactions may not always look cool or even smart, but it's human.
I wanted to show juxtaposition, not simply with a modern day heroine being thrust into a pre-industrial world, but show the contrast of a how a logical, scientific-minded person like Rayna could find herself acting very illogical and non-scientific in the right situation. In short, I wanted to explore how wonderfully complex the human mind and emotion can be.