Where did the character Dell come from?
I like to say she came to me in a dream and began to relate her story in a rough outline, leaving me to flesh in the details as I felt her presence. To me she is real, but insubstantial, needing someone like me to believe and give her a vitality others could relate to. So she became very substantial, tall and strong and wily. She is not super-human, although maybe super-talented, able to invent ways of coping in physically challenging environments, as when someone threatens her. The talent is born of necessity from living on the streets without rules or guidance.
I’ve known girls growing up on their own with the advantage of having older siblings and grandmothers and aunts in supporting roles. So, some guidance there to ease their way. Dell is a character taken to the extreme. No siblings, no support. There are only two choices–survive or die. Many real life children in similar circumstances don’t make it. They don’t have the advantage of an author directing their fate.