I have a lot of conversations with my heroine and hero, once the book gets underway, sometimes they seem contrary to what I want them to do.
And when I write The End, after the glow of mission accomplished, I also go through a grieving process. The worse was when my child ghost left the haunted Inn in Haunted Hearts, and went into the great beyond. He had become so alive to me, so full of fun and mischief, I went into a period of grief, telling myself, he was only a character.
But if they were only characters........would we cry for them and cheer on their victories. Would your readers? If they are real to you; you've done a great job and they will be real to your readers who will want to read more of your books.
I think you have an amazing heroine in your book, and I know she has an amazing writer.
The other school of thought is ......you don't have to be crazy to write books.......but it helps! LOL
Have a fantastic day, my friend! My characters give me grief all the time! Linn