Archive for the ‘#characters’ Tag

Interview with Cai Delaney   5 comments

Interview one of your characters (not your main character.) How do they feel playing second fiddle to your main character?

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Who Are You?

Tell us something about yourself.

I’m Malacai Delaney, oldest son of Rob and Jill Delaney, brother of Shane and Keri Delaney, husband of Dr. Marnie Callahan Delaney, a lawyer. Everybody calls me Cai.

You’ve actually had quite a lot of air time in the series. Are you still a secondary character?

Yeah, well — you’ve got a point. I was the main character for most of A Death in Jericho because Shane was healing up from an accident. And you’ve been really mean to me.

Have I?

You have. I was nearly killed at the Colorado-Kansas state line. I guess I should thank you for not putting me in the City Hall shelter with the hundred who died there. Then I ended up running from the military in Wichita. I spent the night under a bridge. Then I ended up enslaved in Hutchinson, Kansas. I had to kill a man. Then I had to save Mike’s life by threatening to kill people. I’ve been disposing of bodies all winter as people go hungry or get sick and die. And now at the end of Worm Moon, you seem to have killed me off. You’re really a blood-soaked author.

I’m just telling your story as you give it to me.

Hmmph. Well, I guess I should thank you for leaving my life status up in the air for the next book.

Anyone can die in my books. As I showed in Winter’s Reckoning, even Shane could die. Since right at the moment you and the readers don’t know if you’re living or dead, let’s talk about you a bit. Who is your best friend?

Oh! I have three, well, four. I’d say Alex Lufgren, but we just became friends after Shane left and now that Shane is back, Alex’s allegiance has shifted. Brian Callahan and I have gotten really close this winter. We were enslaved together at Hutchinson. That can be a bonding experience. My wife, Marnie, is probably the person I’m closest to, even though I often don’t understand her. And, oddly, Shane is becoming a good friend. He’s mellowed since he was hurt this winter. For a really long time, we didn’t get along at all, and then when he came back, he scared the hell out of me, but he’s showing sides of his personality that are new and I’m enjoying that.

So you’re a lawyer, but you’ve done very little lawyering in this book series.

Not a lot of legal matters to settle, really. I think the law is for more civilized times than this winter. I was kind of looking forward to helping to re-establish a basis of law in America as things recover. I kind of feel like I’m missing out if I die.

I’m not telling you or the readers if you live. It’s your story, man! Tell me! Do you live? Will you have brain damage? Until I started writing the next book, I had no idea, and I’m not telling. But, in the interest of this interview, how would you re-establish law in America now that things are coming out of the crisis?

Well, I don’t get to go to the constitutional convention. That sucks!

You were busy being injured and potentially dying. Or suffering brain damage. And do you really think this convention will be a bunch of lawyers poring over a lot of boring legal tomes?

I hope not! You won’t hear this from many lawyers — and I think a lot of us didn’t survive to say it — but a part of what was wrong with America was too many laws. They overlapped, contradicted one another, made ordinary activities illegal under certain specific circumstances. The system had just become so complicated. If I’d gone to the convention, I would have wanted to keep a lot of the old Constitution, but made it more state-based, assuring the federal government couldn’t overrule the states. I don’t think that was ever the thought for the original framers and since we’ve been utterly transformed in the last six months, now’s a really good time to do a rebalancing. And….

Hold on there, Cai! You might not even be alive in the next book. We get that you want to start with a clean slate.

It’s an opportunity to make a limited set of laws that don’t contradict one another or the Constitution. Sue me if I get excited about practicing my profession.

So what have you been doing with your time during the chaos? Disposing of bodies and…?

Shane refused to lead up the internal community patrol. He fears his skills from overseas might hurt our neighbors. Those skills are darned useful on the wire, keeping strangers out, but he might be right that the boundaries are a little blurry for him. So Dad asked me to lead the community patrol. We really haven’t had any instances since.

Instances?

A mob tried to loot Dell Conophor’s house. They had a big truck garden and animals to provide milk and cheese. People who are hungry get weird and dangerous, even toward people they played softball with just last summer. That’s why we created the community patrol. But its existence seems to have fixed the problem. Or people were just so shocked that neighbors had to shoot neighbors to protect their family that they remembered their civilization.

You don’t do the border patrol?

I do. I do both. I want to be useful. Lawyers are kind of useless even at the best of times, but in a survival situation, my skills are pretty useless. So I try to help where I can. I’m sick and tired of burying people, though.

How does your faith come into all of this?

I believe everything falls within God’s will, even when we don’t understand it. The events in September, the EMP later, the flu that’s paralyzing teenage kids, the hunger and lack of heat — it’s all working together within His plans, but it’s not always going to feel that way to us. When I got shot, it felt like I must have been doing something wrong, but I was coming out of that, grateful to be alive and starting to feel better physically when this happened. Now I don’t know if I’m going to survive to the next book.

Tell me about being a father.

(Long pause). That’s why I don’t want to die. Rebuilding the world sounds like this great adventure, but rebuilding it for him or her — that’s the miracle, right? It’s just a couple more months. I can leave Marnie now and my kid needs both parents. I need to live for her.

Then tell me more of your story. You’re not just a secondary character, so your story matters, but only if you keep talking to me. When you stop talking, I have to do something with you. I can’t just let you hang around as a non-playable character. Not after you’ve given me such a rich story so far. Talk, man, and let’s see where your story goes.

Posted September 5, 2022 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop

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Adopting My Own Chaucers   5 comments

Do you have a favorite secondary character in your books? Or a favorite sub-plot?

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A Knight’s Tale shows the power of a well-written secondary character to capture the heart of the audience. We all adored Heath Ledger’s servant-turned-night, but it was Paul Bellamy’s character of Chaucer that got all the attention.

In other examples, there’s the fine comic characters Shakespeare sprinkled throughout his plays. Many of us remember their lines more than we remember those of the main character.

Favorite Byways

Secondary characters and subplots can be all sorts of fun because I feel freer to experiment with them, be a little quirky, do the unexpected.

Since I write series, there’s a lot of subplots that are side channels to the main story arc. I’m not sure I can identify something as a subplot. Some of these little detours have become important elements to the main plot that will bear fruit in later books.

Favorite Second Bananas?

This is where I have an easier time answering. Some of my favorite secondary characters might become primary characters in later books, but this is where they stand currently.

Stan Osimowitz, mayor of Mara Wells, is a secondary character I almost always enjoy writing. He’s loosely based on some men I knew growing up. Always ready with a quip, Stan makes wry comments about his world on a daily basis.

For the exact opposite reason, I enjoy writing Alex Lufgren (also from Transformation Project). Alex is earnest and moral and he absolutely loves. Originally, I thought he’d be a main character, but so far he’s been a back-burner slow development and yet, think he’s going to do some big things in future books. Why? Because I know the story he’s telling me. It’s totally consistently Alex, but it’ll surprise some folks.

Over in the What If Wasn’t universe, Trevor Grey remains my favorite side character who has the potential to carry a book all on his own. Trevor is bigger than life — bold, quirky, and a good friend despite the complications that are hinted at from time to time. I especially enjoy that he has no filter because when the obvious needs to be spoken, Trevor can be counted on to blurt it out. He’s got a lot of potential as a character and that’s what I want in side characters — to give me an opportunity to use them for something bigger. As you read, you just know there’s more there than meets the eye, so where is the character going to go next. I’m not telling, of course, but Trevor won’t disappoint, I promise.

In the What If Wasn’t series, my favorite side character became a main character in the third book — Clotilde Matrim Wyngate burst out of her mousy role as the family housekeeper to reveal herself as Alan Wyngate’s young wife. I knew that was coming from the first book, but I didn’t really know who Tilly would be until I started writing her and I couldn’t be more pleased with her transformation. She will also have a future in the rest of the series.

Side Characters and Subplots

I think they provide enormous opportunities to play with a story a bit, to do things you can do with your main characters and create some fun variety from the main plot. Especially with writing series, I need to toss in some variety to freshen the story while continuing toward the final destination.

I’m Not Mocking You   5 comments

Can you speak in an accent that isn’t your own? Can any of your characters do this? How do you indicate that in your stories?

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No Natural Accent

My daughter can manage several believable accents and so can her father. I am not a natural mina bird like they are. However, I will pick up the accent of someone I’m talking to and I find this is quite common among people born and raised in Alaska.

This may be because Alaskans don’t have an accent of our own. We are a state of migrants. In the Al Pacino movie Insomnia, a character explains:

“The thing about Alaska — you’re either born here or you’re running from somewhere else.”

Insomnia

While we aren’t all criminals on the lam, almost every born Alaska has parents who came from somewhere and sometimes from different somewhere elses. My mom was from the Midwest. Her father was the child of a family of Canadian immigrants (some of them only one generation removed from Europe). Her mother was a American Indian mother whose father was from Ireland. My father was from a Washington state logging town populated almost entirely by Scandinavians and his father was born in Sweden, while his mother was raised in a Swedish-speaking community in the Midwest. Although Dad didn’t sound like Frances McDormand in Fargo (unless he was playing around) or a character out of Vikings, he didn’t sound completely “American” (whatever that means) either. Mom had a decidedly Dakotan accent (think Lawrence Welk, if you’re familiar). I assumed I sound like a mixture between the two, but my husband, who has lived a lot of places before landing in Alaska, says I have “Army-brat accent.” You really can’t pin me down.

And then I go and make it harder by imitating the people I’m talking to. I’m not trying to mock them or fake their accent. I simply pick up some of their ways of speaking. And it’s really a cultural thing because I hear other born-Alaskans doing the same thing. When I talk with my friend Kai who is from Taiwan, I’ll pick up her cadence and I’ll change some of my pronunciations to hers, especially if they’re Chinese words. If I’m speaking with my friend Francesca, I’ll pick up some of the tones of Puerto Rico. If I’m speaking with my Australian-born coworker Jeff, I’ll take on some of his accent. People originally from other countries are impressed when I can say their name on the first try.

My theory? Alaskans don’t have an accent of our own, and the culture around us was always in flux when we were kids. This may be changing now, as I think I catch hints of a developing accent from my kids and their friends, but when I was growing up, born Alaskans were a minority in our own state , so that we adapted to the incoming immigrants rather than the other way around. For example, we call narrow bodies of flowing water “streams” here, but many of the Midwesterners and Southerners who lived here during the Pipeline construction call them “cricks”. No, not creeks. Cricks. If I’m hanging out with an immigrant from those regions, I will often adopt “crick” and “far” for fire, and several other examples that my husband always remarks on. If I’m hanging out with his family, I’ll often start dropping my R’s, though I don’t put Rs where they don’t belong. Although my inlaws would call my friend Johnna “Johnar”, I wouldn’t, because it’s not her name. But North Boston becomes Noht Baston, because that’s how they say it. Most people who are not from Louisville, Kentucky, call it Lu-E-vil. I call it “Lu-ah-vul” because that’s how people from Louisville say it. Same with New Orleans. It’s “Nu-ah-lins” and the “s” is almost silent. My husband’s home state is New Hampshire, which most people pronounce as New Hamp Shire. It’s not. It’s Nu-ham-sha, according to the locals.

If I’m trying to fake an accent that isn’t my own, and have no native speaker to cue from, it’s probably going to be Texan or Oklahoman, and I’m also pretty good at Tidewater because three of my long-time pastors have been from that region between the Pine Barrens of New Jersey and the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Texans and Oklahomans were very prevalent in Alaska when I was in high school, so I had a lot of practice at matching their accents. Also a good friend is from Georgia, so I could perhaps pull off his accent.

Truthfully, it’s getting harder to do that as Americans now listen to newscasters all the time and so our accents are moderating and became less distinctive over time. There was a period of time when many of our newscasters were from Canada, so children ended up speaking a combination of their parents’ accent with a sidecar of Ottawa public schools. Because Appalachians and folks from the Ozarks are often treated with disdain in our society, they will often drop their accent when they leave the holler (how they say “hollow”) and then end up sounding a lot like Brad Pitt when he’s not trying to sound like an English gypsy.

My Characters

Shane Delaney can do accents. That is brought up by Marnie when she’s talking with someone about Halloween. Like my daughter, he’s a musician, so he picks up cadences and pronunciations. So far he hasn’t gotten to use them much, although in my current work-in-progress Worm Moon, he does an impression of the local vet who is from Wisconsin — so sounds a lot like Frances McDormand in Fargo. That movie had zero to do with North Dakota, by the way. It took place in Wisconsin and I’m told by friends who moved from there that it is an accurate depiction of their accent.

Shane is also fluent in Spanish and sounds like a Chicano when he speaks.

Shane’s handler, Grant Rigby, is a master of dozens of faces and the accents that go with them.

Damages   4 comments

What’s the worst wound (emotional or physical) one of your characters has ever had to deal with? How did you react to writing the scene?

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Hard on my Characters

I write post-apocalyptic and fantasy. It would be silly to assume everybody in a post-apocalyptic world is going to survive and the thing about fantasy is that everyone runs around with these great big swords. Sooner or later, someone is bound to get killed. Might as well just accept reality in such fiction.

Daermad Cycle

I started out killing Prince Maryn about 20 pages into The Willow Branch. His death sets up turmoil of the next century in Celdrya. It’s always in the background. I’ve got a beta reader who says she is always waiting for who dies next. Clearly, I kill my characters if the story demands it. At the end of The Willow Branch, Tamys is at the edge of death. He lives, but is blind. In Mirklin Wood, Danys falls and his survival remains a question even at the end of Fount of Wraiths.

Transformation Project

I kill 30 million Americans by the end of the first book Life As We Knew It. I kill a hundred more, including characters who had spoken, in Objects in View. Jacob died peacefully in his sleep of ordinary old age in Gathering In. In Winter’s Reckoning, Shane falls and dislocates a hip and comes close to dying of hypothermia. Everybody thought Mike died in Gathering In, but he appears at the end of A Death in Jericho, just as Cai takes a bullet across town. You’ll have to read Worm Moon, due out later this year, to find out if Mike is really alive (Shane’s PTSD has included a “ghost” of Mike) or if Cai lives.

What If Wasn’t

This series isn’t a post-apocalyptic or fantasy, but a new adult drama set in Long Island, but somehow I can’t get away from injury or death.

At the end of Red Kryptonite Curve, Peter drove a car into a tree, dislocating his shoulder and smashing Chyenne’s face. The book ends with Peter deeply depressed, admitting he’s an alcoholic, and he wants to save himself.

That desire to stay sober is not as easy to accomplish as it is in a Hallmark movie, so at the end of Dumpster Fire, Peter’s drunken actions result in Alyse’s death and potential injuries to others. Do you think an 18-year-old kid who kills his sister, even accidentally, might suffer some emotional wounds? That’s the subject of Pocketful of Rocks which comes out next month. All I can say is that I bawled when I wrote the book..several times. Often times when I write injury scenes, I try to be very clinical about it so it doesn’t touch me, but with Peter, the scenes center on him and…wow…painful. I thought Shane could be dark, but Peter….

The Worst?

I think, if I had to choose, the character with the worst physical injury of all of them is Geo, Jazz Tully’s brother (Transformation Project), who was shot in the head and is currently serving as a lab rat for his employer. He can’t move, speak or breathe on his own, so I’d say that’s the worst injury…so far. I actually woke up a few times while writing his scenes, momentarily feeling like I couldn’t move, so it is disturbing to write it.

Characters Shine   6 comments

Tell us what you love the most about your work(s) in progress.

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Plural

I always have more than one work in progress. At the moment, I think I have three — okay, four. The second book in the What If Wasn’t series is a completed draft just awaiting editing. You could call that my primary Work in Progress at the moment. The third book in that series has already been started because it wants to be written. The next book in Transformation Project series is also just getting underway. Both have about 20,000 words written.

So, What Do I Love MOST About Them?

I love characters that talk to me and both series are character rich. In Red Kryptonite Curve, I built Peter up as a rich kid with problems that were bound to affect the people around him. In “Dancing the Centerline” — well, doesn’t that title tell you something about the character’s evolution? At heart, Peter’s a nice kid, but I’m going to put him through hell because he earns it and I think the readers will enjoy the ride. I love his conflict. Peter wants to do better and I keep throwing obstacles in his way. How will he overcome them? Will he overcome them? Or will he fail? I mean, why wouldn’t he? Being a nice kid doesn’t solve his foundational problems. He needs to grow beyond that. What I think I love most is that Peter is conflicted and will not have an easy time of growing up. He gets to be both the hero and the villain of the story because he is his own worst enemy. So how is it going to turn out? Well, you have to read the books to find out. The third book is called “Pocket Full of Rocks”. Yeah, there’s a hint in there. But I always leave the reader and Peter with hope for the future.

In Transformation Project, there’s an ensemble cast to draw from, which may be what I love most about writing this series. I’m not stuck in one head all the time. Shane has been primary in every book so far. He can get a little dark to write because he’s a depressive with PTSD. Some of those issues were confronted in Winter’s Reckoning, but there’s deep trauma that won’t be resolved immediately, plus I left him with some severe injuries to heal from, so other characters are going to step into the spotlight for this next book. Shane will be around, but Cai and Alex will get to shine a bit and, since “A Death in Jericho” involves a murder mystery, who better than an attorney to tackle the project?

I’ve also got a very tertiary WIP in trying to write a romantic thriller again. Yeah — glutton for punishment. I like that I’m three-quarters of the way through blocking the scenes and the characters are still talking to me. Usually, when I try to write a romance, I get to a place where the characters decide to go to sleep. We haven’t reached that point yet. YAY!

Posted September 14, 2020 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop

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When you have to bring the curtain down   Leave a comment

Richard Dee’s Blog Post

Posted March 31, 2020 by aurorawatcherak in #openbook

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Personhood   4 comments

January 13, 2020

Your characters have been placed in Witness Protection. What three truths about themselves do they want to keep?

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Boomerang Ideas

This is an interesting topic. Someone else sent it to me and I submitted it to our fearless leader PJ MacLayne, not expecting her to decide to use it immediately. YIKES!

Transformation Project

I can’t think of any of my characters who would enter the actual Witness Protection program because most of the people entering that are criminals who have rolled over on other criminals. Some of my characters aren’t as pure as the fresh-driven snow, but none of them are rolling over on the Bononno family. I really had to think long about this question.

Spies Live a Similar Life

I have characters who have changed their identities to go undercover working for the government. Shane Delaney is also Eric Faraday and Joel Rhys. He lived for four years as Eric “Ric” Faraday while Joel Rhys was a paper identity to hide his assets. As “Eric”, Shane kept a lot of his past identity. He was vague about what state he grew up in (somewhere in the Midwest to explain his accent) and he just didn’t say the names of family. But he kept that he’d graduated from Embry-Riddle with a degree in aeronautical engineering. His name was a compilation of his real middle name and his mother’s maiden name, chosen for the ease of remembering them. Shane explains to someone who was a friend during his undercover days who has discovered his real identity “I didn’t lie much beyond my name because the more lies you tell, the harder it is to keep it all straight.”

Returning to Real Life

Javier Chavez is also Francis Xavier and Martin Pulgarin. Javi was much further undercover with some really dangerous people. Francis Xavier was technically a terrorist because terrorists only allow other terrorists to get close enough to collect information on their terrorist activities. Javier kept almost none of his identity for that role — his age and his gender — because those are hard to change and fairly intrinsic to who most people are.

His next identity of Martin Pulgarin didn’t last long and he added being a Spanish speaker. Now that he’s decided to be Javier Chavez (his real name) it is a bit like being in Witness Protection because he hasn’t been Javier Chavez in more than a decade and even that identity is pretty thin. He grew up with no family, an orphan in foster care with a string of custodians. He barely remembers his parents and has had limited romantic relationships. He isn’t sure what he values now that his job as a spy is over. He’s building a brand-new identity, made more poignant because he’s going blind and he may have found a woman who seems to accept him for who he has never had a chance to be.

Currently, he’s keeping a few things. He’s a male in his early-to-mid thirties. He’s keeping his name because he’s come to realize that living lies has negative consequences. Speaking Spanish is the one thing he got from his parents and it’s a valuable skill he can still use when he can’t see. Another tenuous connection he’s keeping is Ami, his lover. Is he keeping her because he loves her or because he’s going to need her help when he can’t see at all? Well, we’ll find out when the time comes. And because I am a discovery writer, I don’t actually know that answer. I’m not even sure why he’s going blind. I know the science behind his medical condition, but I don’t yet know the story purpose behind his blindness. I’m pretty sure if Javi could vote on it, it wouldn’t be his choice to give up his eyesight to become a new person.

Asking Myself

This topic forced me to ask questions of myself — what would I keep if I were forced to forge a new identity. My answers are different from what my characters answered and that’s important because my characters aren’t me. They’re merely the voices in my head that want their stories told.

First Among Favorites   8 comments

From all the characters you’ve created, which is your favorite and why?

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Wow, this could be a hard one simply because I’ve been writing since I was 12 and a lot of characters have been my “favorite” at one time or another. How to choose a favorite among favorites? That’s like asking the parent of a large brood of children to choose their favorite. You love them all and a good parent would love them equally. But some of them, you might like a little bit more than everyone else. You might want to spend time with them slightly more than you want to spend time with others. Or, if you’re like me, and you have had different best friends over the course of a lifetime, it’s a similar situation. I had a best friend when I was a child and we still know one another, though we aren’t really close friends now. I had a best friend in high school and into college and we are still Facebook friends and I will go out of my way to see her if we’re in the same geographic area, but we don’t talk every day. I had a best friend when I was in my 20s (she’s was the matron of honor at my wedding), but she moved away just prior to the Internet getting underway and I haven’t been able to track her down, so that friendship has withered. I have a best friend now and I’m married to him. I like spending time with him, but if I were to be honest I can think of some other people I’d rather spend more time with. His “best friend” status has to do with how long and how well we’ve known each other, not necessarily about shared interests. We share some, but not all. Trust me – when I start talking quilting or writing, his eye lids droop and I only pretend to want here about his technical endeavors.

So, clearly this “favorite” thing is complicated.

Who is my favorite character among the hundreds that have traipsed through my mind in my writing career and why?

It’s a tossup between Shane Delaney of Transformation Project and Peter of (the yet-unpublished) What If Wasn’t? Since readers can’t go out and get to know Peter (yet), I’m going to focus on Shane Delaney. These are two very different characters and I like them for different reasons. Shane gets the “favorite” label because he’s published, but it was a hard decision to make.

Why do I like Shane? He’s someone I could sit down with over coffee and interview and enjoy spending an evening getting to know. Not that he would talk to me or tell me his secrets, because Shane doesn’t do that. He’s dark and complex, which is also sometimes why I don’t want to write him. He’s a mercenary who was forced to work for the government, which in turn forced him to work as a mercenary, and he doesn’t like either of his two masters. He’s loyal, but he’ll cut his losses in a heartbeat if he needs to — and mourn later, if he has time. He’s got PTSD from the things he’s had to do that haunt him. He’s the ultimate realist who will make the pragmatic decisions no one around him wants to make. He’s the non-believer in a devout family, but he’s not angry at his family. He still loves them and (mostly) respects their beliefs, even though he has rejected them. He’s the serial monogamous in a family of faithful men. He’s totally male and yet he enjoys the female mind (and body, but this is largely a PG series). He’s 26 going on 96, but he wasn’t born mature. He is still a work in progress. He’s stubborn, but he can learn from his mistakes and the mistakes of others. He is tough and can take physical and emotional pain, but he has a breaking point and he came home to avoid shattering, only to have circumstances force him to keep going and resist shattering. Shane is brutally honest about his failings and does not indulge often in denial, though he does often tell those who want to help him that his inner life is none of their business.

A third factor in why I like Shane so much is that I don’t absolutely know where he is headed. I do know he’s coming to a crisis and that several of the big questions of his life will need to be answered … if he survives. I can’t see beyond that crisis, so I don’t know his outcome. The character has surprised me a few times, so I’m not at all certain what choices he’ll make.

As a discovery writer, I love when my character’s hijack their plot and take it in an interesting direction. Not all characters will do that and that’s okay, but when I have a character like Shane who is very much his own man — that’s golden, and that’s what makes him my favorite — for now.

Posted May 20, 2019 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop

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A Study in Grays   8 comments

Who is your favorite antagonist/bad guy/villain in your books and why? What makes him/her tick?

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This is actually a hard post to write, as evidenced by the fact that this is the third draft. I don’t really like to write villains. I prefer pitting my characters against difficult situations. In Transformation Project, it’s a world that is falling apart after an apocalyptic event. In Daermad Cycle, it’s a vengeful Celtic goddess and the characters who serve her. For the most part, I don’t write negative characters as villains, though I suppose they serve as antagonists at times. They are people challenged by their times, doing what they deem best in the situation, but they aren’t necessarily evil. They’ve just chosen a negative path in a dark situation. I like giving “villains” a reason for their villainy and things that they love. I want you to almost like them and to believe that if things were different, they could be your neighbor and you might not utterly hate them. And I believe in the ability of redemption to change people, so it’s hard for me to write true villains.

TP Cover Montage

In Transformation Project, Paul serves as the primary antagonist against Shane who, while the “hero”, is hardly a night in shining armor. Paul is just one of those small-town guys who likes to push people around and Shane has hated him since the 9th grade. But Paul used to be in love with Jazz, who is Shane’s at-arms-length love interest, and the two have a complicated history that is going to eventually cause a clash. But Paul isn’t written as totally evil. He likes small children and dogs. He’s a thief, but there are lines he won’t cross. And ultimately, he just wants Jazz to love him and he even wishes Shane didn’t hate him. There may be a little bit of a theme here because Gilyn in Daermad Cycle has the same basic motivation … trying to find love when you’re the villain just never seems to work out.

Daermad 2 Book Compilation

The only true villain in Daermad Cycle is Talidd, but he is far from my favorite villain because he’s too evil to redeem. I don’t enjoy writing him. You can assume he’s going to do evil things because that’s how he is written and that really limits what range I can use with him. And I so hated having written him that way that he now plays a substantial role in the historical sequences because it shows how he got to be the Black Master. This gives me an opportunity to show how any of my characters with similar gifts might be tempted to use them for what they suppose are beneficient reasons, but are ultimately for an evil result.

I suppose Gilyn, also an antagonist in Daermad Cycle, is my favorite “villain” because he is redeemable. Or at least I’ve left him with hope of redemption. He’s done some awful things because he’s being driven mad by a Celtic goddess. Currently, he is building a coalition of antagonistic races against the Celdryans (humans) and the  Kindred (elves). His mother was Celt, his father Kin. Why would he choose to do such horrible things to the people who gave him life? He once loved a half-elven lass (Ryanna, who is one of the heroes of the tale), but he did horrible things to her too. He knows the rules of society, but he doesn’t really care about them and never did. When he breaks them, he cares more that it might ruin his scam than that someone might get hurt. And, yet, he does want to be accepted and loved. That’s what makes him tick. He just wants to be loved and feels that he isn’t. To earn the “love” of the Celtic goddess, he’ll do anything … even make war on his own peoples.

I suppose that’s what makes him my favorite. He is complicated which makes for complex writing. And he could go either way … become the true villain he seems destined to be or finally find redemption and surprise everyone, including himself … and me. I love it when my characters surprise me, which might explain why I don’t really write villains … because what is the fun of writing a character that you know is going to act a certain way?

Posted August 6, 2018 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop, Uncategorized

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#Apocalyptic #Free   Leave a comment

lifeasweknewitToday only. Character-focused apocalyptic fiction. https://www.amazon.com/Life-Knew-Transformation-Project-Book-ebook/dp/B00UY6MKHG/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

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