Sunday, May 25, 2014

Character Changes

When I first imagined the Stone Portals concept in 2009, I was writing a book that later became FROM RISING FLAMES. One of the characters, Rhiannon, was so captivating that I decided to make her the focus point of a series. At that point, Rhiannon was a broken person. She was hurt. She was vulnerable. There was greatness in her, but she had not discovered it yet because sadness had consumed her. I wrote ON FALLEN WINGS to begin her tale.

Now I’ve reached the point in the series where this character is starting to discover her potential. Rhiannon is healing from the past and, because of the tragedies she has endured, is stronger than she thought possible. I’m happy to say that she’s freakin’ awesome.

I never wanted to write a tragedy. I don’t like sad stories. But I needed a strong female character to lead the stories. In order to make her great, I had to break her and take away everything that was important. Despite the fact that I’m writing fantasy, I’m a hard believer that people don’t just run out and do fantastic things because they want to. In Rhiannon’s case, she never had a reason to become great. She had a perfect life and lived in the perfect little village. If I had presented her character with the challenges she’ll meet in UNDER DARKENED SKIES way back when she was a happily engaged faerie, she would have crumbled under the pressure and possibly died.

In many fantasy stories, characters start out strong because of back-story; so many of them come from single parent families or no families. I didn’t want an orphan as a main character. I didn’t want to write about a young teenage girl who raised herself because she lived with a parent who was never home. Rhiannon needed a strong family background but also needed a giant push to get her out the door, so to speak.

In a few weeks, I’ll release UNDER DARKENED SKIES. I’m super excited for this book because I get to introduce a strong, resilient female character that’s capable of saving the world.  If you’ve read ON FALLEN WINGS and FROM RISING FLAMES, then you will understand how Rhiannon’s transformation has happened. If you haven’t read those books, that’s okay. I’ve tried to write each book so they could be standalone novels. If you know nothing about Rhiannon, the Crimson Faerie, try reading UNDER DARKENED SKIES first. Then, if you enjoy the story (you will!), go back and read the other two. You’ll see what I mean.

Writing is a passion for me. I love telling stories and I enjoy sharing the places and people inside my head. It’s satisfying to have a medium to share and I’m rewarded by great readers.

Happy reading.

~ Jamie