Ode to a Side Character: A Guest Post by Hannah Steenbock

Hello again, and welcome to a new series here on menyoral.com, about everybody’s favorite thing — characters! My first guest is the lovely and kind Hannah Steenbock, here to talk about a side character from The Cloud Lands Saga, Debesh.


When I first met Debesh, he was just one of five Wing Commanders in a tactical meeting. All I knew about him then was that my villain was attracted to him and he wasn’t averse to her attention, which was exactly what I needed.

He was just someone to use for a subplot, to explore dragon culture in my world, and to provide a nice distraction from killing kraken and decimating dragons in fights. Back then, I didn’t even bother to come up with his hair color or much of a description.

But when the trap sprang and Debesh and his dragon Vandranen were abducted in a vile plot… I discovered how much courage and determination this man really had. You see, in the story, the evil dragon controls both her rider and Vandranen, and through him, Debesh. He can just hang on to the ride.

And yet, the brave Wing Commander fights back as much as he can, by leaving secret messages and by resisting the evil dragon at every turn. I do put him through hell, I hurt him a lot, and I even get him raped. And in the end, it’s only through his determination, endless courage, and some good luck that the evil plot fails.

I won’t say more about the story itself, because I’ve re-launched the book with Debesh’s tale. Kraken War is book #2 in The Cloud Lands Saga.

Debesh totally earned my admiration while writing the stories of The Cloud Lands Saga, because he held up strong through everything I threw at him, which was a lot. And even after all this, he is still true to himself, a good man at heart, a gentle man and a caring man.

He recently gained his hair color and a bit more of a body image – in answer to the new cover. When my friend suggested a person as focus, we had been searching for Prince Orlen, the male MC of my stories about The Cloud Lands. But when I saw her draft, I immediately knew she had found Debesh. And he spoke to my heart again.

It makes me happy to say that Debesh will return in the fourth book of my series (release planned for end of March), where he will spend much time with one of the main characters of the series. And once again, he’ll prove to be a man of integrity, honesty and courage. He has become pivotal for the future of the Cloud Lands, even, and he has absolutely earned his position there.

This is not the first time I experience such a scenario. Sometimes, side characters can move in and become much, much more than just a throw-away name or a plot point. And I love it when that happens. I love it when they show up and cling to the story by sheer grit. When they demand attention from me, and give a story more depth and show me more of their world.

I’d like to encourage you to pay attention to your side characters. I’m sure they have a story to tell, if you but ask them.


Hannah Steenbock is a German writer of Speculative Fiction. She uses both her native German and English as languages for her tales, as she loves English and tends to think in that language when plotting Fantasy.

After finishing university with a degree in English and Spanish, she lives and works in Kiel, the northernmost state capital of Germany. Her other pastimes include working as a therapist, riding horses, strolling along beaches, talking with trees, and devouring as many stories as time allows.

Read more on her website: www.hannah-steenbock.de

Find her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HannahSteenbock

She occasionally even tweets: www.twitter.com/FirleF


And take a look at this gorgeous cover, featuring Debesh!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s