Falling in Love with Tiernan: A Guest Post by Melissa Cuevas

Please welcome my friend Melissa to the blog, to talk about her character, Tiernan.

~*~

The Book of My World was my first attempt at NaNoWriMo, started in 2014.  Unlike most of the character driven things I write, this one began as a heavily concept driven project.  I created Tiernan Hartwell as my main character for this novel, and to uphold that concept, I dictated pretty much everything about him.  He would be attractive, bold, brash, confident, the best at what he did and well aware of that.  Every description my brain came up with for him could simply be called ‘over the top’.   I told myself that this fit the concept, that I was on the right track, and I started the project on the first day of November.

Everything about this all important concept meant that Tiernan would have to carry this novel.  It was from his point of view, seen through the lens of his grasp of reality, and he was going to have to be a character that I loved enough to stay with him for the duration.

It sounded good, it really did.   There was just one very big problem…not only did I not love the Tiernan that I had created, I didn’t even particularly like him.   Everything about what I thought that he had to be rubbed me the wrong way, and I couldn’t see him being the sort of young man that the female main character would tolerate, much less trust and love. Disheartened, I gave up on the project and let the idea of completing NaNo that year slip away while I returned to other things.

But no, that was not the end of Tiernan, it was only the beginning.  After awhile, let out of the stress of being perfect for my concept and the artificial time constraint of NaNo, Tiernan began to talk to me.  He was not the brash, confident, over the top Tiernan that I so disliked, but an entirely different character… filled with hopes, dreams, fears and doubts.   While still ‘over the top’, he was not the empty facade that I thought would fit my concept.  He was fussy, often overly cautious and suspicious, filled with his fair share of concerns.  He was hardly the massively confident young man I’d envisioned, terrified but filled with resolve when it came to the struggle he faced.  At first, I was dubious, but after awhile I realized I liked him like this.   I restarted the novel, listening to his version of my concept, testing to see if this Tiernan could carry this novel to  completion.   By halfway through, I realized he could indeed be the focus character for this story.  And then, I realized I didn’t just like him the way he was, but that I loved him.   And more importantly, I realized that this was the man that made the story fit him, and he was the man that was good enough, real enough, for his Deirdre to trust and love.

~*~

Get Melissa’s new release, The Book of My World.

An Interview with Dante da Silva: A Guest Post by Stephanie Barr

Please welcome my new friend Stephanie Barr to the blog today. She’s here to tell you about her character, Dante!

~*~

INTERVIEWER: Hello, and welcome to Morning in Corrinn with your host, Danal the Bard. This morning, we have with us something of a celebrity, the ex-military genius, Dante da Silva. How about a round of applause for him, folks?
(Clapping)

DANTE: Thank you for having me.

I: Well, let’s get right to it, Dante. You don’t mind if I call you Dante, do you?

D: Sure, as long as you don’t use it more than twenty times. Then, I’m contractually obligated to devour your soul. You have been keeping track, haven’t you?

I: (swallows hard) So, Mr. da Silva, why in the world did you leave the army? My understanding is that you were quite successful and had a bright future there.

D: That’s your understanding, working under the inept leadership of the dishonored traitor Isen gave me a bright future? I’m not sure your understanding and mine jibe. Let’s just say I was tired of keeping his idiotic battle plans from failing as they would if I did as he intended.

I: You refused to follow orders?

D: More like I made sure he never gave me any so, when I saved his ass, he had no way of repudiating me without looking stupid.

I: Why did you save him?

D: I wasn’t so much saving him as the men who’d done nothing wrong. Can we move on? The entire topic bores me?

I: Of course, Da—Mr. da Silva. I was taken aback by how handsome you are in person, but sorry, ladies, I hear he’s already married. Is that true?

D: Is what true?

I: That you’re already married.

D: I have indeed been bound, heart and soul, to a lovely lady.

I: Can you tell us a little about her?

D: (Flashing his teeth in a menacing smile) No.

I: According to reports she’s the Tar—

D: No one. Talks. About. My. Wife.

I: Ahem. Those are some stunning tattoos you’re sporting. Really striking. They’re red but they almost seem to glow on your skin. Do they represent something significant?

D: Yes, they’re a demonic venereal disease.

I: (faintly) How interesting. Do you know where you got it?

D: (smiling) This time? From my wife.

I: Moving on. (shuffling papers) How old is your cat?

D: I have no cat. I eschew pets.

I: (blinks) Isn’t that a cat sitting next to your chair?

D: Yes.

I: Wasn’t it backstage with you?

D: It was backstage, yes, but not with me. Cats are independent beasties.

I: (turning to stage hand) Get that hideous thing off the stage.

D: (rising to his feet) What do you think you’re doing?

(Stagehands immediately back away. Cat lifts leg and licks its knotted butt)

I: Well, if it isn’t yours, it’s obviously a stray. And it’s an eyesore so I thought… Ahem, so, you’re a demon?

D: (sitting back down and smiling sweetly) What makes you say that?

I: Well…I…your tattoos! You said—

D: Ah, yes, well, it’s more like a slight malady than anything useful. I’ll be rid of it soon enough.

I: You know the cure for demon possession?

D: I know the cure for this one.

I: Does it come with special powers like fire or ice? Or perhaps divination?

D: No, it just makes me sexy, doesn’t it?

I: Yes, it does rather. So, no other boons?

D: No it’s more of a hassle than anything useful, though my wife does look stunning in red runes.

I: I’m sure she does.

D: Why are you talking about my wife? What do you know about how she looks in runes? Are you spying on her?

I: No, really, I’ve never met the woman. It was just a pleasantry.

D: I did not find it pleasant.

I: So, I have it on the King’s authority that you saved the kingdom. Is that so?

D: No, my wife did.

I: (licking his lips) Perhaps the King sees it differently. Didn’t he specifically request you do this interview?

D: Yes. The Priest’s Guild have been putting pressure on him about me and my wife. I think he thought this might help to humanize me. (Looks at nails) He might be a trifle senile.

I: And what do you say to the priest’s guild who contend that your demon nature makes you unfit to be a hero?

D: I am unfit to be a hero, but that has nothing to do with my demon nature.

I: They have been petitioning the King for your execution and have, besides, put a rather large bounty on your head. Are you afraid?

D: Not in the least. I’m a bit challenging to kill.

(Cat growls, matted hair bristling. Off stage, there is some high-pitched yipping)

D: Wait, did you advertise this show ahead of time so that people knew I would be here?

I: Of course.

D: People like assassins?

I: Oh, dear. Is that a problem?

D: (Dante stands up, and bursts into red and orange flame) Gus, attack!

(Cat leaps into pack of men approaching with wicked-looking swords while Dante starts throwing fireballs)

I: I thought you didn’t have fire magic with your demon infestation.

D: Not with that infestation. What makes you think that’s the only way I’m a demon? Lucky, go for the balls!

(Tiny dog leaps into the group of assassins, who are screaming. Some are on fire. Some have strips torn from faces and hands by the cat. Now some are having their nether regions attacked. Fire is starting to catch on the curtains and a torch falls over.)

I: (Rising and walking backward out off stage) Well, that’s all we have time for. This is Danal the Bard. Do tune in next week assuming we still have a studio.

~*~

Stephanie Barr is a part time novelist, full time rocket scientist, mother of three children and slave to many cats. Anything else even vaguely interesting about her can be found in her writing since she puts a little bit of herself in everything she writes…just not the same piece.

Find out more, and meet up with Stephanie online:

Amazon Author page

Dragon Faerie Creative Enterprises (FB Author Page)

FB Snarky character page

Smashwords Tarot Queen Page

Blogs:

Rockets and Dragons (writing)
Rocket Scientist (‘most everything else)
Unlikely Otaku (manga/anime obsession)

An Interview with Flynn Cole: A Guest Post by Mirren Hogan

Below is a character interview with Flynn Cole, from Nightmares Rise, book 1 of the Dark Shores trilogy, by Mirren Hogan and Erin Yoshikawa. I’m excited to welcome Mirren today (she did the interviewing!), and I hope you enjoy Flynn!

~*~

Today I sat down with my good friend and character Flynn Cole.

Me: Hi Flynn.

Flynn: Hello.

Me: Nice Australian accent you have there.

Flynn: Thanks, I like yours.

Me: You do sound a bit like me.

Flynn: So, you had questions?

Me: Yes. I understand you went to Hawaii on holiday?

Flynn: Not so much a holiday. It was more a working holiday.

Me: So– a holiday?

Flynn: (laughs). The point was to take some photos and then sell them. I a photographer. Okay, budding photographer.

Me: Why Hawaii?

Flynn: It’s about as far from my family as I could get. Don’t get me wrong, I love them, but a guy needs a break from being asked when he’s getting a real job.

Me: So when are you?

Flynn:

Me: Okay, okay. So tell me about Makani,

Flynn: (grins like an idiot). She’s amazing. She’s strong, independent, funny, sexy, smart, and likes Angry Birds and Dr Who.

Me: Danger seems to follow her around. Are you okay with that?

Flynn: Well – to be honest I could do with less of that. I mean, it’s nice to have a bit of excitement, but to be followed around by vampires – sorry, manangaal – and other monsters get tiring after a while.

Me: What’s the difference between a vampire and a manangaal?

Flynn: Have you seen those guys? They don’t sparkle, and they’re not civilised. They’re more like flying gut-sucking dogs.

Me: Woah, they sound like fun. Not.

Flynn: I know, right? But we hold our own against them. Mostly. Kind of…

Me: (laughs sadistically) And then some of your family tracks you down.

Flynn: I told you not to ask about that. (turns in chair). Where’s my manager?

Me: I’m your manager. Now answer the question.

Flynn: (sighs) Fine. Yes they did, my sister, her husband and their kids.

Me: Did they get eaten by monsters?

Flynn: I wish. I mean, you’ll have to read and find out.

Me: I heard there was no Vegemite in this book. Why should I read it?

Flynn: There’s pizza. There’s also beer and bacon. And sandwiches. everyone loves those, right?

Me: I like a good sandwich. I hear Makani likes them too?

Flynn: Oh yes, she loves a sandwich.

Me: What else do we need to know about this book?

Flynn: It’s funny, and urban, and sometimes a little gross, but in all the right ways.

Me: Well there you are folks: funny, urban, has monsters and sandwiches. I guess you better read it for yourself.

~*~

Find out more, or hang out with Mirren, at these links:

Website: Mirrenhogan.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MirrenHoganAuthor/?ref=bookmarks

Twitter: @MirrenHogan

Blog: https://mirrenhoganblog.wordpress.com

Mailing list: http://eepurl.com/cA1PCb

Talking About Doctor Maniac: A Guest Post by S.J. Delos

Here’s my good friend S.J. Delos to talk about his supervillain character, Doctor Maniac!

~*~

They say people root for the heroes. But we all know that, sometimes not so secretly in fact, we find ourselves more interested in the bad guy. From Darth Vader to Doctor Evil. How did they become what they are? What sort of diabolical scheme will they come up with next?

I would like to bring into the spotlight my own fictional bad guy, Doctor Maniac. In my books, the good Doctor is the super-villain working behind the scenes. He is considered by the general population of the world to be the most evil and dangerous man on the planet. If given a choice between running into the Devil or running into Doctor Maniac, most people would pick the former.

However, thing I enjoy most about the creation of this character isn’t the fact that he is a megalomaniacal genius with hundreds of murders under his belt. Nor is it his hubris, of which he has spades. Instead, it is his twisted infatuation with the series’ protagonist, Kayo. He calls it love, and it might be in some weird, disturbing fashion inside his head. However, Kayo considers it to be an uncomfortable situation that never seems to actually go away. Doctor Maniac becomes that ex we all have had at one time or another. One that just can’t get past the fact the relationship is over and move on.

In a reversal of the usual comic villain trope, Doctor Maniac is not prone to engaging in a useless monologue with his opponents. He also most certainly does not design elaborate traps that can be foiled with some ingenuity and dental floss. When it comes to dispatching those in his way, he will have them killed and not lose a moment’s peace over the decision.

However, despite the magnitude of the betrayal (in his eyes) by Kayo, he cannot bring himself to actually harm her. Even in Some Kind of Hero, his actions are far less severe than they could have been.

Another thing that I enjoy about writing this character is the mystery surrounding him. While Doctor Maniac is connected in some manner to the chief villain in each book, he himself is not the orchestrator of the danger that Kayo faces. He actually helps her, in his own strange way, though you have to wonder what exactly is going on in his mind.

One of the things I would like to point out is that the reader only gets to see what Doctor Maniac is like from Kayo’s perspective. And it’s a perspective skewed by the fact that while she is trying to show the world she can be a hero, Kayo can’t stop thinking about all the things she did at his request when they were together. Kayo wants to believe that the only reason why she was a bad girl for so long was because was young and in love with the charismatic Doctor.

Until now, I’ve been content to leave Doctor Maniac as a character whose true motivations and history are as much as mystery to Kayo as they are to the reader. Interestingly enough, more than one person has read So Not a Hero and told me afterwards that they found Doctor Maniac to be one of the more interesting characters in the book. I have to agree, though I hope that doesn’t mean that the other, more prominent, characters were not enjoyable.

I’ve decided that Doctor Maniac will be more visible in the third book, Just Like a Hero. I think it is time for the reader to know just what it is that makes this man, who can strike fear into hearts with just the mention of his name, tick. I want people to know what really transpired between a young, pre-hero Kayo and the man who controlled her life for so many years.

I think everyone’s going to be fairly well surprised.

~*~

S.J. Delos is a self-proclaimed “average geek” living in Greensboro, North Carolina with his long-suffering wife, Kim and their two sons, Connor and Cameron. When not making up stories and writing them down, he spends his time reading comic books, playing Skyrim, and watching Doctor Who.

You can find him, or his books, at any of these fine links:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00XYFSC7G

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XQ82L88

https://sjdelos.com/

https://www.facebook.com/sjdelos/

Sir Santo Puglia

Santo’s a Menyoral character. He first appears in Hard Luck and has a slightly larger role in The Service. He wasn’t in the third book, and he won’t be in the fourth. (Jury’s out on #5.)

He’s one of Vandis’s closest friends. I knew that from the beginning. I had this mental character-picture, I mean a picture of his character, not a portrait. I was thinking of a youth pastor who honestly enjoyed his work; Santo loves taking and training Squires, working with young people from Brightwater in particular (all his Squires have been young men from Brightwater). The more I asked myself how that kind of person would act, the more I liked Santo.

The problem was, he wouldn’t talk to me directly, which I say with the writerly conceit that characters “speak to” me. (Some people say they do, but for the most part they don’t to me — literally anyway.)  I couldn’t figure out where he’d come from apart from “Brightwater,” or anything about his background.

You might have noticed he’s got the same name as Puglia Fountain. Yes, he’s from the same family as the Conte, in the direct line — but unless something goes horribly wrong, he won’t inherit the title. He’s the fourth son of the family, a spare in every way.

Expect to learn more about Santo soonish.