And another question from Elena, who asks:
Will Una ever be brought up again in your other books? Although you mentioned in your previous post that a lot of your fans disliked Una, I actually found her character to be very real. I liked that she was selfish, and I liked that she was naive. It made her seem much more human. (If there was a character that I had to dislike, though, it would be Daylily - she seemed too perfect for reality.) I know that your third book will mainly be about Lionheart and Rose Red, but I'd really love to read more about Aethelbald and Una... :)
So pleased to know that you enjoyed my vain little heroine! I enjoyed writing her, and I am always sad when people react so violently against her. She is not intended to be a role-model, of course. Her selfishness and naiveté lead to her downfall, and only humiliation and forgiveness will possibly raise her up again. Definitely not a character to respect, but I feel she is very real and needs a little love and understanding. She has a hard time of it, poor darling, and it always saddens me a little when people dislike her.
That being said, I probably won’t write another story with Una as the main character. She will certainly be brought up again! You saw her briefly in Veiled Rose, of course, and you will see her briefly in Moonblood as well. I have tentative plans of her possibly making an appearance or two in later books . . . but not as the primary protagonist.
This is mostly because I feel her story is told out. Of all my characters, Una’s tale was the simplest. She is a princess, she wants to marry a prince. She causes herself a whole world of trouble, learns what true love is, and comes to a place of healing. Pretty straightforward and definitely wrapped up in the end. That’s not to say that she won’t continue growing in knowledge of the truth for the rest of her life . . . but I somehow doubt as the chosen bride of the Prince of Farthestshore that many terrible things are going to assail her anymore.
Meanwhile, there are so many other brave and broken characters itching to have their stories told. We have already seen Prince Lionheart’s story embellished in a much more complicated tale than we would have guessed from Heartless . . . and that story is not yet resolved! Rose Red has a complicated back story of which she is hardly aware yet. And this is not to mention all the brave Knights of Farthestshore, Eanrin and Imraldera, Oeric and Beana, Imoo and Rogan and so many more interesting characters! And let’s not forget some of the other folks we’ve met during our travels through this world: Emperor Klahan and Captain Sunan, to name a few. The strange sylph who is still in Lionheart’s debt, etc.
Even picture-perfect Daylily may prove to have a story in time. I agree, she is much too perfect for reality . . . and I think she knows it. And I think she is desperately afraid of that coming time when all her own veils of strength and perfection will drop, revealing the imperfect and insecure girl hiding underneath. We see hints of that happening already in her final scene with Lionheart in Veiled Rose. Daylily has achieved her dream-come-true, and it has made her miserable. I can’t imagine things are going to improve vastly for Daylily in the near future.
But if growth is possibly for a selfish little princess like Una, I would imagine it’s possible for the ice-queen Lady Daylily of Middlecrescent. We’ll have to see if she is willing or not . . .
I hope that you will find yourself bonding to each of the new characters I select for lead roles in my stories. The overall reader response has been to prefer Rose Red to Una. I don’t know if I actually prefer her myself . . . they are two vastly different young women. I love them both and have had a great time telling both of their stories. I love all my characters, in fact, and can hardly wait to share more of them with you in Moonblood, Starflower, and beyond!
Oh, no worries about Prince Aethelbald. You will continue to see him throughout the series, though he will sometimes be going by other names!