The question I am blogging an answer to today is: "Who are your favorite Goldstone Wood Characters?"
This question makes me think of my relationship with my kindle of kitties. Every one of my six cats loves to take a turn sitting in my lap, purring sweetly while I pet him/her and croon, "You are my favorite kitty ever. Only you. None of the other kitties even matter to me."
Rohan tells me I'm being a bit faithless and misleading . . . but the kitties all believe it. Absolutely. Implicitly. And the truth is, while a particular kitty is in my lap, she/he probably is my favorite kitty! Save where husbands are concerned , I'm pretty flexible when it comes to favorites. (When I tell Rohan he's my favorite husband, he scoffs, "Well it's not like I've got much competition!")
The same is true for my characters. Whoever I'm writing at the time tends to be my favorite character ever. Only that character. None of the other characters even matter to me.
And this isn't at all a bad perspective to use when all is said and done! This way, every character and every character's storyline feels important to the reader as well. However, for the sake of the reader who asked this question, I will try to pinpoint a couple of key favorites!
First and foremost . . . Eanrin. I mean, really. "He's my favorite kitty ever!"
But seriously, Eanrin is just an extremely interesting character to write, not to mention tremendously fun. I've been writing about him since I was in high school, so I feel I know him rather well. That being said, he often surprises me with the twists and turns of his character and personality, not to mention the dramatic events of his life. The story of how he lost his eyes came as quite a shock to me. I wasn't planning it when it happened, and it completely altered so much of where I was going with the series . . . but I also knew I couldn't back down once it happened, and it was subsequently incorporated into the rest of the series (including Heartless, which I had drafted with a non-blind Eanrin a year or so earlier). His reactions to that traumatic event were also very interesting to watch and continue to be so through the more contemporary story lines (such as Moonblood).
And, of course, the ongoing relationship and dynamic between him and Dame Imraldera is the stuff of epics. Or at least it's very juicy storytelling, and I enjoy pitting the two of them against each other, so to speak.
Eanrin has developed quite a lot over the last several years. I wrote Starflower soon after marrying my Rohan, and I know my husband had a profound influence on the evolution of that character. Not that Eanrin is modeled on Rohan--he really isn't. But they do rather reflect one another pretty often. (And Rohan says that I'm like Imraldera, all earnest and serious and a bit sharp-tempered at times, with a tendency to fall in love with any poor creature that crosses my path, the dirtier and more flea-bitten the better. So I guess there's a bit of "writing what I know" going on in that relationship!)
Another character who jumps to mind as a favorite right now is Masayi Sairu, the heroine of my upcoming Golden Daughter. Sairu was one of those characters who just danced out of my imagination so fully-fleshed-out and fascinating, it was impossible not to love her! She was almost the opposite of what you'd expect from a character in her role--the deadly, mysterious, highly-trained body guard. She should be all seriousness and mystique, right? But Sairu can hardly keep the smile off her face, has a soft spot in her heart for fluffy things, and boasts quite a potent maternal instinct. She is also a surprisingly damaged person, though the extent and nature of that damage are not readily apparent.
Sairu was an absolute blast to write, and I miss her already as I move forward into the next novel.
And, interestingly enough, just like Eanrin reminds me quite a lot of my husband, so Sairu reminds me hugely of my best friend. Are we noticing a trend here?
I really love my struggling Prince Lionheart as well. I loved him even as far back as Heartless, and I distinctly remember stalling out partway through writing the first draft of that story because I wanted so badly for him to come through and be a hero by the end! But he couldn't be. That wasn't who he was, and I had to write the character true. But I loved him anyway and was eager to pursue his storyline through Veiled Rose and Moonblood . . . not to mention revisiting him in Shadow Hand. He is a character full of turmoil and drama, but he really is quite lovable. I hope to write quite a few more books about him in time to come! (At least two more, but we'll see . . .)
Let me see, I'll pick just one more . . . .
I really loved writing Nidawi the Everblooming! She was an absolute riot and ever so much fun to play with. She is a wonderful blend of Faerie madness and tragedy, innocence and sensuality, kindness and cruelty. There is nothing predictable about her; she is completely herself. The character incorporates the "triune goddess" motif of classical mythology--the maiden, mother, and crone. All at the same time, which is just bizarre and wonderful to write. While being a completely original character, she has a strong classic sense about her. It's not difficult to believe she came right out of The Golden Bough or some other tome of mythology and legend. She was an experiment and a tremendously fun one. I don't know if I will ever enjoy a character quite the same way again (though I can always hope!).
Anyway, I could keep going for quite some time, but I'll stop there. Who are some of YOUR favorite Goldstone Wood characters?