After doing numerous posts on characters, I’ve never done one on Karl Kallai from Halogen Crossing. I guess Karl can get overlooked. It’s hard to understand at first quite what drives him and why he’s so focused on something everyone else finds boring (namely, finding the ancestral roots of his people.) And his relationship with his cousin Cassie is central to what makes him tick.
Karl doesn’t know this himself. He isn’t aware how vital a part of his life Cassie really is. Brynea, a complete stranger who is assigned to spend time with him during his visit to a foreign city, sees this at once. She also spends a large part of the story dropping clues in his direction and prodding him to pay more attention to his cousin. But Brynea has a lot of preoccupations and loyalties of her own that make her reluctant to just out with it. So Karl tunes her out.
In the end, Karl recognizes the close bond he has to his cousin. Though neither of them knows what this means yet—the story ends with Cassie thinking there’s more to come—that is why they’re so meaningful to each other. And I think that’s a part of life, actually, something we’ve all encountered. Sometimes things or people come into our lives and we aren’t consciously aware of them like we are about other situations around us at the time. That’s because those moments are the real deal. They take up a quiet residence in our lives and then this flash of insight comes when we look at it (or at him or her) and realize this is the truth. This is what really matters to us.
And there will be more updates.
I started Victoria as a retelling of Snow White and female relationships are incredibly important to that fairy tale. I’d thought to show Snow White from the outside because stories from her POV always seem angsty and failed. So Victoria, her scheming younger sister, would play the lead, and Bella would be Snow White.
But the story didn’t turn out that way. In fact, Bella became a rather shady character. And unlike in Snow White, the world of Victoria got filled with assassins and thugs and gained a very different theme altogether. When I created Ignacio, I’d had an idea of him as a benevolent character who would care about Bella. But he became more like Boba Fett. Ignacio can pretend friendliness, especially when he’s trying to get information, but he is always up to something and is very confrontational.
The Hirado is a trained and hired mercenary who goes around killing people—again like Boba Fett, or like any criminal or bounty hunter from other stories. And Webster, though lighter, is always verbally aggressive. This story has an action angle I didn't expect instead of a fairy-tale feeling. And the more I work with it, the more I'm glad it grew in that direction. Nothing's better--and more challenging--than a story with a will of its own. And this story has always had one of the most independent wills of any of my books and I can never get it to do what I want. It keeps growing and growing on its own.
And there will be more updates.
I live surrounded by cultivated fields that rapidly give way to wild flowers, wild plants, and wild life. I get most of my ideas while drifting innocuously around my house and some of those ideas get into print.