Every heroine in my books has a girl she knows closely. This girl is in a lot of scenes and is neither in the background or the forefront—she’s just there. I think that’s an important character, actually, for tying the whole story together. And the one I’m talking about today is Crissy from Ryan and Essie.
This story has always had a powerful hold on my imagination and its hold on other people must be equally powerful, perhaps more so. Crissy tells us a lot about Caricanus, the book’s setting. It’s a place the kids don’t know anything about and it doesn’t really look it, but it’s dangerous. Even at the end, they don’t know quite how dangerous it is, since they only deal with one aspect of it in a typical kid’s fantasy plot. But something else in Caricanus is always there.
Crissy is a Diante—a plant-person. She is attached to a plant stalk and grows out of the ground, though she leaves the plant to travel with Essie. Essie doesn’t respect her needs and takes her to a cold place where she dies. This might seem tragic—and her long-time friend Prince Alavtar is pretty cut up about it—but Crissy is a part of the planet and will return to it. Anything sad in her death will go back into the planet with her. And if any part of her is angry, that will also become part of Caricanus for the future.
Nature is always shown as powerful. In Caricanus, Nature can take on human forms and human thoughts, like Crissy. Essie is reassured that Crissy isn’t truly dead—she’s just continuing somewhere else. But maybe that’s not so reassuring. Eventually, she’ll figure out what Crissy still being here is all about.
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.