With Facets of Fantasy being the highlighted free book for next month, I thought I’d discuss these three stories a little more in-depth. For The Amulet of Renari, there’s Violet. Here's a picture of a girl who sort of resembles her, except Violet's eyes are darker. But I like this girl's expression. The second pic is a fantasy art piece I found online and thought, "That's what Judith looks like. It's her exactly."
All my heroines are unique, but Violet does stand apart in a couple of ways. I’ve always felt she wasn’t much characterized and is in a way one of my flattest female leads. But she has an extremely strong presence. We don’t get to know her much, for a reason. She’s the sort of person who can really, really surprise you. There’s an edge to Violet—I’d almost call it mildly disagreeable. And it’s important that we don’t see her very clearly throughout the story. The whole purpose of her character is to feel uncertain about her.
The Amulet of Renari is an idea of Narnia—not fanfiction, not dealing with any characters or actual plots from that world. It’s a story about Narnia. About why this place has always been different from other fantasy. Narnia has unique underlying ideas and a specific hold that won’t go away. But I was surprised when I worked on Renari that I found these ideas so unlikable. I think we may not know yet who’s really interested in Narnia. Something, hinted at by the wolf-people in Renari, seems dark, actually, and it’s never talked about. I’m not sure that all of the people around Narnia are aware of this or would like it if they found out. And that’s where Violet’s personality matters. There’s a kind of person who’s deeply underestimated and just when you think you know them—you realize you don’t. Violet is that sort. The sort who moves.
Whatever Renari was really built on in the past, nobody has told Violet exactly what it is and they may not have told us either. And I do get the feeling people are watching Narnia closely to see what it’s all about. I’m not sure whether Violet represents the deeply entrenched, hidden aspects of Narnia or whether she belongs with the many who’ve grown up loving Narnia and don’t know that someone else might have been there all along. Either way, we might be in for some surprises. Whoever she is, she’s fundamentally untrustworthy. You never thought she had it in her.
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.