Right now I’m well into writing Across Worlds, Book 2 in the Hunting Eve series. It’s kinda fun to look back and think about how I created Eve’s world. I re-read some of my earlier posts, and wow, I can’t believe how much more I know about the characters now!
Some authors plot their books in great detail before they start to write. They create detailed character profiles, and even write some sample scenes before they get under way in earnest.
I’m not that kind of writer. When I started the Eve series, I had a character in mind – a human girl in her late twenties in a fairly ordinary family. Oh, she does have some strange skills or abilities that she can’t really account for… but she writes them off as something handed down from her Nana Alice, who was a gifted psychic.
I pictured Eve feeling restless, somehow uneasy, because she knows something bad is coming… but she doesn’t know what. And of course, she has no idea how to avoid it. I knew she would be whisked off to travel to the Otherworld to live in a kind of melting-plot of species: wyr, vampires, shapeshifters and faerie. I decided that she would end up in a funeral home in this strange little pocket of the universe, using her skills to make the Dearly Departed look good.
First, I had to GET her to the Otherworld. Part 1, Book 1 (First Crossing) was going to be all about Hunter getting Eve to safety. Once she reached Elm Crossing, that would be the end of Part One. [Note: after listening to reader feedback on Part One, I added an extra 8,000 words showing Eve getting to know her new world. It is now a novella-length episode of 20,000 words rather than 12,000 words. I like it better now; I hope readers do too!)
Parts 2 and 3 of Book 1 would see Eve developing her skills and facing up to those who were hunting her… and, of course, developing her relationship with Hunter!
I knew her best friend would be a kitsune called Ken. A kitsune is a fox spirit, who can manifest as a fox or a human. Kitsune often like to take the female form, so Ken ended up being kind of like a gay friend. He loves to dress up in female garb (only he could do more than dress up: he could manifest in whichever female form he chose, which makes life very interesting – blonde, brunette, redhead: take your pick!) Ken is a master con-man and trickster, true to his kitsune nature, and enjoys drawing the bad guys into his web and making them pay.
I love Ken! And after feedback from readers, I think he is a favorite with a lot of people.
As I wrote, I dipped into the paranormal world according to what I wanted to know. The great thing is that you can invent a special little corner of the universe (or another dimension, or another plane) where creatures can have whatever talents you wish. I took what I wanted from myth and folklore, and made up the rest. What fun!
I deliberately didn’t go too much into the past of any one character in the early books, because I wanted to be free to develop them later. And that’s what is happening – Eve found out a LOT more about Ken in Part 3, and in Book 2, Across Worlds, Eve will meet her Earthstar grandfather, and we’ll meet Hunter and Rona’s parents…. who were not exactly your Parents of the Year.
Time to stop blogging, and continue writing. I’m having SUCH fun with Ken’s current scene…
P.S. Just in case you haven’t started the ‘Hunting Eve’ series… I’ve now finally issued Parts 1, 2 and 3 as a full-length novel: Hunting Eve, Book 1 of the Hunting Eve Series. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00A6JI17E