This lovely October day, as I look out to see leaves raining down from the trees in my yard, I am turning my attention to my portion of our post for A Drift of Quills this month. Our subject? We are each to tell something about one of our supporting characters. I thought it would be fun to hear from my fellow Quills first.
P.S. Broaddus, author of A Hero's Curse, is up first. Parker?
The supporting character I’d like to throw a spotlight on today is from my upcoming novel and work-in-progress, “The McGalliard Street Gate.” It’s a fast-paced, action-adventure novel about two brothers, Mikey and Lucas, aimed at 2nd, 3rd, & 4th graders that’s a fabulous explosionary mashup of Jurassic Park and The Hardy Boys. (You might recall I did a character sketch of “Doc” from the same story a couple of months ago. Can you tell I’m excited?)
Today, I want to introduce you to Jim Braxton, a retired Orlando chief-of-police ...
Thank you so much, Parker!
Robin Lythgoe, author of As the Crow Flies, always has something wonderful to share. Robin?
I am neck deep in the writing of Crow’s Nest, another novel about the best thief in all the glittering empire. (According to himself.) Crow is a little bit of an attention hog, so today I want to cast some light on one of his supporting characters: Girl.
First, I promise you that “Girl” is not her real name. Second, I promise that you’ll find out what that is in the new book. And that’s it for spoilers today! But how did she come by such an awful moniker?
Thank you, Robin! And now, for my turn.
It is a bit difficult to choose, but this time around, I will go with Velia.
Velia is an Oathtaker who I first introduced in Book One of The Oathtaker Series. Her unique magical powers include the power to discern truths from falsehoods, and the power to take on the pain of another. She also has limited ability to communicate with animals. Some might recall that when Velia told Lilith of that power in Book One, Lilith thought that meant that Velia might have a keen ability to understand the brutish soldiers from Chiran who were then at Lilith’s beck and call.
Velia and Mara, along with Basha, all Oathtakers, are particularly good friends. This grouping was a natural creation for me since my own best friendships have typically come in threes over the years. As I’ve experienced personally, these three able to speak truth to one another and to share their pains with one another. Of them, Velia laughs most readily and wholeheartedly. She is also one of the few who can set Mara right—and she doesn’t hesitate to do so, when needed.
We authors are often reminded to "show" and not to "tell" our readers things, so I thought I might do the same when discussing Velia. You see, in Volume Four, currently in the works, it is Velia who is able to force Mara to face some difficult truths. Here is an exchange (as yet unedited) when Mara resists the efforts of others to provide her with some much needed assistance:
This will pass. In the meantime, you need to let those who love you, help you.”
Later, and at a time when Dixon is away, Mara awakens from a disturbing dream. Concerned it might be prophetic, she rushes to visit Velia. The following (as yet unedited) is a rather lengthy conversation between the two of them. However, I chose to share it because it shows how these two relate:
“Now, you were saying,” she prodded as she set the tray on the table, sat down, and then took up the pot of tea.
We could all use a friend like Velia from time to time. One who knows us well enough to know when we need a dose of truth along with a bit of compassion. Do you think? Have you a friend like that?
It is September, and we Quills decided to write about risks. Specifically, each of us will share about a risk we’ve taken that paid off. I'll go ahead and then share the stories of my fellow Quills.
I have a confession. In truth, I’m not much of a risk taker. That said, there is one risk I took that ultimately changed the course of my life.
To fully appreciate what I did, it’s important to understand my roots. I was one of eight girls—yes, eight girls. The world has changed more than some might like to think in the past few decades, but back when I came of age, women still didn’t have all that many options. More accurately, options were opening, but it was quite unusual to do something out of the mainstream. Add to that the fact that my parents expected a single type of future for their eight daughters: that we would all be at-home moms, and not more. They did not encourage education and, in fact, tried to talk me out of it.
I had no college educated family around me, no encouraging support for what I wanted to do, and no financial support. Perhaps most significant—I had absolutely no idea what I was doing.
In any case, contrary to my parents’ wishes, I decided to go to college. Since my family was not about to assist me financially (or in any other way), that option was off the table. So I worked, and I saved through high school, and eventually, I moved from home to campus, a couple hours away, to live in the dorms. I had my savings account (which wasn’t much)—and no safety net. Since the avenues used for getting financial assistance required family input, that wasn’t an option for me. Eventually, I ran out of money and had to quit for a time, but I kept the dream alive, and some (six) years later, I quit my job so that I could return to school. While wrapping up with my undergraduate degree, I looked into the option of law school. Eventually, I took the LSAT, submitted applications, received acceptances, chose my school, and then moved so that I could attend. The move wasn’t out of state, but for me, it was significant.
My law school experience was an eye opening time for me. I worked extremely hard and in the end, because of how well I did, options opened to me for employment, that were open to very, very few. I took one of those options and the rest is, as they say, history.
So there you have it. I took a big risk and in doing so, I experienced a dream come to fruition.
I know that Robin Lythgoe, author of As the Crow Flies, has experienced profound changes of late. No doubt, she also knows a little something about taking risks. Well, Robin? What have you for us today?
I’m not much of a risk-taker.
I am perfectly happy to stay home and quiet without any spikes of adrenalin or pounding pulse, thankyouverymuch. My husband frequently called me a houseplant. He was the adventurous one.
Now and then, though, I break out of my pot and try something crazy. Like spelunking…
Last, but by no means least, P.S. Broaddus, author of A Hero's Curse, has known risk. Take it away, Parker!
For more, follow this link.
We Quills are back again this month with some new flash fiction (FF) tales. This time around, I chose the pic that we used as our prompt. Here it is:
I didn’t know when I chose our prompt that I would be revisiting the past, but that’s what I’m going to do. You see, I decided to write once again about Calico Dew, a character I introduced in a previous FF story. (I believe Calico’s primary audience would be middle-graders.)
Calico is an official retriever of magic artifacts. Her dog, Sneaker, who travels with and assists her, is known to abscond with (and even eat!) small, shiny objects. Meanwhile, a witch, Rosita Brack, tries to outwit Calico at every opportunity.
I decided I'd also make use of some rather well-known lines from some rather well-known works of others from the past. See if you can identify the lines, and if you can guess the identify of the character who first uttered the words in question. (Actually, I think they’ll be pretty obvious.) (Even my title suggests something that came before . . .)
And now, without further ado . . . (coming in at 970-980 words, or so) . . .
Calico Dew and the Vial of Duplicate Sin