Today, Literary Escapism is excited to welcome back Erica Hayes, author of the great Shadowfae Chronicles. The second novel in the series, Shadowglass, was released last week.
A seductive magic mirror lies hidden deep in a demon’s lair, with a simple warning: don’t stare at the glass…
Ice is a troubled fairy trying her best to survive in the squalid underworld of the Shadowfae. When she spends a hot night with a demon lord, she discovers a powerful magic mirror in his lair — and pilfers it, knowing it’s the key to escaping her bleak life as a two-bit con artist. But Ice soon discovers that the mirror’s power comes with a price…madness, which is slowly overtaking her.
Indigo oozes darkness, danger and tempting sensuality. He’s been sent to destroy Ice and bring the mirror back to its rightful owner; a mission that, if he fails, will cost him his life. But when he meets Ice, he faces an even greater challenge: an insatiable sexual hunger that neither of them can deny, and dark passions that threaten to claim them both forever. The trouble is, the longer he stays within the mirror’s reach, the greater its hold on his sanity—and the stronger his determination to save Ice…
Make sure you stick around to the end. We’ll be giving away a signed copy of Shadowglass – to one lucky winner.
“My characters talk to me.”
How many times do you hear authors say that? “Oh, I just let my characters tell me what they should do next, or say next.”
Sigh. I wish.
It would take so much of the work out of plotting a novel. Stuck on a scene? No problem. Just get the hero on the phone and ask him what he’s gonna do next. Better still, drop by the villain’s Facebook page and see what dastardly schemes he has up his sleeve.
Sad to say, for me it’s not that simple. My characters don’t talk, or act, or do anything until I get those words down.
But in a way, I guess it does work like that. Characters – especially heroines — are determined people. They have aspirations and plans, and if I try to stomp on them, those girls soon let me know about it.
For instance, my heroine Ice in Shadowglass is a geeky little fairy girl who wants to be someone else. Anyone else. She doesn’t really care who, so long as it isn’t her own clumsy, tongue-tied self. Sure, she’s got a career, sort of, if you count ‘diamond thief’ as a job. She’s got a pair of crazy fairy friends who’d do anything for her. Life’s not so bad, even if it’s a nasty fairy-hating world out there.
But Ice wants the big time. She wants that one big score that’ll set her up for life. She longs to be beautiful, cool, courageous, desirable enough to attract the one guy in her life who’s dead-set unattainable: Indigo, a frosty metalfairy thief whom Ice thinks doesn’t know she’s alive. And when she makes friends with a stolen magic mirror, suddenly everything she’s ever wanted is within her reach. The cost could be immense — the snarky mirror can’t be trusted, and there’s something increasingly strange and dark about Indigo — but the reward could be beyond anything she’s imagined.
And this is where the talking comes in. Not in the woo-woo, hearing-voices-in-my-head sense. I can still only wish for that. But even without a direct line, I can tell you this much: when I throw obstacles in Ice’s way, is she gonna give up? Get distracted? Wander off and do something else?
No way. She’ll fight until she’s squeezed the last drop of effort from her magic-sweet blood.
When I write her into corner after corner, tossing vengeful demons and confused angels and evil shapeshifting gangsters in her path, she talks to me all right. She twitches her wings and wiggles that cute yellow nose and says, “Really? Is that the best you’ve got?”
And for me, that’s how believability happens. Characters have goals, and they’ll crawl to earth’s end – or in Ice’s case, to the edge of hell – to achieve them. That’s what fictional people do. And if I don’t let them act consistently with that — if I try to force the plot in unnatural directions — then the characters will rebel, and start being nasty to me. They’ll do idiotic things until I relent. Their dialogue will suck until I let them say the right lines. Sometimes, they’ll even break things, or start bar fights, just to get my attention.
So yeah. I guess my characters do talk to me. Even if I don’t have voices in my head.
Contest Time! Erica has graciously offered to give away a copy of Shadowglass – to one lucky winner. All you have to do is answer this question: Which character would you like to talk to?
As always, there’s more ways of getting your name in the hat:
- +1 for each place you post about today’s contest on your blog, social network, or anywhere you can. Digg it, stumble it, twit it, share it with the world. Wherever you share it, make sure you add a link to it along with your answer.
- +1 to any review you comment on, however, comments must be meaningful. Just give me the title of the review and I’ll be able to figure it out from there.
- +1 Join the Literary Escapism Facebook page and/or follow LE on Twitter
- +1 subscribe to Literary Escapism – either via a reader or email (see the RSS button at the bottom of the sidebar)
- +10 Purchase the first Shadowfae novel, Shadowfae, or for any print novel through LE’s Amazon store sometime during this contest and send a copy of the receipt VIA email for your purchase to: myjaxon AT gmail DOT com. Each purchase is worth ten entries, but it has to be through the LE Amazon Link.
The winner agrees to post a review of the novel someplace. Whether it is on their own blog, Amazon, GoodReads, LibraryThing or wherever, it doesn’t matter. Just help get the word out.
I have not been contacting winners, so you will need to check back to see if you’ve won.