Category Archives: My Books

Bad Boy Characters

I never set out to write a “bad boy” character. In real life, I was not interested in them. I had been taught at an early age to stay away from that kind of guy and diligently did so. They were trouble, and I didn’t want trouble.

So how did an assassin not only sneak into my book, but also become one of the focal characters? I’m still not sure.

As I wrote Rowen’s story, there was another character standing in the shadows. The first time I met Caleb Tala, he had just murdered a man. Really, Morgan? This was not the kind of book I had set out to write. But Caleb would not leave.

He intrigued me. A cold-hearted murderer, driven into this profession by his thirst for gold and women. He was ambitious, focused, and prided himself in always getting the job done.

But I came to realize Caleb had one fear, a fear no one else knew about because it lived deep inside him: he knew someday he would pay for the lives he took. It came to him at night, when his subconscious would speak to him. He dreamed of his victims killing him.

At first, he found ways to suppress those dreams. He filled his life with everything he desired. He used people, money, and power to distract himself. But when Caleb was shipped up north, the dreams came back tenfold. And this time he couldn’t hide from them.

When I realized Caleb’s fear, I knew I had to write him. How could I not explore this complex and dark man? I had to know what would happen to him next. And so Caleb stepped out of the shadows and entered my first book, Daughter of Light.

I am now writing Son of Truth, the second book in this series. It’s been fascinating to watch his story unfold more and his interactions with the other characters introduced in Daughter of Light. I never set out to write a bad boy character, but here he is. And Caleb is here to stay.

How about you? Do you enjoy books or write books with a “bad boy” character? How would you define a “bad boy”? And why do you think readers are enamored with this kind of character?

The Sea People of Avonai

Readers have told me they love the sea people of Avonai from my book, Daughter of Light. For those of you who have not read it yet, they are a race of people who live along the eastern coast of the continent and are so connected to the sea that they can feel the sea inside their veins and their eyes change to match the color of the waters.

One of my main characters, Captain Lore, is from this race (from his mother’s side). His connection to the sea creates a unique problem for him. Most of his people grow up near the sea and build up a tolerance to the sea’s moods. But Lore grew up in the White City, far from the sea, and so when he goes near the ocean, his seablood can make it hard for him to focus, or worse, during a storm, can physically hurt him.

So where did I come up with this idea for a race of people who are connected to the sea?

It started with my own experience with the ocean. As a child, my only memories of the Pacific were visits to the beach in California. I remembered how dirty the beach was, how hot, and, in my own opinion, how ugly. I did not like the ocean.

It wasn’t until shortly after I was married that my husband took me to visit one of his favorite places: Whidbey Island in Washington State. I stood on that rocky shore, with the wind blowing and gray clouds overhead, crabs crawling over seaweed, colorful starfish along the cliffs and white gulls crying above me that I fell in love with the sea. That moment took a hold of my soul.

Later, I remembered this quote from Legolas (from Lord of the Rings) when he first saw the ocean: “…then I stood still, forgetting war in Middle-Earth; for their wailing voices spoke to me of the sea! The sea! Alas! I have not yet beheld it, but deep in the hearts of all my kindred lies the sea-loving, which it is perilous to stir.”

I was blessed later to live on the Oregon coast. I watched how the ocean would change. Calm one day, furious the next. And all the beautiful colors it would turn: blue-green, a deep gray, soft blue. That’s when I came up with the idea to have a race of people connected to the sea. And have their eyes change to match those beautiful colors.

I was also told early on in my manuscript that Lore was too good. I realized that by having him part of this race of people, but not growing up near the sea, would create a part of Lore that he could not control (and Lore doesn’t like to be out of control). It is one of his flaws (another one to come in Son of Truth). Having flaws made Lore more human.

So that is how I came up with the idea to have people connected to the sea.

 

Favorite Character

I am doing something new starting this week. Along with my usual weekend blog where I write about life, I will be posting about the characters, places, and concepts found in my new series, Daughter of Light. I will be doing this every other week. So if you wondered where I found the names I used, where I came up with an idea, or have a question, this will be the place you can find your answers.

To start off this week, I want to ask those of you who have read my book: Who is your favorite character? And if you want, tell me why. I’m curious to see which of my characters you resonated with :).

 

The Story Behind Daughter of Light

Come April 1st I will have been working on Daughter of Light a little shy of eight years. As I draw near to my release date, I thought I would share with you how I came up with this story…

Rowen (my main character) did not start out with the ability to see inside the soul. I actually created her to be a healer. I was annoyed by the “healing” I saw constantly in fantasy: just place your hands on someone and heal them. Tada!

I asked myself what would it be like if healing cost you something? What if, instead of healing someone, you absorbed the person’s pain, sickness, or wound? Would you do it? Really?

I wanted to explore the psychology behind this answer: What would it feel like? Who would you choose to heal? How much fear would you feel? Would you ever do it again? I wanted real answers, not “this is what the hero would do” answers.

But as I began to write Rowen’s story, I realized she needed something more than this. But what? Then I read a story about a woman who microwaved her baby. I read the headline, horrified. Why would anyone do that? What this woman thinking? What inside of her made her do this?

That made me think. We never see most of the evil in this world. Why? Because most of it is never acted out. But it’s still there, inside of us. What would it be like to see inside of people? What if you were burdened with that ability…and never knew it. Until the moment you touched someone?

What would you see inside the human heart?

This is Rowen’s gift and burden. To see what only God sees, and to reflect it back. To reveal the truth.

Her story begins April 1st.