The Death of a Character: To Mourn or Not to Mourn

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I was asked a question earlier by someone I find both wise, endearing, and completely talented in all that she does.  Her question has been bouncing around in my mind and I realize that my answer to her was very swift and two dimensional so maybe I should expand a little on the subject.  The question happened after I was very pleased with writing a prominent character’s death.

I took it as someone who writes herself wanted to know if we had similar feelings.  She asked, “Do you mourn them? If you don’t, do you feel badly for not mourning them?”  

I responded simply with, “I’ve been juggling with this death, going back and forth whether I should or not and ultimately for the final book sets things to 11.  I do some more than others depending how attached I am. This one, yes. The great thing, though, is I don’t write in order so I will get to enjoy them for a while longer.” and “Some I am glad for their demise, though, and celebrate.”

If you happened to have read Rise of a Queen or Of Darkness and Light (heck, maybe even both) you realize something pretty quick.  I kill characters off quite a bit.  Not in a George R.R. Martin or even Steven Moffat way; the emotional trauma I might cause myself would be asylum worthy if I were to venture down that path.  Nonetheless, I do tend to find a great death scene to write.  Something I have said since the beginning and can shout from the rooftops…..EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON.  No matter how lighthearted or gut-wrenchingly dark things get, there is a purpose for everything that I write and it may not even be clear until you reach the final book; I write for the long haul.  For some characters I realize that they are meant to have their demise as part of something highly entertaining or a need for vengeance that even the reader is screaming for.

Since we live in the land of spoiler alerts, I guess I should say if you have not read the first book SPOILER AHEAD….

Greco’s death serves the biggest purpose of the entire series.  I know people have told me they’re either team Greco or Team Isaac which I have to always answer, “Why not be Team Tessa?”  Both are what makes her who she is.  Greco’s death sets the stage for everything she becomes as the Queen of the Levé’s, the main reason I labeled the first book of the series Rise of a Queen.

END OF SPOILER

Through all this, I still have to say I haven’t really answered the true question beyond the basics.  YES, YES, YES, I mourn my character’s deaths….the ones that I have cultivated and molded for years until their very last breath.  The necessity sometimes breaks my heart and for some people, they want to deny that death understandably.  I have been working on this series since the early 2000’s when I wrote a small bit, set it aside and didn’t pick it up again until a dear friend prodded me with such tenacity it had awaken something inside of me.  With guidance and suggestions Tessa became who she was and The Vampire Realm became so real I could close my eyes and see everything inside of it.  It has consumed me ever since and as I am working on this final book of the series I believe I will mourn The Vampire Realm itself, but at the same time feel pleased and accomplished for giving my baby the life and excitement it contained.

To all the villains that I happen to not mourn…….all I can say is I have raised many a wine glass in your demise and take solace in the fact that I can feel better by simply going back and turning to those pinnacle pages at any time I feel the need.

 

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I Have Not Forgotten

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It may seem at such and it may put some into a quandry.  “Has she returned?”  “Is she like a phoenix rising anew to become a bigger, better version of herself?”
To do any of those brings about the assumption that I have left, but that is hardly the case.  Let’s call it hibernation at it’s finest instead.  Who wouldn’t like a long peaceful nap with a belly full of nibbles and a dark solitary cave?  Through it all I can promise that I have not forgotten.  Time can be such a demanding and difficult beast and not once does it stop to be tamed.

I have not forgotten the work promised to my fans and to myself.  I can guarantee that Ariana and Tessa are busy trying to save the Levé Kingdom, not to mention both vampire and human kind.  The new enemy has presented itself to be a mighty challenge for all involved.

As I breathe life into a sleeping beast the unfolding may prove either useful, insightful, or entertaining.  No matter what, it was a journey that needed to take it’s course. I swallow my pride instead of hanging my head for not defeating that dark chaotic silence.

I’ve got new life, a new outlook, and a great support system to make sure that I keep this ship afloat and quite possibly an upgrade or two.

More posting, more blogging, definitely more writing.   I  might even have something new to present to you….but that is another story.

What I did after launch day…

Actually launch day, as eventful as it was leading up to it, I took a major breather.  I slept, I did family and friend things and most importantly did not ONCE look at my sales ticker.  I didn’t want to be overjoyed or depressed.  Understanding that I’m an Indie Author I realize there are things that go with that.  First….I don’t have a big name.  Second….I don’t have a big publishing house behind me.  What does this mean for me?  A lot more work, but ultimately the traditionally published author and I have one thing in common….our chances of success.  They don’t have a huge marketing team behind them either; it makes no sense but that’s the gosh darn truth unless they are a huge household name.  Of course I would choose Indie over the other because I like knowing what I’m getting into and not be let down by a house meant to protect me and show me off.

This is my second go-round and I am quite certain I’ve figured out plenty since the first.  If you have read my blog from the beginning or checked through the archives you will realize marketing/social media and I have had our time in the ring.  I’m stubborn and confused.  You can throw numbers around and TELL a person what works, but in actuality there is no algorithm on current human behavior so it’s a crap shoot.  Your determination plus lots of luck is what gets you places.  We’ll use Instagram and things of the like as an example.  The interaction/follows/likes don’t add up, especially on Instagram.  I can post the exact same thing on my author accounts as I do the private ones (really, Is Instagram really private though?) and a funny thing happened.  With the same exact picture, caption, and hashtags I get more interaction on the private one.  On there I have twice as many followers and I can honestly say it’s not because they’re all friends I’ve met in real life.  So what gives?  Logically speaking they should be identical but they’re not.  That is why I give up on trying to mathematically figure out what in the world is going on in people’s minds.  The best I can do is keep trying to figure things out.

I would LOVE to get the word out.  I would LOVE for people to enjoy my work and even be a bit more fantastic by leaving a review.  I’m obviously not in it for the money, I do it because I love it.  The biggest thing I would LOVE???? More interaction; I’m a people person not someone destined to be the only voice in the room.

SO BACK TO WHAT I DID ON LAUNCH DAY….by the end of the day I was in the company of two fabulous friends sitting around the table drinking pumpkin spice coffee (yes I’m one of THOSE) and enjoyed myself.  I think I’ll leave the stressing for another day don’t you think?  There’s only so much confusion I can handle.

Now to keep interacting with everyone and I’ll be right as rain.