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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You Can’t Choose Your Family…..

“You Can’t Choose your family but you can choose your friends.”

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If you’re not in the mood to read, check out my YOUTUBE channel for the vlog of this post!

I think Tessa would completely agree.  Everything that has gone on in her life and afterlife has proven that exact point.  It made her what she was and I think it made her stronger.  She chose who she wanted around and even attempted to repair a rift or two.  In the end it all came down to who those to have her back when times were rough.

To me this quote rings so true and loud that I’m getting a little reverb from it.  I’m not saying that being family is essentially bad because in all honesty there is a lot of love going on and there are those what will stick with you through thick and thing.  Your friends, on the other hand, they have the harder task.  The CHOOSE to be with you in not just the awesome moments but in the tough times as well.  They know your intricacies, what makes you hurt, and what makes you feel better.  I would do anything for my best friend, even if it is acting a fool creating an alter to a bar of soap (you’re going to have to believe me on this one).

There are certain friends that I have to admit are so close to me that I consider them super family.  I’ve got a few intentional brothers and sisters that I would do anything for and they would go to the moon and back for me if I ever so needed it.  This is not to deface the actual family but to redefine it as Tessa has done.

Although Tessa is a completely made up creation between myself and a friend, there are many aspects that I mirror.

My family is a rather complicated manner ; the passing of ones truly loved and the suffrage of those who really don’t have my best interest at heart.  Everyone in my life is there on purpose.  When I pour my heart out it means I trust that person with the utmost sincerity and I know that when the time comes I will feel safe in their arms or feel better with their kind words.  They also happen to be the ones that I enjoy numerous shenanigans with whether it’s a wild few days in Vegas, a super awesome concert to remember for ages, a holiday weekend memory, attending a geeked out wedding, or being comforted for the loss of a loved one.  What could be better right?

Tessa has chosen her family.  Not all of them are by blood (ha I said blood.  get it?  Vampire?…*mic check*) but they are completely loyal and that is exactly what she needs to be able to survive in this last book of The Vampire Realm series.  From everything you’ve learned so far I’m sure you would come to the same conclusion.

 

Pssst? Are you ready?!

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BRRR! It’s cold out there! All this cold weather, we couldn’t help but curl up with our favorite book with a nice warm drink, or wine, of course!

With the much anticipated follow up to “Rise of a Queen” the second book in The Vampire Realm series “Of Darkness and Light”, we know our fans are on their toes waiting for any sign of life from Tessa and her clan.

Over the next few weeks, JS Riddle will be releasing teasers from her new novel to help feed your addiction!

Stay tuned and check back often, as you never know when we will reveal them!

Title reveal

I did made a promise that I was going to do a title reveal and I will stick with it.  The development of this book has been a slow and bumpy progress due to life kind of getting in the way tremendously but I can assure you I’ve been back to work and have a lovely assistant, we’ll call her Moon Baby because it’s an awesome name and I won’t embarrass her this way, who has been prodding me back into the driving lane toward my own goal.  It’s quite hard to wrangle me sometimes so I completely appreciate everything she has done for me and for sticking by my side.

As time goes on, more information about book two will be coming at you in many different forms so be on the look out for it.  For now…..title reveal.

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 I will do my best to not spoil it for anyone who has not read the first book, but I can’t promise I won’t reference something as I give teasers for the future.  For now, I just want to say that I came up with this title because it is going to focus on many characters, both of darkness and light, good and evil.  You’re going to learn more about the path’s set for not just Tessa but her family and foes.  This book will focus on their journey’s as well and how each action intertwines with another because as you haven’t already figured out by reading Rise of a Queen everything happens for a reason no matter how dark it is.

So think about the title, go back and look at the synopsis of the story here and get the gears turning on what will be coming at you in the near future in The Vampire Realm.

What happens when a character gets too big for their britches?

I’m finishing up one section of my second book in the Vampire Realm series (which by the way for a few I may have to fish around for a good title that won’t give away the big surprise in the first one).  There are multiple ones with a few different story lines that all mesh into one another.  As I have stated before, I don’t just focus on one character and I promise you on this one that there are going to be a few front and center.  We’ve got Tessa, Jason and the advisors on the vampire side.  On the other we have the I.F.F. (Independent Freedom Fighters aka human rebels) with Melinda, Emma, and their expanded army.  There is a 3rd that is a big shhhhhhh at the moment.

THAT BEING SAID.  Emma has gotten quite a strong voice of her own.  I didn’t intentionally do that, and yes I reigned her in, but oh my goodness the writing that just flew out of my brain to my fingers just happened to be more than I ever thought it could be.  Emma is definitely becoming like her mother AND Tessa.  That is good.  She is a true character.  She changes from the first book, which I wanted.  Change happens with growth, but boy is she a strong-willed, more than anticipated.

Here’s the big question.  As I’m trying to reign her in and make Melinda a bigger focus on the human side how do I humble such a young adult?  Obviously she gets reunited with her Melinda.  It was bound to happen and it makes for a great divide and a pinnacle moment in the book.  I just wasn’t expecting such a personality to come from such a character.

I’ve got great character’s, mind you. I just really want to bring Melinda, and even Tessa from the other side out, stronger than I have Emma, Jason, and those who are in the know, Ariana (a key element for the next two books).  

In a quandary and could use a few writer’s perspectives on this one.

My geek season ends and it begins (we’re talking TV people)

Yes, my geekiness.  You’ve heard of it, you’ve gotten a taste of it.  But ohhhhhh my love has come back to me this week.  The Blue Box arrived on Saturday and I couldn’t have been happier. I suppose I was slightly happier than normal considering the amount of wine I drank at a function beforehand…..but that matters none.  I admit I am a Doctor Who junkie. Yes, handcuff me, but it better be wood since the sonic screwdriver cannot pass through it. 

Seeeeeee geekness.  So how does someone who loves to read and write horror/supernatural things had such a love for the science fiction? I think we are all crossovers if you think about it.  How boring would it be if we stuck to just one genre? Those people are booooorrrrrriiiingggg.  

I do say goodbye to my horror show of the season, The Walking Dead.  So I suppose that fits with me, although writing about zombies will be a unique experience, what would one call them besides zombies? I like the whole idea of a mutated virus, but not as much on the “victims” I like the survivalist kind of story, the growing of the characters, THAT is what I enjoy.

Winter is Coming…..oh wait, winter HAS come and is now making me giddy the moment I hear the Game of Thrones theme song. I don’t care if it has words, it is my favorite score of all time!!!!!  How is it that you watch an entire episode it feels like fifteen minutes.  Yes I know, I know I hear it all the time.  I am told to READ THE BOOKS!!! I definitely want to do that, but then I like suspense and not knowing what will be happening.  On top of that, it makes it hard for me to write. As I am working toward my goal with The Vampire Realm series it will begin to mesh between the supernatural world and the fantasy world and I would hate to steal ideas from the likes of our dear beloved George R.R. Martin.

Last thing and I will be quiet about television.  My new enjoyment? History channel’s Vikings. If you like stories similar to Game of Thrones, Rome, The Tudors, anything of that sort you will enjoy Vikings.  5 thumbs up for that one 🙂 

Your geekness is out!!!