In Character With Daphne Shadows

Where has October gone? Only one more Monday left and then November will be on us like a hungry relative on the last turkey leg. At least there’ll be pumpkin pie. Mmm…pumpkin pie. Anyways, I’m glad you’re here. Today we go in character with another wonderful writer, the mysterious and always elusive, Daphne Shadows. Let’s get right to the questions, shall we?

Why don’t we start with a little bit about your WIP and how it came about?

Human or Hidden is a fantasy novel, sub-genres paranormal and horror. I could yammer on about all that technical stuff or just tell you what it boils down to. Or who to be precise – the crazy chick. Blair is a soul eater with amnesia, anger issues, bloody clothing, and chains; or at least that’s how she wakes up in the forest, just outside the Cursed town she’ll now call home. Upon arrival, she both frees the townspeople from an ancient evil and releases the savage sickness and insanity on them that follows the ancient creature’s death in one fell swoop. Not the best way to make allies, especially when they’re not all human, but of the Hidden.

As to how “Human or Hidden” came about, well… that’s actually kind of messy. First, two things happened at the same time. ONE – I decided/already knew I wanted a wicked female protagonist that had amnesia that discovers she’s a soul eater by accident. And TWO – I had a dream about a mysterious, creepy, and intriguing creature and its entire backstory. Ironically, I won’t be able to write about this particular creature until a few novels down the road. It’ll be quite the revelation at that point though. Cue evil, maniacal laugh. THIRD – After those two things hit me, came Blair’s entire backstory, tied in with a huge subject I’ve always been interested in. It wasn’t until after these three things that I even considered what Novel #1 would be about in deep detail. I wrote draft one and instantly scrapped 80% of the plot. And finally – finally – I found Blair’s real story. And here we are.

What, in your opinion, makes a memorable character?

I suppose there are only three reasons I remember a character well after reading about them. ONE – I fell absolutely in love with the character. TWO – I couldn’t stand the character to the point that I couldn’t think of enough ways to jump in the book and kill them. And THREE – I was intrigued by the character, for one reason or another.

For me, it all boils down to emotion. That spark. Is this character real? Did they make me feel something raw and genuine? Were they consistently this person that radiates from that spark inside? Or were they just a tool used to get the author’s story put onto paper the way they wanted it? If the latter, said character won’t be memorable to me. They have to burn with the passion that consumes them. Or they shouldn’t have a story written about them. Duh.

What makes your main character unique?

Blair is a crazy angry, brain damaged soul eater who has no idea what’s going on, who she is, or why everyone’s pissed off at her. What more can I say?

On a more serious note, Blair is Blair. She’s got this cesspool of anger and this feeling that injustice upon injustice was done to her and is trying to reclaim her, but she doesn’t let that stop her or make her into the monster she knows she was meant to become. Blair is stubborn and refuses to be held accountable for what’s not her fault. She outright goes against whatever she doesn’t like and doesn’t take any grief in the process. She has such strength yet is so vulnerable and it all mixes together to form a very strange young woman who really doesn’t know anything about herself but is fighting tooth and nail to remedy that without getting too many people involved.

As far as what she is goes, she’s a creature not used very often and I’ve loved the ability to exploit that. There’s very little in the way of soul eater mythology and very few opinions on the matter. Which is really going to piss Blair off.

Who, or what, served as the inspiration behind your main character?

Oh Jeeze. Probably my own issues and twisted imagination combining to create a woman who wouldn’t shut up once she appeared. What pushed the envelope and shoved her into my current vision of what to write was the combination of a creature I really wanted to write about, a scenario I couldn’t resist, and my wonderings on what I should do with all my anger over injustices.

I wanted to give a wounded animal strength and see what happened. I got Blair.

How important are physical traits, or quirks, in the creation process?

As equally important as personality and backstory. What my character embodies should show up in their physical appearance. I get each character’s appearance and who they are at the same time. I have to have a mental picture of them or it’s hard for me to hold onto who that person is as I move forward with their story.

How much of yourself, if any, is in your main character?

My best guess would be Blair’s anger and identity issues. Neither to the extreme Blair suffers. Thank heaven! We also share our dislike of telling others about ourselves. Our personal lives are our own and most people only try to use it against you later. We both figured that out at a young age. But at the same time, there are a lot of differences between Blair and myself. She feels like a separate entity and our differences make our similarities pale in comparison. Oh – and we’re both dodgy. We don’t always give straight answers to questions asked of us.

How does your main character change by the end of their journey?

Nowhere near the end of her journey – but by the end of this first novel, Blair has found a release, a way of translating what could be lethal into something positive. It’s really cool, what she does. I envy her for that. She’s still crazy and she’s still got issues but she’s okay with that by the end of Human or Hidden. She’s ready for whatever comes next. Or at least, that’s what she’s thinking. *evil grin*

She’s also acquired something she needed more than she knew, yet something she never imagined she’d be able to call hers. This is going to give her a different kind of stability from within. But I don’t even know how that’s going to play out yet. Blair hasn’t let me in on anything about Book 2 yet. And yes, that was a very vague answer but hey! I’m not going to give away the exact ending.

What can we expect from your main character in the future? Will we see more of them or is their story finished?

Definitely not finished. Blair’s past has only found her by the end of Book 1. She has much more to show us now that she’ll have her bearings. Blair has morphed into this huge chunk of my brain. It’s labeled on MRI scans, I swear!

Name a character who most closely resembles your main character and tell us why?

Dory (Dorina Basarab) of the “Midnight’s Daughter Series” by Karen Chance. Dory is the only character in my bookshelf that reminds me of Blair. I think the base reason for this is because Dory has major issues yet she isn’t psycho depressing or gloomy all the time – something I came into writing Blair dead set on not doing either. Both Dory and Blair are dark, but that’s not all they are. Another thing they hold in common is an intense anger that lurks inside them; one they have to fight to keep from taking over their lives. They’re both a bit crazy and they end up fighting to save people who hate their guts half the time but they do it anyway. Also, they both have short hair (I just realized this).

How would your main character respond if they knew this post had been written about them?

“All. Of. This. And you’re not going to tell me what’s coming now?”

Yeah… when she get’s quiet you’re screwed. Also, I hope no one liked that computer desk much.

Everyone knows how much I love music. Can you share a song which you feel best represents Blair, or a song you listened to as you wrote about Blair?

The Wolf by Fever Ray

I’d like to give Daphne a huge thank-you for dipping her toe in the slush with us today, maybe even a hug and some of that Choxie chocolate she loves so much. Blair too, even though she smashed my computer desk. Isn’t it fun to see how different writers approach their characters? I can’t wait to see where Human or Hidden takes readers. Don’t worry, I’ll be sure to let all of you know the juicy details as soon as they become available. If we’re lucky Daphne will come back and tell us the good news herself! The door is always open for you, my friend. Please stop by and check out her blog or any of the other places she lurks.

Author Bio: Daphne Shadows wrote a semi-psychotic book in the second grade and was instantly a writing obsessed crazy person (though that first book went missing under suspicious circumstances long ago). She grew up surrounded by everything fantasy – from TV shows to books to strange music to crazy relatives – and that’s what she loves to write to this day. Vampires and werewolves were her first guides through the paranormal, horror infested corridors of her mind. Things only got stranger from there. You can find Daphne on her blog (daphneshadows.wordpress.com), on Twitter @DaphneShadows, or over at WANAtribe. She plays favorites with her blog.

Advertisements

18 comments

  1. Yay! I’ve been waiting for this post. Great to get to know more about your book Daphne! How’s it coming along? You’re in edit mode, right? Or is it still first composition mode?

    And Brian, amen on the pumpkin pie!

      1. It is fun to see it grow. I really like a lot of the changes that came with my overhaul of Shade. Hopefully some time in the freezer will help me see an ending. When you do get back to writing, don’t neglect us here in the blogosphere too much. Deal? 😉

      2. I’m glad I decided to make changes as well. What’s amazing to me is how much it can change for the better. I can’t wait to see how Shade turns out!

        Oh that’s definitely a deal. I like you guys too much to vanish. 😀

    1. Ha! Who knows. Right now I’m replotting for Draft #2, then I’ll edit and revise and have it critiqued. THEN I’ll start putting together queries.
      Glad you want to know more! As I get closer to being finished with the writing, I might give more away. 😉

  2. It was a treat having you over to talk characters, Daphne.

    “Oh – and we’re both dodgy. We don’t always give straight answers to questions asked of us.” So does that mean you weren’t being straight with us? 🙂

    Seriously, you did a fantastic job. How nice is it to share a little bit of your writing? It seems like plenty of people are interested. Always keep them wanting more. Blair sounds like a character I’d want to read about. As long as she doesn’t eat my soul. I like my soul. I was just curious, how does a soul taste?

    1. LOL yes, I was straight with you.

      Why thank you. It was fun coming on over! And I love getting some of what’s been going on with my character out to others and seeing if it interests them.

      Souls have more of a ‘feel’ than they do a taste. You’ll see what I mean when you read my MS to critique it. 😉 Ha – that gave me an idea actually – you rock dude!

  3. Daphne, color me intrigued. I love the concept and Blair sounds like my kind of girl. I look forward to reading more about her.

    Did someone say pumpkin pie? I love me some pumpkin pie- just not one of those who crave pumpkin-flavored everything.

    🙂

  4. Your story sounds really intiguing, Daphne. I really like dark and mysterious characters, and the fact that she’s not human is even better. And I completely agree that characters need to spark emotion in you to be memorable.

    I like pumpkin pie, but I’ve always been more of a fan of homemade apple pie. 🙂

    1. Funny you should mention homemade apple pie, because that’s my second favorite (I make a pretty good apple pie!). Banana cream, chocolate cream, and lemon meringue round out my top five. Do you put ice cream on yours? I don’t. I prefer cool whip. Great, now I want some pie. I know what I’ll be making this thanksgiving. Daphne, what is your favorite pie?

      1. I don’t like pie. lol I have been told that I should try pumpkin pie made by a different person though because the recipe really changes the flavor…so maybe I’ll find a recipe I like. I do love cool whip though! 😀

Share your thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s