I made a mistake (so it seems) the other day. I said that Arrow was my favourite character from my novels and apparently that upset some people. Because how can I not love my own protagonist, and why would I write a female lead that even I don't like...? And my response to this was just like... *crickets*
I adore Eva, people. I adore her.
She's the first protagonist I ever wrote in a novel that actually moved past chapter two. She's strong and beautiful in spite of all the bad stuff life has thrown her way. And what you don't realise is that while she looks like Liani, a lot of Eva is based on me. Now you're probably like 'wait, what?'
But it's true. She's stubborn to a fault. She's impulsive and follows every hair-brained, half-baked scheme she thinks of. She's emotional and very driven by her emotions. Often it takes something big to get her moving (like her sister's death, for instance). She always wants to believe the best in people, even when it's obvious that they're not worth her trust. She's fiercely loyal and will do basically anything for the people she loves. Have you listened to her lately? Eva loves to talk. Just read some of her super long orations. :)
If you know me, you'll be able to see at least some of my personality traits in her.
Having said that, she isn't based solely on myself. Some of her was borrowed from Liani and some of her is purely fictitious.
I said what I said about Arrow, because I really hope to be as fearless as she is one day. She's funny, doesn't give an inch about what people think of her, she's always got a strategy ready and she's pretty rebellious.
OK. Now that I've gotten that out of the way, I thought I'd tackle another suggestion I got from you today. Some people have suggested that I blog about some of my characters so you can get to know them better. Kind of like a collection of random facts, exclusive to the blog. :D So here goes.
(THIS MAY CONTAIN SOME SPOILERS!!!!!!!!!!!)
Liani. I've always thought Liani's strikingly beautiful, but the feature of hers that stands out the most (to me, anyway), is her eyes. They're this really strange golden-tawny-hazel colour, which I just love. I thought that having a character with those eyes would just be awesome.
* Another inspiration that came from Liani was the short hair. Way too often, princesses in novels have miles of long hair. I wanted a character that broke the mould.
* That's also why Eva actually has scars. She's been through heaps of trauma and carries the evidence of it both physically and emotionally.
* Eva's artistic, athletic and pretty kick ass. These are also qualities I see in Liani.
* Yes, it's Liani on the cover of The Rise of the Exile Queen. (not myself, as I've been asked just about a bajillion times.) I drew the cover art myself, but it is not me in the picture. :)
I never realised how much we really look alike until this project. And especially since I chopped off my hair.
* Eva's name was originally Azaria. I have a flair for the dramatic. :P
* Her full name is Evangeline, which means 'good news'. I've always loved the name, but the actress Evangeline Lilly really made it stick in my mind.
* She was originally the youngest of the three sisters.
* Eva's parents were both deceased in the original draft, which was why she was in an orphanage to begin with.
* Somewhere along the line her sisters disappeared, so when she came to the orphanage phase, she was an only child. I decided to reintroduce them when the idea of Mallory was born in my head.
* In another draft of the story, the story started where she was sixteen and escaping the orphanage. With the rewrite, I wanted to make her older, because the passage of time allowed her skills to grow and for some wisdom to make its way into her thick skull.
* Originally, a part of the Evangellion Device was planted into Eva. I dropped that storyline because I didn't want her to have a chance of becoming like the High King. It felt too cyborg-y to me and not human enough.
* The cover for The Rise of the Exile Queen was updated for the release of The Song of War, along with some minor editing to the content.
* I spent obscene amounts of time on Eva's background. I know her inside out.
* When I started writing Eva, her surname was Warner and Hunter was the Eldridge. That changed when I discovered that Warner actually means 'honour guard' and Eldridge really does mean 'sage ruler'. It was perfect for the storyline.
* I absolutely love Lisa Eldridge, and I love the surname, so that's where I got that. :)
* In the original draft, Eva had no faults and was completely unrelatable. She also had a kind of super brain, which just learned things by having to look at them. She went from weak and unable to do anything, to the world's best soldier in under 60 seconds. It bored me.
* I didn't want to waste time writing Hunter and Eva's love story. It was obvious they would end up together anyway. I rather wanted people to see their love grow and to see how codependent they are. They're like two parts of the same coin; one can't survive without the other.
* It would also have left too much room for Elliot to try and sour up things between Eva and Hunter, if they hadn't been together at the start of the novel. I feel like there's been too many female protagonists in the last ten few years who couldn't make up their minds about who they love. I wanted the reader to know EXACTLY how Eva feels about both Hunter and Elliot, and leave no room for minds to be changed.
* Eva fights with the whip, the sabre and pistols. I loved the idea of a curved blade, which is why the sabre was my first choice. She needed a ranged weapon too, and because of Arrow's crossbow and Gia's blunderbuss, all that was left were pistols. The whip was something I wrote for her, because she'd been tortured with it so many times. I wanted her to overcome her fears, and the whip was symbolic for that. There's nothing kinky involved in it!! Get your mind out of the gutter!! :)
Some bonus facts :
* The idea for the flashbacks was born because I had scratched the project so many times and I had HEAPS of great material that I didn't just want to delete. I figured it would help the reader get to know the characters better, as well as save some of my hard work. :)
* My temporary file is larger than both EQ and SOW combined.
* Brianne was originally evil.
* Olaf originally wasn't. :)
* Flint and Bludgeon were originally Hunter's brothers. I decided to cut the Warner family down to size, because there were so many of them that it was confusing even me. I loved both characters so much that I couldn't completely cut them, however, so I gave them a good revamp.
* Darius' Earned Name was Thorn, but I changed it to Venom, which I don't ever mention in the novels.
* In the second draft Elliot was introduced for the first time. I hated him so much that I killed him off in chapter three. :) He was such a douche!! But I gave him a revamp too, and now I adore him.
* Circle Flash is based on real 18th century street slang, Irish, Scottish and English slang, as well as some things I just made up.
* The Old Language is Gaelic, or Irish. I chose Gaelic because of my own Scottish heritage and I love the way it sounds.
* Elliot is Irish. Please read him with an Irish accent henceforth. :D
* I would love to write Gunnhild's story if I ever go back to Beregor.
And that's all I have for you today! I hope you enjoyed this post and you learned some things about Eva you didn't know. :) Please let me know who you would want to get to know better next. Thank you for taking the time to read this!!
Buy my novels here :
- The Rise of the Exile Queen
- The Song of War
- The Rise of the Exile Queen
- The Song of War
All of my novels are available worldwide on Amazon, so please have a look at your local amazon store to find them.Have an amazing day, folks! Come back tomorrow for my review on The Fault in Our Stars.
Stay beautiful and be kind to animals,