A vote!

So I threatened to interview one of my characters and then I introduced you to the pub where I planned to meet them but here’s where it gets interactive. Who do you want to meet? I’m going to list a few of my characters using descriptions that are not necessarily helpful but which I find humorous.

Who do you want to get to know? You can pick more than one becuase pub banter is better with a small group. Don’t worry about picking people who go together because it’s up to me to make the group work.

  • The “Government Fraud Investigator”. She’s more than meets the eye. She’s got a shotgun in her desk for one thing.
  • The “Witch of the Tower”. Either before or after the tattoos, you choose.
  • The copper. AKA New boy.
  • The priest. He only looks like a famous vampire hunter.
  • The psychic. Just don’t let her touch anything you own if you want to keep your secrets.
  • The IT guy. He’s got an armoured rucksack full of exotic computer equipment and a sticker that says Temporal Engineer – Causality is my bitch
  • The coffee ninja. Don’t hold his caffein based kleptomania against him. He’s a really good manager.
  • The scientist. She’s super impatient, she looks like a tiny drag queen and she’s the biggest fangirl in the Department.
  • The soldier. She’s got an Irish battle Goddess in her head but she’s actually pretty chill most of the time.
  • The spy. I could tell you what’s going on in his head but then he’d have to kill you.
  • The historian. She knows where all the bodies are buried and she’s 100% honest 94% of the time.
  • The thief. He’s also a spy but only in the sense that he knicks things for queen and country.

Stick your answers in the comments, or reply on Twitter or Facebook or Google+


Looking ahead

I’ve been thinking about the best way for me to use this blog to tell my stories as well as using it to talk about the process of making them. I have thought about putting excerpts from my work up here but that feels a little like cheating. At the moment anything I put up here would be a work in progress rather than the finished article and that smacks of short changing my loyal readers.

But then I realised that I have a dimensionally transcendental pub in my stories and that means that anyone, including me can go there for a quiet pint. So I could nip in for a chat with my characters. I could interview them.

Or would that be weird? Would you rather read about crime and dark deeds than terrible pub banter?

Also be on the lookout for Zeppelins. I feel another forecast coming on.

Storybuilder’s Toolbox: Leah Chiasson’s Marked For The Hunt

Welcome to our very first guest post. Let me introduce you to Leah Chiasson.

Leah has been dreaming stories for as long as she can remember. It started with a cute parable written in the back of a school note book and now she’s the author of MARKED FOR THE HUNT, available on Amazon.com as well as a ghostwriter on Upwork.com.

More importantly, she is small town born and raised. She grew up on the bank of the St. Lawrence River, the place where you can find castles with tragic love stories and pirate treasure coves. Where else would a fantasy author want to live? Since then, married life has taken her across more than 17 states, but now she’s mostly settled upon the shores of snowy Lake Ontario where she’s sure there are more fantastic stories to be dug up.

Diana Warren left her Clan behind when one of their own betrayed her and killed her father. She vowed to live her life as a Faoladh, a wolf, apart from those who betrayed her, even if it means a dangerous, solitary life. But, there are those who have other ideas about her life.

When her grandfather, the Clan’s most recent Alpha, passes away, Diana reluctantly agrees to pay her respects in person. Upon arriving in her childhood home of Wolf’s Head she finds herself in the middle of a civil war.

On one side is the man who killed her father and on the other side is his son, a man she cannot trust anymore. Counting down the days until she can leave, the body of an old friend spurs not only Diana into action.

Their Goddess has returned and he has chosen to mark Diana with her favor. All Diana has to do is put her faith in a man who broke her heart years ago and try not to die in the process.

CD: I’m interested in how you went about creating the werewolves. There’s so many different werewolves and other shape-changers in fiction and folklore and they all have different rules. How did you choose which features to use in yours? How did you build your werewolves?

LC: In my book, I wanted a magical creature that most certainly wasn’t a vampire. Of course, this led me right to werewolves. Looking back now I realize that I am really attracted to shape shifter stories, especially werewolves. It was no wonder why I went with that route. Knowing that there are a plethora of werewolf books out there, I wanted to make them at least a little different. I didn’t know in the beginning exactly where I would end up going with them, but I’m happy with the result.

Instead of the half man/half wolf trope, I wanted a creature that was more natural and wild. I went with the transformation from human to wolf, doing away with the painful shifting process that many other books have used. Instead, I imagine that nerves would be out of commission during a process in which the body entirely changes. The body would be a mess of the tingling sensation you get when your foot falls asleep with the added feeling of joints popping. Loving magic as much as I do, I figured that the more magic in a shifter’s body, the faster the change could take place.

It wasn’t until much later in the drafting process that I came across the myth of the Faoladh (FOW-LUH, because I understand that’s one weird word). In Irish mythology, a Faoladh was a type of werewolf similar to the berserker of Nordic mythology, except for one key change. The Faoladh was seen as a protector. The Irish werewolf wasn’t a senseless killer or something to be afraid of. It protected children and the weak. I liked that idea for my werewolves, especially while I play with a theme that questions what makes a monster. It helped me steer away from calling their group a Pack. Instead, I use the term Clan to denote a sense of family among the wolves.

CD: Once you found the Faoladh did you stop there and just decide to go with your own interpretation of the myth or did you do more research?

LC: There was little out there to easily find on the Faoladh myth. Instead of devoting too much time to the research, I figured that it’s myth and therefore malleable. I took the premise that I loved and molded it into what I wanted it to be for my story, subsequently adding more features to the myth. There are many things that Diana will come across in the book that I’ve added myself! The idea that there are few female Faoladh is one of them.

And there you have it. Just one way to build a werewolf. I know a couple of other writers with their own take on werewolves. Perhaps I’ll be able to persuade them to tell us how they built them. For the next few posts I expect I shall be back to complaining about stuff but keep an eye out for future opportunities to rummage in the toolbox.