27 June, 2015

#GuestPost :: A Main Character’s Wingman…or Wingwoman by Karissa Laurel

About the Author:
Karissa lives in North Carolina with her kid, her husband, the occasional in-law, and a very hairy husky named Bonnie. Some of her favorite things are coffee, chocolate, and super heroes. She can quote Princess Bride verbatim. She loves to read and has a sweet tooth for fantasy, sci-fi, and anything in between.

Sometimes her husband convinces her to put down the books and take the motorcycles out for a spin. When it snows, you'll find her on the slopes.

Karissa also crafts, paints, draws, and harbors a grand delusion that she might create a graphic novel someday.


Connect with the Author:

A Main Character’s Wingman…or Wingwoman
By: Karissa Laurel

When I set out to write Midnight Burning, I knew who my main character was from the outset. Of course I did. Don’t most drafts pretty much start with an idea and a main character? In the beginning, Solina Mundy was a simple girl with a whole lot of chutzpah and not much else. As the plot evolved, Solina found herself in situations she couldn’t handle on her own. I don’t think I consciously decided to give Solina a sidekick. Rather, I think Skyla, Solina’s kickass best friend, evolved as an organic answer to a growing plot problem. Invention is the progeny of need, right?

Skyla Ramirez is an ex-marine who served in Afghanistan, but realized she wasn’t cut out for a career in the military and exited the service after her first and only tour. She liked the adrenaline rush and hard work, but the submission and boot licking…not so much. Guiding kayak excursions in Alaska appealed to her sense of freedom and adventure, so she left the dessert and headed for the Land of the Midnight Sun. Skyla would have said, at the time, her decision to leave was made of her own free will. Later, she might have admitted fate and destiny had something to do with it, too. Skyla’s military background meant she had the training Solina would depend on to stay alive until she learned to defend herself and utilize her new abilities and powers.

As a fictional character, Skyla mostly created herself. She was independent of my authorial dominion. She might have come from my subconscious, but I can’t say I was truly aware of crafting her, not like I was aware of crafting the others. And of all my characters, she was the most certain of who she was and where she was going. She required the least amount of editing.

At one point, I was afraid I had make a mistake by not making her the main character. But my brilliant editor stepped in and assured me Skyla was right where she needed to be. She said something along the lines of: “Harry Potter couldn’t have succeeded without Hermione and Ron.” In fact, Solina quite often thinks of Skyla as her “kickass Hermione”. My editor was right. On her own, Skyla might have been too much of a good thing. She might have overpowered and overshadowed the other characters, and a novel with a large cast requires balance.

Sometimes a main character simply needs a good wingman, or wingwoman. And Skyla would tell you real quick that she’s happy playing second fiddle to Solina. She’d never want the spotlight. Instead, I’m sure Skyla would agree: the best place to watch your enemies and plan your attacks is from within the shadows. 

About the Book:

Solina Mundy lives a quiet life, running the family bakery in the foothills of North Carolina. But a nightmare of a vicious wolf devouring her twin brother changes everything. When Solina learns her dream was real, she journeys to her brother’s home in the Land of the Midnight Sun to search for answers.
Solina soon suspects her brother’s friends are more than they seem, and they know more than they’re willing to admit. Skyla, an ex-marine, is the only one willing to help. As Skyla and Solina delve into the secrets surrounding her brother’s death, Solina learns her own fate is tied to his friends, his murder, and a dark history of forgotten myths and legends.

Solina also discovers a powerful new ability. She must learn to control it if she’s to keep everyone safe. If she fails, a long-lost dominion will rise, and everything she knows will fall into darkness.



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