TO DISCOVER A DIVINE by Tessa McFionn
As other authors, I’ve been asked where I come up with my characters. Are they based on people I know? Are they caricatures of myself or real people?
And, like most other authors, I have a tough time with this one. How does one describe the people living inside one’s head? Well, without sounding completely certifiable, that is. Being a writer is an odd calling. Not many others choose to lock themselves into a silent place and talk to non-existent companions in surreal worlds.
But I love it. I love the freedom of creating. As much as I’d like to say I love the control I have over my characters, those words are nothing but lies. Much of the time, I feel like a slave to my characters. I want them to go right; they’d rather stay in the same place. I create a perfectly beautiful setting and they want to check out the dive bar on the corner. I swear it’s like herding cats at times.
My first hero, Malakai, came to me when I was in a similar situation as my heroine. I was in a dark place in my life and didn’t see much of a way out. Neither did I see much reason to remain. As I walked across a very high bridge in my home town of San Diego, I paused and glanced over the edge. It was only a short stop, but in that moment, my hero was born. In my imagination, he stepped out of the shadows and rescued another person, scared, trapped and tormented by doubts. Staring out into the emptiness beneath, I could picture him. Tall, strong, devastatingly handsome. He looked like a runway model and behaved like the chivalrous knights of old. I stopped gazing at the abyss and began creating a world where my new creation would thrive.
After getting Malakai firmly in my head, I went home and started writing. He needed a damsel to rescue, but she couldn’t be just anyone. She had to be someone who, just like me, felt at the end of their rope. Thus, Siobhan came into being. I used both names since I always had a fondness for both of them. I liked the nickname of Kai, and as someone with Irish roots, I love the old names. Not to mention, so many people have no idea how to pronounce them. (FYI: it’s actually pronounced “sha-VON,” which is where she gets the nickname of Voni.)
And speaking of the Irish, this lead me to my most troublesome character, Eamon. I call him my problem child because he only talks to me when it suits him. I introduced him in my first novel, Spirit Fall, and he has since made repeat (appearances) in Spirit Bound, book two and will be seen again in the upcoming installment, tentatively titled Spirit Shattered. For him, I felt that Kai, with all his manners and gentlemanly behaviors, needed a partner in crime, so to speak. But this one would be a little rougher around the edges with a touch of the playboy in him. A heart of gold wrapped in a shell of snark and superficiality. Don’t get me wrong; I do love him. I love his wit and the wisdom he does impart. But sometimes, he can be a real pain in the ass.
Galen, my Guardian in Spirit Bound, book two, came to me in a dream. I was reminiscing about college days up in Northern California and he just popped into my mind. He’s one of the few Guardians who fights alone. A little more subdued than Kai, and one who enjoys his own company. I saw him as intelligent and compassionate, preferring the Great Outdoors even as he lives atop a high rise in San Francisco. Since my boys are practically immortal, I thought it would be interesting to pair him with a spiritmate who was living on borrowed time. In my mind, in order for any relationship to be worthy of storytelling, it would need to be one of opposites. Creates more conflict and more chances to learn about how people deal with differences.
Finally, my third Guardian, I opted to give in to the bad boy. But how to make a bad boy a good guy? That was the trick and that’s how Bastian came into being. I wondered what would happen if a stereotypical villain, the assassin, was somehow duped into fighting for the side of the right. Well, first off, it would make him moody as hell. How would you feel if you learned you were now stuck on this earth, fighting to protect the people you used to kill for a trade? And, of course, just to poke that bear, I had to give him a sidekick/companion sunnier than the beaches of Spain. Why not, right? So, Viktor jumped up and willingly volunteered for that duty. The tough part was finding who would be his match. Inspired, Miranda stepped onto the stage. Bastian might have been a stone-cold killer before becoming a Guardian, yet he still has honor and stands by his word. He needed a female standing strong against dark and sinister forces, and a beautiful singer under the strangling yoke of an old school mob boss seemed to fit the bill.
Since those are the main players readers can discover, I figure I’ll stop on that note. Are there more? Oh, heavens yes. I have more tapping me on the shoulder on a daily basis, demanding their stories be told. If only there were a way to clone myself, so one part could go to the day job while the other dealt with the voices in my head.
Join the newsletter
Subscribe to get our latest content by email.