I'm so pleased to be one of the hosts for Ruthanne on her blog tour. I asked her a couple of questions about her characters, and this was her reply:
Hello! Thanks so much for having me here! You asked me how my characters come to me, and whether they're imaginary or based on real people. I think this is one of those questions that can land a person in plenty of hot water, but I'll try to answer without incriminating myself!
I believe there's no such thing as a character in a vacuum. Everyone we meet becomes part of our emotional tapestry, lending us patterns and colors we can recognize in other people, creating the foundation of empathy. Our grasp is affected by family, friends, co-workers and classmates, even people we see on TV and feel we understand.
I never set out to make characters in a real person's template, but I often see the influence. My romances took patterns from my romantic husband. My traumatized characters took influence from my loss, and the way people I know handle loss. My characters' flaws are always based on bits and pieces I've seen in real people, though usually combined to make something new.
To me, a character who doesn't have the layers, motivations, fears, and intricacies of "real" people feel fake. Even if I don't agree with a character's choices, I have to be able to emotionally understand them.
Harry Iskinder is definitely not me, and yet we share similarities. We've both been through terrible betrayal and deeply hopeless times, and we've both clung to hope that others felt wasn't real. I drew heavily on many of my darker times to make him, but he's very a different person. His particular bitterness, his harsh exterior, and his deep fear of being alone don't belong to me – but they do to people I have known.
I can see bits of everyone I've known in every character I write. It makes me love them, whether or not they're good, bad, or seriously confused, because loving people (whether or not they love you back) lets you see for who they are. It's an honor. It's fun. And it makes stories worth reading.them
I hope your tour is a great success and that you sell many copies of 'The Sundered', it sounds like a fantastic read.
Harry Iskinder knows the rules.
Don’t touch the water, or it will pull you under. Conserve food, because there’s no arable land. Use Sundered slaves gently, or they die too quickly to be worthwhile.
With extinction on the horizon and a world lost to deadly flood, Harry searches for a cure: the Hope of Humanity, the mysterious artifact that gave humans control over the Sundered centuries ago. According to legend, the Hope can fix the planet.
But the Hope holds more secrets than Harry knows. Powerful Sundered Ones willingly bow to him just to get near it. Ambitious enemies pursue him, sure that the Hope is a weapon. Friends turn their backs, afraid Harry will choose wrong.
And Harry has a choice to make. The time for sharing the Earth is done. Either the Sundered survive and humanity ends, or humanity lives for a while, but the Sundered are wiped out.
He never wanted this choice. He still has to make it. In his broken, flooded world, Hope comes with a price.
Parnum puts his hand on my shoulder. "We'll be at Shangri-la in a couple of weeks. By that time, we'll have a plan."
A couple of weeks of this? Of having to think about things because there's nothing else to do? Screw that idea, doctor. "Yeah."
Parnum pats my shoulder and stands, heading off to talk to the captain, who smiles when he sees him coming. Everybody likes Parnum.
I look at Aakesh.
His hair moves a little in the breeze. "It will be done."
He knows what I want. We're speeding up. "Thank you."
Demos walks by, slowly. His arm's in a cast — he must've broken it somehow last night. I don't know if he overheard us or not.
I don't know if it matters.
I can't do this alone.
I try to picture paddling alone in the north of the world, no one to share with, no one to hear. Alone.
It's a nightmare.
Aakesh looks at me side-long, his irises no longer glowing, and it's my turn to know his unspoken request: freedom.
I can't, Aakesh. I can't.
I don't even know when I decided he can hear my thoughts. I just know he can. Why not? It's no crazier than anything else that's happened.
I can't, Aakesh.
He nods and turns his face away.
I guess that conversation's over.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Ruthanne Reid was raised in the woods, but fortunately, her isolation was offset by regular visits to New York City. She pursued music for years before realizing she wanted to tell stories rather than sing them.
Ruthanne writes in and around Seattle, owns dust-covered degrees in music and religion, and is generally considered dangerous around household electronics. Her favorite authors tend to be dramatic (J. R. R. Tolkien, Neil Gaiman, Patrick Rothfuss), but she doesn’t see this as a bad thing. She belongs to a husband, a housemate, and a cat, respectively.
The Sundered is her first novel.
Facebook: http://facebook.com/ThisReidWritesSite/Blog: http://ruthannereid.com