Monday, June 8, 2015

Beautiful People - Anya {June 2015}

No, this post is not an illusion. I’m actually doing BP early in the month, like, the day after it was posted! This has to be a first. I’m so proud of myself. AND it’s BP’s one year anniversary of returning to the blogging world! *throws cake and devours confetti* Or. . .something like that. A very happy anniversary to my favorite blog linkup!!!

This month our ever clever hosts Sky and Cait have worked up a special theme centered all on our characters’ relationships with their. . .PARENTS. Brilliant, right? I think we writers tend to forget those amazing people who, you know, RAISED our beloved characters before we took them under our wing and torture them. Parents are awesome and should never be forgotten. Now, a lot of us have orphaned charries (you are not alone, I’m guilty, so very guilty) but you can use a mentor, grandparent, guardian, just whoever parents your character! Obviously you want to show appreciation to these people. So head on over to THIS POST or THIS ONE, snag the questions, and show those parental people we do actually acknowledge them. Because if they did not have parental figures our characters would be off robbing candy stores and staying up way past their bedtimes, right? We like the parental units.

Beautiful People Button

Now, as I said, I’m extremely guilty of having a loooot of orphaned characters. What is with us writers? I don’t even know. BUT I am getting better and have been proud at how many parents have been cropping up in my stories. Woot, woot!

Currently I’m still working tirelessly on Burning Thorns, more than usual actually. On a whim I decided to do a JuNoWriMo and set a goal of writing 30k words for the month. Writing has been going a smidge slower than I’d like so I thought this would give me just the boost I needed. So far it’s going well!

Since I’m so deep in Burning Thorns I knew I wanted to do a character from it, and I’m currently working on a chapter through Anya’s POV who I thought would work very well with these questions. Anya is the oldest sister of Rose (my female protagonist) and is. . .basically the antagonist. She’s not exactly the type of sister who will sit around braiding your hair and telling you funny stories. She’s a spiteful little thing, but she’s a fun villain to hate. Something about exploring the inner workings of antagonists always fascinates me. Maybe I’m weird. *shrugs*Anya

With a shout, she slammed her riding boot into the base of the nearest tree. "Just let me in, you stupid trees!" Her boot found another trunk and her fist a branch. "Let. Me. In." A thwap of her fist emphasized each word.

"You know, they really don't like to be yelled at."

Anya's hand froze midair. With narrowed eyes, she scoured the shadows. "Sneaking up on a lady is uncivilized. Show yourself."

"Oh, so you're a lady now? I was unaware assaulting trees categorized under ladylike behavior."

Her mouth parted, a retort waiting on her tongue, but she snapped her lips back closed and pushed the words, the anger, down. Farther down, farther. She dropped her hand to her side and took a step back, straightening to her full height, though her fingers stayed clutched in a tight ball. The new words on her tongue released calmly. "It would be much easier to converse if I could see whom I'm addressing."

~ Anya ~

1. Do they know both their biological parents? Why/why not?
Yep, yep. She was raised by both of them, but when she was thirteen her mother died. (Now don’t roll your eyes, this is a Beauty and the Beast retelling and there’s no mother in the original fairytale either, it had to be done.)

2. Have they inherited any physical resemblances from their parents?
Her father has brown eyes and dark hair, there’s very little resemblance between the two. But she has the same fair hair and blue eyes of her mother. Though, honestly, Marigold (the middle sister) resembles their mother the most out of the three sisters, while Rose inherited a lot of traits from their father. Anya looks the least like either of the parents. She did gain her tall build from her father. The other two sisters are much smaller.

3. What’s their parental figure(s) dress style? Add pictures if you like!
This is a very fairytale, medieval-type setting, so the clothes would match that feel. Her mother liked elegant but simple dresses, airy and soft, like her. She loved light purples and yellows and pinks and greens. While her father prefers more regal outfits. You may find him in things like dark blue doublets, crimson tunics, intricate robes, etc.

4. Do they share any personality traits with their parental figures? And which do they take after most?
Anya absolutely takes mostly after her father. She never took to her mother’s playful, absentminded personality. While Rose and Marigold were chasing butterflies in the gardens with their mother, Anya stayed inside studying politics with her father. Her stern, stately mannerism all came from him. As did her stubbornness. Whatever traits she may have gained from her mother she squelched at a very young age.

5. Do they get on with their parental figure(s) or do they clash?
She and her mother definitely clashed. Anya could never understand why a grown woman acted so childish, and she expressed her opinion often. But her father is her role model. For most of her life she thought he could do no wrong. She spends every single day striving to gain his respect and be more like him.

6. If they had to describe their parental figure(s) in one word, what would it be?
Her mother: Frivolous

Her father: Respectable

7. How has their parental figure(s) helped them most in their life?
Shadowing her father day in and day out fully shaped Anya into who she is. She knows he has stretched her to be the person she wants to be. By watching him she has learned that emotions can’t get in the way of anything, that knowledge is power, that one cannot give up on what they think is right, ever. She lives by these rules every day.

As for her mother, Anya doesn’t believe she aided her in anything. Except maybe as an example of who Anya doesn’t want to become. But Anya turned harder after her mother’s passing. I believe her mother’s soft touch and sweet words left an impression in Anya’s life far more than she would ever admit.

8. What was their biggest fight with their parental figure(s)?
As I said before, she and her mother clashed a lot. I’m pretty sure their biggest fights revolved around Anya demanding her mother stop corrupting Marigold and Rose with her childish ways and start being a proper example to them.

She hardly ever went against her father. That is until one day he announced Rose, the youngest sister, would inherit everything instead of Anya with no explanation to speak of. Yeah, you can imagine the yelling that produced. Her father took a step down from the pedestal she put him on after that day.

9. Tracing back the family tree, what nationalities are in their ancestry?
This is a completely made up world and I haven’t actually done a whole lot in the way of world building yet. I plan on exploring that a lot more with the second draft. So. . . *shrugs* They’re from a long line of families raised in the made up kingdom of Cantrelle. That’s all I know right now.

10. What’s their favorite memory with their parental figure(s)?
One time, when she was very, very young and the burdens of life hadn’t yet been hefted on her shoulders, her mother allowed her to try on any one of her gowns and even braided her hair up in an adult fashion. Of course the dress swallowed her, but Anya had never before felt so grown up and beautiful. When she got older she took to wearing much more intricate, fashionable clothes than her mother’s simple tastes, but that moment stuck somewhere deep and sacred in her memories, however much she pretends to ignore it.

With her father she loves any time when it’s just her and him working in silent companionship in his study.

And that’s Anya for ya. She definitely has some problems to work out, but I really enjoy her role in the story, however corrupt and warped her thinking may be.

~ ~ ~

So what do you think of parents (or lack thereof) in fiction? Do you have any interesting parental figures in your own novels? And hey, I’m curious. Do you have a favorite parental unit in a certain book?


  1. Beautiful Peoplllllle!! :D Fuuun! Oh my goodness, Anya's grown so much deeper! o.o I can't say I really... ahem... LIKE her, but this was sooo interesting to read!! :D I looove this look into her personality (it does ALMOST make me BEGIN to care... ;)) and I love the look at their parents and how they influenced her. :) YOUR CHARRIES ARE SO DEEEP LAURI! ^_^

    Meh, I kind of stink at parental figures in my stuff... mostly they're dead. :P But I will on occasion come up with an awesome but tragic backstory of a character's parents... before they were dead. XD It's kinda weird... o.o Ooh, but I do love it when parents are done well in books!! :D I think some good examples are Sir Eagan (especially!!) and Lady Nitsa in the Blood of Kings trilogy... and also for some reason I felt like Billy's father was really well done in the Dragons In Our Midst books. :D I'm probably thinking of those because of you, but still, they're all I can think of right now. XD

    Also, I think the tendency to have orphans is because it's so darn HARD to have young charries have adventures when there are parents around! If they're doing their job, these heroes and heroines shouldn't be going on epic (dangerous) quests at all! So yeah, I think there's that. ;)

    1. Yesssh. I love doing these every single time!

      She really has. I'm kind of ecstatic at how deep her character is getting. If she'll turn out that way on the pages to readers is still in question, but still. It's been great discovering her character since I didn't really get to in the novella. But I may be exploring her character TOO deeply because the last scene I wrote in BT made me on her side. o.o I can't just AGREE with my antagonist. Something is wrong here! But her thought process made me absolutely understand her side of things and it was a little scary. Also this is my third time writing through her POV thus far and her scenes have almost been my favorites. It's BIZARRE. Seeing the world through her POV is different and unique and she has kind of been the easiest and funnest to write through the eyes of so far. Which is a scary thought. Why am I so comfortable writing through the POV with the villain and almost siding with them??? THIS IS NOT RIGHT.

      I kind of do, too. >.> Making parents an important part of my stories is rather a new thing for me, but I am trying. My characters' parents tend to always have tragic backstories leading to their deaths as well! XD We're silly people.

      I love that, too! Ooooh, those are fantastic examples, yes, yes, yes! I mean, SIR EAGAN. <3 And I thought of the parents in DIOM as well. I adore Billy's mom and dad. There are some other wonderful parents in that series as well. It was refreshing to see a series where all the parents were very much involved in all these crazy adventures. I appreciated that, even though I never do it myself. >.>

      Yeah, I think that is the problem. Plus we like characters with tragic backstories and what's more tragic than their parents dying horrible deaths? We writers are sick people, aren't we? XD

  2. That excerpt. XD I love it! Now I REALLY can't wait to read the new Burning Thorns when you're finished! "I was unaware assaulting trees categorized under ladylike behavior." <---Literally snorted out loud at that.

    I'm with Celti--your characters have such depth to them! It's amazing. And although I always liked to hate Anya, now I'm...yeah...feeling sorry for her. Beginning to understand her more deeply. Her worldview and struggles seem meaty enough to carry her own story, if that were ever to happen. (I shouldn't be saying such things! You've already mentioned that this was supposed to stay a standalone, and it's stubbornly telling you there could be more... I should not be encouraging the madness. But I couldn't resist.) Anyway, I think I'll still dislike Anya, but I'll do so with a measure of sympathy.

    I think it's hilarious (and also kinda cool) how you're having so much fun with her POV scenes! It's not that awful, you know! Sure, she's a backstabbing, selfish little wench, but at least she's not some sick, twisted, serial killer or something, right? Eheh. I know what you mean, though. It's a little disconcerting to realize how enjoyable villains can be. o_o

    Poor Anya, though! Looking up to her father the way she does, only to have him pick Rose over her, with no explanation whatsoever. This poor girl is broken. :(

    By the way, applause for putting this up so early in the month! :D I mean, it doesn't really matter when in the month you do it, but still. 'Tis an accomplishment! I'm hoping to have mine ready for this weekend...we'll see.

    As to favorite fictional parents, the Bannister parents are a great choice. (Thank you, Deb, for reminding me of them!) Oh, and though I don't think you've read any Karen Kingsbury, one of her characters, Bailey Flanagan, has a TERRIFIC relationship with her mom that I've always loved. I'm sure there are more I could think of if I took the time. :)

    1. Hehehe. Thank you! The other person speaking is actually Larke. XD In fact, that's our very, very first glimpse of him in the story. Of course he had to slip into Anya's BP post, sneaky little imp.

      D'awww! That just gives me all sorts of happy, fuzzy feelings. I try really hard with them, but I'm always scared they don't come off to others as I hope. It's such an encouragement to hear others think my characters are deep!
      Then I guess I'm doing my job. XD It's always fun to make others feel for the antagonist. *cackles* But she IS surprising me on how much she's making me understand her plot. *I* didn't even expect to like her this much. o.o
      Welll...ideas have been coming. Hehe. I don't think Anya is going to get her own story, but I do have something in mind where she'd be a big role in it, even if not the main character. Because, yeah, this thing wants to get bigger. >.> But hopefully each book will still be able to stand on its own which means it doesn't HAVE to be a series. So that makes me feel better. XD BT could still totally be a standalone as is.

      True, true. Althoooough, her character does kind of get WORSE in the novel before it gets better. *cough, cough* But that's all I shall say for now.

      She is. :( All three of the sisters have some serious problems. I blame their dad. >.>

      Why thank you! ^_^ I was very proud of myself. Hehe. Usually it's like the last week of the month I get it out and end up being the 40th person or something to linkup. XD
      OH YAY. I cannot wait to see who you answer the questions for!!!

      The Bannisters are totally amazing. No, I haven't read any of her books. They were never up my alley, but I don't know. My tastes have really been broadening lately, I might find I enjoy them now. Maybe I should give her a shot! I know she's insanely popular. It's always refreshing to see the characters have such good relationships with their parents. ...Says the girl who hardly ever puts that in her books. I think I need to work on that.

    2. LARKE! That is most definitely a Larke sort of thing to say, now that I realize who was speaking. XD *pets little imp* (Is it too early to claim a character...?)

      Your efforts totally pay off every time, girl! :D
      Exactly. All the conflicted feeeeelings...
      Ooh, now that sounds very interesting! Some say that bigger is better, right? Eheh. But that's actually really cool how the books would stand alone, yet still be connected. Something where a reader could jump in anywhere, and start or stop wherever they wanted to. I, of course, would read ALL the things. How could I not?

      You infuriatingly mischievous author, you. XD Just kidding.

      I blame him too. He's kind of a jerk. >.>

      You should be proud! :D
      I have a few options this time around, actually, but I think it'll be...ah, I'll make you wait. ;)

      I love the Bannisters so much. ^_^ Yeah, you might enjoy some of her books, especially if you're finding that you're craving a bit of contemporary these days... If you ever do decide to pick up a book, and the sea of options (because there are MANY) overwhelm you, feel free to ask for recommendations. :) I've read a number of hers over the past few years. Some probably read like a Hallmark movie--which isn't good or bad, just a thing--but they all definitely have a lot of heart.
      LOL. Don't we all? Like you and Deb were saying, we authors seem to gravitate towards orphaned, independent characters. Families make it harder to go on life-endangering adventures. XD

    3. Too early? Certainly not! Consider him yours. :D (Just watch him carefully, there's really no telling what he'll do. >.>)

      More happy feelings! *frolics in them*
      Very true! I for one like big series! But I'd still like to start off trying to get published with something that's not TOO big. XD So I think this will work out. This way I can write more if I want, but I don't have to. But who knows? I never know what my stories will do. *shakes head* And all your niceness makes me want to go write EVERYTHING.

      *cackles evilly*

      Oh, now look who's being the mischievous author. :P I shall TRY to wait patiently and see who you pick. *twiddles thumbs*

      You'll be the first I ask for recommendations, definitely! I know she's written an insane amount of books. o.o I don't know how some people do that.
      That we do! We're silly creatures. But it's also kind of fun and interesting to write about such tragic characters. Again, we're silly creatures. ;)

    4. I shall keep a sharp eye on that imp. You can count on me. ;) (And I'm ridiculously happy that I can call him mine.)

      Exactically! Sounds like a fabulous plan. *whispers* Yes. Do it. Go write EVERYTHING. ^_^


      I know, right? It's crazy! I don't know if I have THAT many stories in me. Wait, that sounds like a depressing limitation. I DO have stories in me, tons of them. *nods* I just don't think I'd pump out quite that many a year... o.o
      *sigh* It is fun, in a painful way. WHY do we writers like PAIN so much?! XD

  3. This is a fantastic post, Christine! I can definitely see how spending time with her father shaped Anya into a more practical, scholarly young woman than her sisters. And like Tracey said, Anya has enough depth that she could be the protagonist of her own story, if you were to flip perspectives. She must have been absolutely crushed when her father named Rose his heir... and it makes me curious to know why he would have chosen someone else over Anya, given how close they seem to be. And that makes me want to learn even more about Burning Thorns. :)

    Here's a link to my BP post:

    1. D'awww, thank you! I had a blast writing it.

      It makes me so happy when my characters come off as deep to people. Thank you so much! Anya definitely is an interesting one to work with. You are so sweet, this comment just made my day!

      Oh yay! It's always so fun reading everyone's posts. *hops over there*

  4. It was nice getting to see things more from Anya's perspective, she's is still horrid but it is so cool getting to see what contributed to that.

    1. She is definitely horrid, but I'm glad she's proving to be an interesting enough character. XD


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