Game: How Well Do You Know Your MC?

Game: How Well Do You Know Your MC?

tumblr_mhwagm9uQz1qz4d4bo1_500There is this game played on AbsoluteWrite in the Young Adult forum called ‘How Well Do You Know Your MC?’ Basically, you ask a question, the next poster answers it with one of his/her MCs, and then that same poster asks a question. I thought this would be a fun way for readers to know Amelia from When Stars Die more personally because I’m not about just talking about her in plain terms. That’s dull. So, instead, I’m going to throw up some of the questions I have answered as her.

1. Does your MC have a secret?

Amelia: I bear many secrets, one of which could get me and my little brother killed.

2. What’s the worst injury you MC’s ever had?

Amelia:  The worst injury I have ever had are the welts the Mother Superior gave me
during the first trial. They stung for days and would periodically bleed. But I
don’t fault her. Such is the life of a nun.

3. What does your MC think about politics?

Amelia: I despise the papacy. Their iron grip on Warbele is the reason why hatred for
witches is so rampant. Yes, our Vulgate teaches us that we must hate them, but
the papacy is responsible for the witch-hating propaganda all across Warbele.

4. What exotic animal would your MC want if it didn’t violate any major sanctions or laws?

Amelia: I would want a snow leopard. They’re beautiful, graceful, and they blend well
with the snow, something that is common in my city. Malva is chilled a good
portion of the year, so a snow leopard would survive just fine.

5. What excuses does your MC give when they haven’t done their homework?

Amelia: I’m so exhausted from today’s deportment lesson. How can the nuns expect me to
concentrate on homework, especially because I also spent a great deal of time
illuminating manuscripts? I will take punishment. I am too tired to do this
6. Does your MC think about having kids one day?

Amelia: I do not want children because they will most surely be a witch like I am.

7. Can your MC swim?

Amelia: I have never swam before. Mother and Father believe it is not proper for a lady
of my status to do so, although I have known other aristocrats to partake in
swimming at the beach.

8. If your characters was  a pair of shoes, what kind would they be and why?

Amelia: I would be a pair of heeled boots so I could crush anyone who tried to do harm
to those that I love.

9. Does your MC like to write?

Amelia: Writing is only necessary for communication within Cathedral Reims. We do not
dabble in writing for the arts. It is considered a luxury.

10. Would your MC push someone in front of a moving train to stop it from hitting a group of children?

Amelia: I would put myself in front of that moving train. Who is to say whose life is more valuable, that group of children or the would-be victim of being pushed in front of the train? I would rather die than live with any guilt.

You guys should try it, either on your own blogs or something. Have fun at it in the comments section, too, if you wish.

Hypothetical Letter to My Number One Fan

Hypothetical Letter to My Number One Fan

tumblr_mmvgd99cVA1sr5i78o1_500So I have been doing research on pre-sales marketing, and perhaps the most interesting pointer I found was to imagine your number one fan, and marketing everything toward that  number one fan. What I decided to do was actually write a letter to my hypothetical number one fan who hypothetically wrote some fan mail to me about When Stars Die. I just thought it’d be a fun way to keep myself striving toward some pretty high goals for myself as well as a fun, unique way to speak a little bit about the book.

Dear Hypothetical Number One Fan,

I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed When Stars Die. It’s nice to know that you find Amelia a relatable character. She wasn’t really inspired by anything. She took on a life of her own. She had this goal, this almost impossible goal of wanting to be a professed nun, and so every action, every decision she made revolved around that. And she is very protective of her younger brother. It’s why she wants to become a nun. She believes that by becoming part of the Professed Order, she can become closer to Deus in order to cleanse her brother’s blood since he is a witch–and witches, in her world, are worse than murderers, after all. So it’s great to hear you can relate to that protective aspect of Amelia.

As for the inspiration for my witches, well, I wanted there to be a reason for someone being a witch. I wanted witches to be mankind’s punishment for sinning. I wanted people to hate witches only because their religious text tells them–so, in essence, these people are brainwashed to hate witches. They don’t question their text because they’ve been inundated with it so strongly throughout their lives. It’s hard to undo something that has been imprinted from the time you are able to grasp and remember things. But I also wanted the witches to be taboo, for no one to speak of them. Propaganda is the only thing that reminds anyone of their existence. Cathedral Reims is filled with terrifying imagery of witches being strangled, burned, and impaled. I wanted fire to be the only way a witch can be recognized so that way I could create my own reason for why witches are later burned in the book–use their own terrifying power against them.  

As for Cathedral Reims itself, where the book begins, I did do research on convents and hierarchies and how things worked. I even watched a special on a particular convent in America. I concluded that while they move through a hierarchy before being professed, each convent is run differently, so I decided to make mine unforgiving to show just how strongly the country of Warbele is devoted to Deus and how much these people are willing to sacrifice to worship him. I don’t know if there are people out there who would take a severe beating for God, but the characters in my book endure worse to show they are devoted to Deus. They endure beatings, hair pulling, leeches, claustrophobia, and harsh, cold winters on their way to becoming professed as nuns. I’m into the whole religious fanaticism thing, so what goes on at Cathedral Reims is fanaticism–definitely not what modern day convents are like. I find it fascinating that people would give up who they are to prove themselves to an almighty being. I know I couldn’t endure what Amelia does, especially since there is no promise of a wonderful afterlife in spite of what the religious text in Amelia’s world says.

So why did I create a new country instead of using a country already in existence? At first I had an entirely new world planned out, but once I parsed everything down, I no longer had a whole world anymore. But I still wanted new laws, a new governmental system, and I wanted it to be in the 19th century but not hold the same values as the rest of the developed world. In order to do that, I had to create a new country completely ruled by the papacy. The papacy determines the laws, dress, mannerisms, how everyone should act, and who should be in power. While I don’t focus heavily on the papacy, it’s obvious Warbele is a country ruled by religion. The rest of the world doesn’t treat witches the way Warbele does. In fact, the rest of the world would view Warbele’s treatment of witches as barbaric, but Warbele is deliberately shut off from the rest of the world so no one is influenced by the thinking of the other countries.

All in all, I am so happy you loved my book and had so many interesting questions. Feel free to always write to me, and I will always try to answer when I can.