We’re very happy today to receive on our blog Amanda Bonilla, she is the author of Shaedes of Gray, a book we strongly recommend. I hope you’ll like this introduction as much as we do.
An Intro to the Shaede Assassin World:
Thanks to Melliane and Between Dreams and Reality for inviting me to guest post here today! Since the release of SHAEDES OF GRAY, a lot of readers have had mixed feelings about Darian’s personality and her hard edge. Melliane suggested that I introduce one of my characters to Between D&R’s readers, so I thought today would be a great opportunity to give you a little insight into why I wrote my main character, Darian with such a hard, edgy demeanor.
When the concept for the story popped into my mind, I always saw Darian as a loner. And not in the sense that she chose to distance herself from others, but a character who’d been thrust into a lonely existence against her will. Her human life was full of neglect and physical abuse. Her new immortal existence is steeped in mystery and lies. I tried to imagine what it would be like to live without any real knowledge or companionship for around 90 years. What I imagined was a bitter, jaded woman who knew nothing about herself and had no clue how to interact with others. Of course she has to talk to people every once in a while, but the only people she interacts with are the criminals who are paying her to kill other criminals. So after I added her profession as an assassin into the equation, she became even harder.
But because I didn’t want Darian to be a cold-hearted woman forever, I gave her Tyler. Her employer for the past five years isn’t like the men she’s used to working for. Tyler shares her desire to rid the world of the “bad guys.” He’s caring and protective, not like any of the men in Darian’s past. There’s more to Tyler than meets the eye and Darian learns pretty fast that Tyler isn’t as weak as she’d always thought he was. Tyler won’t be able to break through Darian’s impenetrable shell on his own though, and so I threw Raif into the mix. As her mentor, he teaches her that she’s not as tough or as smart as she thought she was. He’s got some emotional scarring of his own, so he’s able to relate to her in a way that no one else can. He slowly draws her out of her shell. Darian finds her comfort zone in Raif and he becomes the brother she never had, helping to melt her frozen heart.
One of the things I love about a series told in first-person perspective, is that the author can make the heroine’s character arch stretch over the course of several books. In a stand-alone or third-person series where a single character stars in each book, the author must show the hero or heroine change over the course of 400 or so pages. In a first-person series, the author can let the main character grow over a much longer space of time. So as opposed to 350 pages of character growth, Darian gets to evolve over the course of 1600 pages. I think it makes for a much more realistic character development.
I want readers to experience Darian’s emotional journey right along with her. The reader learns about the supernatural world as Darian learns. And just as she’s learning, she’s growing emotionally. Whereas in book one, readers will see a hard, occasionally arrogant, emotionally stunted woman that they might not particularly relate to—as the series progresses, she’ll learn to accept her own vulnerabilities and will let go of the fear and uncertainties of her past. Each book will take her closer to becoming a better woman: softer, more compassionate, trusting. She’ll embrace the people close to her instead of push them away. And she’ll learn more about the supernatural world and her place in it.
Despite the fact that she’ll soften up emotionally, Darian will remain the tough-girl I wrote in book one. She’ll hold to her standards by taking out the bad guy and if anything, she’ll become a better fighter, one who wins at all costs. Deep down, Darian is a protector and she’ll do anything to make sure that the people she cares about are safe. I think that’s what makes a great urban fantasy heroine: the ability to protect. A great heroine doesn’t need anyone to step in and fight her battles for her. She can take care of business on her own. And I hope that readers will find in Darian just that sort of heroine.
Thanks again to Melliane for inviting me to post today. I’d love to know: who are some of your favorite tough-girl heroines?
We would like to thank Amanda Bonnilla for writing this post for the blog and we hope this will make you want to discover the Darian’s world.
You can find the author on her website: http://www.amandabonilla.com/
Thanks again for hosting me today! 🙂
it’s a real pleasure, thanks to you!
When I read Shaedes of Gray I felt Darian exactly how Mrs. Bonilla describes her in this interview. Darian is a great character with lots of potential. I can’t wait to see what else Mrs. Bonilla has in store for her.
Oh I love character growth and this one is on my wishlist! I can’t wait now even more!
I have heard great things about this new series and have put it on my wishlist.
I enjoy a strong female protagonist, some of my favourites in the UF genre include Dakota Frost (Skindancer), Kate Daniels, Domino (Underworld Cycle) and Jane Yellowrock.
Thanks Amanda (and Melliane) for sharing your story about your character!
Shelleyrae @ Book’d Out
Oh! I have this one on my shelf and it sounds really good. I like a hard-edged heroine, as long as she has the ability to soften those edges in some way (whether it’s through love or friendship or whatever). Great interview!
A book you strongly recommend?? That’s good enough for me, Mel! *adds to TBR list* LOL this book sounds SO COOL — I love novels with strong heroines, and this one definitely sounds like it has some!
I love Darin already! And I love first person narratives for the same reason you pointed out — they’re AWESOME for character growth and they help us connect with the characters better! 🙂 This was such a great guest post, Amanda! Thanks so much for dropping by Melliane’s blog! I really can’t wait to pick up your book now!
@ BookaholicCat: I can’t wait either!
@ Melissa (Books and Things): I hope you’ll like it as much as I do
@ bookdout: I love these heroines too.
@ Mary @ BookSwarm: I hope you’ll like the book too. Can’t wait to read your review.
@ Mimi Valentine: thank you so much Mimi. It’s a little different from what you usually read, but it’s my last fav book. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do, if not it will be my fault lol *fingers crossed*
Oh, I really want to read this and this guest post just makes me want to bump it up the list even further. Such a fun post!
Thanks for all of your wonderful comments! I think Darian is tough for readers to associate with at first because she’s so closed off and hard. But like I said, I love having the opportunity to allow readers to see her grow. I feel like it’s best to ease her into transition rather that show it over the course of one book. I hope everyone enjoys the story! 🙂
Wonderful post! Thank you for introducing me to Tyler. 🙂 I do want to get this one and so glad to see you enjoyed this, and to learn more about a character in it. 🙂 Very well done and great idea. Thank you!