This is a guest post by author H.S.J. Williams.
When I was a little girl, there was a book on the shelf that fascinated me. It portrayed a young native girl sitting on a grassy hill, a wolf lying by her side. Her pensive expression, the wind in her hair…it all evoked my imagination. I couldn’t read, but I knew a story when I saw one. So I took the book and “told the story” to my long-suffering younger cousin. (This book was Island of the Blue Dolphins if you were wondering, though I found that out much later.)
I realize now my reason for writing is no different. I must bring the characters to life. They let me know of their existence in different ways…I might catch a glimpse of them in reflection of another story, in an art piece, or they just knock on the door of my mind and demand I pay attention. And from there, I have to know their story, what they want, who they know, what they will do.
When I was about ten years old, I was convinced blonde hair and blue eyes were the height of beauty so my own brown hair and green eyes frustrated me to no end. Nevertheless, I made up my mind that I would create a heroine (the most beautiful in the world, mind you) and she would also have brown hair and green eyes. Her name was Emerald, and I eagerly wrote her adventures (with much borrowing from my favorite stories, as kids are wont to do.) She lead battles as a twelve year old because I was fierce enough to believe it possible. She helped give me confidence in what I looked like and what I could do.
In my published novella, Fairest Son, my main characters took me a bit by surprise. I don’t even remember where Keeva and Idris came from, they were just suddenly there, personalities fully intact. I hardly had to encourage their romance, they just had chemistry. (Me: Children, are you actually mine?) On the other hand, it took me well over a year before I could figure out the plot.
I’ve been getting to know the people in my WIP series for many years now, and it has been a complete delight to bring them to life through writing words or scribbling sketches. Their changes, opinions, decisions never fail to surprise me.
This adoration perhaps makes me a bit of their biggest fangirl, but there’s no place I’d rather be as an author. Loving them gives me the desire to bring them the stories and the ending they need (which is often what the reader wants.)
Characters are what breathe life into a story. To me, they are constant companions and dear friends. And I can only hope that my readers will love them and find as much joy in their lives as I.
Visit this Rafflecopter link to enter your name into a giveaway for Williams’ debut novella: Fairest Son.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
From the beginning, H. S. J. Williams has loved stories and all the forms they take. Whether with word, art, or costume, she has always been fascinated with the magic of imagination. She lives in a real fantastical kingdom, the beautiful Pacific Northwest, with her very own array of animal friends and royally loving family. Williams taught Fantasy Illustration at MSOA. She may also be a part-time elf.