GUEST BLOG: Villain to Hero by Helen Scott TaylorThursday, November 17, 2011 10:00
The hero of The Ruby Kiss is a nightstalker. In my Magic Knot fairy world, this means he is a black, human-sized fairy with wings, and a vampire! He has been a major secondary character in the first two books in the series, and he’s had a tough ride, so it was time I gave him his own happy ending.
When I wrote The Magic Knot, the first in my fairy series, I never intended Nightshade to play such a major part in the books. He started life as the villain’s sidekick, but as soon as he appeared on the page, he took on a life of his own. This scary winged man, who I’d intended to simply be a threat to the heroine, turned out to be far more than that. His tragic past gradually came out. He ended up changing sides and working with the hero and heroine to make up for the bad things he had done.
I received more emails from readers asking about Nightshade than about any of the other characters. His popularity surprised me!
He still had some issues to deal with in book two, The Phoenix Charm (he was in love with the hero!). But by the end of that story, he was ready to move on and find a heroine of his own.
When I first started dreaming up a heroine for Nightshade, I knew she had to be an unusual woman, a strong woman. He has always been attracted to strength and power, which is why he went after men. So Ruby is not your normal heroine. She is stubborn and feisty, and although she’s not your classic, kick-ass heroine, she is not afraid to stand up to the villains and tell them what she thinks of them and try to outwit them.
Ruby is Scottish, and in this installment of the series, the couple spends most of their time in the Scottish Unseelie fairy court. They get tangled up with the Seelie/Unseelie fairy court politics, and Ruby’s unrealized power makes her a desirable asset. This puts her right in the middle of the power struggle.
I had a lot of fun creating the Scottish fairy courts and the characters who populate them. The book draws on both Celtic and Norse mythology with a touch of Arabian in there as one of the main secondary characters is a djinn, who first appeared in The Phoenix Charm.
In The Ruby Kiss, Nightshade finally lays his demons to rest and realizes what it is he really needs to make him happy—and that is Ruby!
I love reading about all types of mythology, and I’ve drawn on Celtic and Norse mainly for The Ruby Kiss. That said, my favorite mythology to read about is that of India. The Hindu gods and the stories that surround them always fascinate me. I have pictures of Krishna over my desk for inspiration! Do you have a favorite mythology that always makes you pick up a book?
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