Saturday, February 25, 2023

The Future of Ilyon

I hope everyone enjoyed release week for Daican's Heir! I can't believe, after all these years, the series is complete. This has been nearly twelve years of my life so far. Now that it has reached its conclusion, I thought it would be fun to write a post about how I see some of my characters' futures going after the end of Daican's Heir. While I may write some short stories about it, I can't promise anything. Don't worry, just because I don't mention some characters doesn't mean anything bad happens to them. ;) Spoiler warning! I wouldn't suggest reading any further until you've read DH.

Friday, February 24, 2023

Monday, February 20, 2023

The Hunger Games: Ilyon vs. Fandom - Day 1

Welcome to the first Ilyon vs. Fandom Hunger Games! I was introduced to this Hunger Games simulator by my friend, Addy. She showed it to me, Morgan Huneke, and Tricia Mingerink during our writing retreat last year, and we all laughed our heads off as we gleefully pitted various characters against each other. (One simulation resulted in Leith and Martyn from The Blades of Acktar holding hands. Lol!) When I started planning fun events for the release of Daican's Heir, Addy once again brought up the simulator and said I should do it for the release. So, here we are. For the next five days, you will see various Ilyon characters battling it out. But it didn't seem fun to just have my own characters killing each other, so I decided to do half Ilyon characters, and half characters from some of my favorite fandoms. Below are screencaps from the simulator for day one, as well as my thoughts on the events (click the pictures to make them bigger).

If you would like to run your own Ilyon vs. Fandom simulation, you can do so here.

For our Ilyon contestants we have, Jace and Holden, Leetra and Falcor, Kaden and Talas, Daniel and Davira, Aaron and Alex, and The General and Richard.

Representing the Merlin fandom, we have Merlin, Arthur, Morgana, and Uther.

Representing the Star Wars fandom (specifically The Clone Wars), we have Hondo Ohnaka, Cad Bane, Maul, and General Krell (who I added for absolutely no other reason than hoping he dies a terrible death. He deserves a thousand of them.)

Representing Middle-earth, we have Aragorn and Thranduil, because how funny would that be to see King Sassy Pants in The Hunger Games?

And, finally, representing the Grishaverse, we have Kaz Brekker and The Darkling.

Who do you want to win the Ilyon vs. Fandom Hunger Games? I'd love to read your thoughts, speculations, and who you're rooting for in the comments!

Now, without further ado, let the games begin, and may the odds be ever in your (favorite character's) favor!

Day 1

Daican's Heir Character Q&A #4

Welcome to the final part of the Daican's Heir Character Q&A! The end of this one does have some spoilers for the book, but I do give warning before we delve into those questions. And even though this is the final part of the Q&A, today is the start of the Ilyon vs. Fandom Hunger Games, which will go through until Friday, so make sure you check that out as well. Each day of the games will be posted here on the blog.

Kyrin gets up to answer the door, greeting those on the other side. One by one, Rachel, James, Aric, Anne, and Aaron enter the cabin. After a bunch of shuffling and rearranging furniture, everyone finds a seat somewhere or another. Kyrin gets everyone tea or coffee, and I offer the newcomers cookies.

“Thanks for joining us,” I tell them. I notice James looks particularly nervous. He and Rachel have never been to one of these before. I decide to start with someone more used to it. “So, Aaron, I only have one question for you, but I thought it was a really good question. Isabelle would like to know what your favorite memory of your parents is?”

“That’s a good question.” He sits and thinks about it for a moment. “One thing I’ll always remember about my mother is that she loved to sing. She was always singing. For living in such bleak conditions, it brought so much joy to our home. That’s my favorite memory of her.”

“Aww, I didn’t know that. That’s sweet. What about your father?”

“The one thing I will always remember about him is how hard he worked to provide for all of us. He was so dedicated to giving us the best life we could have despite what was against us. That is what I hope to be able to do for my family.”

“You’ve already done that for me for years,” Timothy says. “So I know you will do it for Lacy and Isaac too.”

Sunday, February 19, 2023

Daican's Heir Character Q&A #3


Following Kaden’s example, I take one of the cookies and munch on it as I look through the remaining questions. “Now that we’ve covered various questions for most of you, it’s probably time to circle back to you, Jace.”

He pauses just as he’s about to reach for his coffee mug, and I give him an apologetic look. “You were just starting to get comfortable, weren’t you?”

He leaves the coffee mug and settles back in his chair. “A little.”

“Well, these questions still aren’t as bad as some you’ve had in the past. Reese wants to know if you can sing. She’s had it on her mind for a long time, and may or may not have fangirled over what you would sound.”

There are hints of barely contained laughter around the room, and Jace shoots a look at Kaden before sighing and turning back to me. “Haven’t I been asked this before?”

“Hmm, I think you might have, back when the Goodreads Girls were posting Ilyon versions of Disney songs.”

Jace grimaces at that memory. “Well, my answer is still the same. I don’t sing.”

Now there’s some actual laughter from both Kaden and Holden.

Kyrin leans into Jace. “I think he probably could if he tried.”

Jace shakes his head. “No.”

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Daican's Heir Character Q&A #2

Kaden’s still looking at me squinty-eyed over having Davira unleashed on them just because of a random photo. I quickly flip to another question card.

“So, since we’re on the topic of characters, Kara wants to know what the hardest thing is about creating a character. Looks? Name? Personality? Well, characters aren’t usually too much of a problem for me. Characters are my favorite part of fiction, and it usually isn’t hard to create a cast of them. However, one of the most notable exceptions is that I sometimes struggle with creating my main female characters. Male characters are easy, maybe because I, personally, prefer male characters in fiction. But developing female characters’ personalities can sometimes be a challenge. Kyrin took a while to develop. I knew something just wasn’t right about her character when I first started writing Resistance. It took months before I realized that someone was missing from her life, and that’s how Kaden came into existence. The whole time I was writing her and something seemed off, it was because she was missing her brother. Once I added Kaden, she finally started to develop properly. So the short answer is that personality is the hardest part for me, but mainly just for female characters, though not always. I didn’t have any trouble like that with Leetra and Elanor. Some characters just come with fully formed personalities.”

Kyrin sends Kaden a smile across the table. “Even before the books were written, we couldn’t be without each other.”

Friday, February 17, 2023

Daican's Heir Character Q&A #1

Welcome to the first part of the character Q&A celebrating the release of Daican's Heir! It's been a LONG time coming. Enjoy! And don't forget to stop by Instagram or Facebook to enter the Daican's Heir giveaway bundle!

I slide off my blue and black dragon and untie the basket secured behind the saddle. Of course, I can’t show up to one of these sessions empty-handed. My characters surely expect yummy treats by now as consolation for making them answer questions. I then crunch through the icy snow toward Jace and Kyrin’s cabin. At least Landale didn’t get as much snow this year as the previous year.

At the door, I knock, and Kyrin opens it a moment later with a smile. “Welcome. Come in.”

I thank her and step into the cozy cabin. Jace smiles and nods at me from where he is stoking the fire across the room. After over ten years of this writing adventure, I think my characters have finally excepted that I knew what I was doing despite all the hardship I put them through. We’ll see if the others are as happy to see me as Kyrin and Jace are.

I hold up the basket. “Kyrin, I know you said you would make shortbread cookies, but I did bring a couple of extra things I’m sure Kaden will enjoy.”

She takes the basket so I can slip off my coat. “I’m sure he will. It was the one thing he said he was looking forward to about another one of these sessions.”

“Well, you guys did get a nice, long break from having to answer questions. I have a feeling, now that the series is over and everyone is more or less settled, most of you won’t mind the questions so much.”

“You’re probably right. Even Jace isn’t as nervous.” Kyrin sets the basket on the table and smiles at him.

He shrugs. “Can’t be worse than what we’ve already been through.”