It’s introduce the characters month here at CRC. Since I have far too many characters to pick out favorites (and, besides, I truly love them all, for different reasons), I’ll go with talking about my upcoming release.
I feel really lucky to be involved in this very intriguing project with such amazing authors!
When I agreed to do this – because, who wouldn’t?? – I had zero idea what I’d write about. I mean, noir isn’t really my thing. At least, not the grainy grayscale movies with gumshoe detectives and femmes fatale. But, when I did a little research on the trope, I found that that it crosses many genres – including fantasy – and revolves around the moment of the grotesque.
Cuz, you know, I can do grotesque.
And right then I knew what I’d write, too. I’ve always been fascinated by the fairy tale, The Goose Girl. Here’s an illustration from my Grimm’s Fairy Tales edition. Talk about a story that revolves around a moment of the grotesque!
All of this is by way of introducing you to my hero and heroine of my retelling, called Heart’s Blood. In the original tales (and I read several), the prince and princess are not named. Only the horse, Falada. That left the field wide open to name and create my characters.
By the time the story opens, my heroine, formerly the Princess Natilde, has already lost everything – rank, innocence and even her name. When queried, she calls herself “Nix,” a name that reflects the nothing she’s become. She was meant to marry the dashing Prince Cavan. Instead he marries her waiting woman, who’s forcibly taken Nix’s place. For Cavan I wanted a young man who is duped, not because he’s foolish, but because he’s so very earnest. A man of integrity who’s agreed to an arranged marriage for the good of his kingdom, who’s determined to make the liaison work, no matter the cost to himself.
One of my favorite parts of the story is that Nix keeps her name, in the end. Natilde is gone forever, but Nix finds her new identity in embracing the blank slate – and in finding a different kind of happy ever after.