Kristine Kathryn Rusch does what she calls process blogs on business from time to time. I’d say this is sort of a process blog for me about what makes writing fun. I was curious as to why I had so much fun with Shadows of Solstice.
For one, it took something I knew well. I went to a Lutheran school and I knew about Lucia Bride but didn’t know the full mythology. Like my main character, I had thought this was a special thing that my school just did to support our Mayfest Dancers. Instead, it’s a legend and there is some robust meaning behind it. I enjoyed learning that.
It was a story that allowed me to do what I do best–I could build suspense and keep people guessing. I also didn’t know exactly how it ended. Shortly after I read a book about the heroine’s journey which was starting from being alone to ending up relying on other people. And this story follows that journey, although I had no idea what that was when I wrote the book. But I think because I tapped into something that was more universal, on some level I knew that and it made it fun to write that tale.
I liked the main character but not so much that I didn’t mind hurting her. I was attached to Meg Barringer in the Whisper novels and had a hard time destroying her life. Same for Rain, probably more for Rain than Meg who annoys me. I got better at as I moved on to other books. But I didn’t always like my main characters. Honestly, in October Snow, I hate Courtney, but she gets redeemed in later books (so if you hate her in the first book as well, take heart. She grows up). So there has to be a level of liking and knowing the character and also being able to challenge them.
I also think it comes closest to the kind of message I’d like to leave with the world. We’re better together. We need community. And there’s always hope and guidance no matter what name you call it by. On some level, I probably knew I was dealing with things in a spiritual way and that this book was important. Now, I need to figure out how I can create that same message in other books, books that really come together in a way that’s just fun.