Character Introduction: Arkmenos Kilrak

**Little information first — My mentor Debbie Burns, who runs an amazing writing course called Fiction Expedition, gives us worksheets for what she calls Character Deep Dives. It’s to help us really ‘dive’ into our characters for our stories so that we can make them really come alive. SO that’s what I’m going to be sharing with you all for the next couple of weeks. Now without further ado! **

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NOT MY PHOTO. Inspiration for Arkmenos ONLY. Got it off of Pinterest.

Arkmenos (ark-men-ohs) Kilrak (Kill-rack) is a Serkas (sir-kahs), which is an infernal-touched race (kinda like the Tieflings from D&D). He and a few of his kind came over during the great portal opening back in 2010, along with a lot of other races (we’ll get to those later!).

He is a Unitarian pastor (he was a cleric in his world) and helps run A Mission of Hope which is an orphanage and soup kitchen on the southeast end of New Seattle. He has a twin sister named Rovari who runs a massage parlor. They have a very complicated love/hate relationship that started in their world and has only gotten worse since they came to New Seattle.

Part of the #CDD (character deep dive) questions cover fears and pain points, what their end goal is in the book, and who is against or with them.

Arkmenos’ three greatest fears are Rovari dying, bad things happening to his followers / children (the orphans), and his parents coming from their world into New Seattle. This last one is his biggest fear because he is afraid that they, his parents, will cause so much chaos that the government will decide to close the portals after making all non-humans go back to their world and he does NOT want that. He loves the life he has in New Seattle and wants nothing to do with his old world OR his parents. Still nudging him to spill that a bit more, but I’m sure that will come later.

His three strongest pain points are one: how people perceive him. He is a Serkas. He has dark red skin, golden eyes, horns, and a prehensile tail. Most races don’t trust them due to their demon/devil ancestry and most humans are very uncomfortable around the Serkas. Two: Rovari works for a woman named Celerina who Arkmenos does not trust at all. He’s heard secrets and rumors and his gut tells him she deals in things his sister shouldn’t be messing with. This worries him even though they are not speaking. She is still his twin. Three: He wants someone to love but due to the number one pain point, this is proving to be a bit difficult for him. Not that he’s actually tried though with as busy as he is at the Mission (EXCUSE!).

Now you may want to know why is he doing what he is doing? He’s got demon/devil ancestors right? SO he’s supposed to be bad right? WRONG. The blood has thinned many generations so he just has a couple of his ancestors physical traits and a bit of magic. Due to spending most of his time as a child with the clerics in the local temple, he realized his calling was to take care of people, much to the chagrin of his parents and twin. When he turned 13, his father threw him out of the house and one of the clerics took him in and raised him until he was old enough to become a cleric himself.

What is his end goal? To save his sister from Celerina and anyone else Celerina has hurt, along with taking care of all of followers. Who is going to be against this? Well, his sister, duh! Along with Celerina (of course!), a local priest who has been corrupted, and a few other people that work for/with Celerina. Those with him? As far as I know now, Kar’gan and Rebekkah (the stars of the short story teaser I shared), Suzie Andrews – a mouse pelt journalist, DJ Phoenix who works at a rave club owned by Celerina (but she doesn’t know this yet), a former nun who works at the Mission with him, and a lady detective that is investigating Celerina.

So that is what I know about Pastor Arkmenos Kilrak as of right now. I will have CDDs of my other main players over the next few weeks as they talk to me and let me in on their deep, dark secrets!

I hope you enjoyed this peek into one of my characters. If so, please leave me a comment down below and let me know!

Much love and blessings,

 

~Cyn~

 

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Edge of Nightmares Teaser

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“I’ve done everything you’ve asked, Celerina,” The first voice is Treina, her boss. “All I want for is to be full owner. I don’t think that’s asking too much.”

“Give you my club? What makes you think you’ve earned that?” The second voice – Celerina? – belongs to a woman with an odd accent. “You are not done repaying me just yet, and I do not just give up my clubs, especially this one…”

“Give up!? I am the one running things here…I am the one busting my ass every day making this club what it is!” Treina interrupts her.

“You forget what I know about you, Jade,” the woman interjects.

‘Jade?” Gina wonders to herself as she does her best to stand quietly, pondering whether she should go get security. She decides to stay a bit longer just in case, and shifts closer to the door to try and peek through the office window.

“I’ve made deals for you!” Treina yells. Gina winces when her voice hits the sharp F an octave higher than normal that indicates she’s pissed. “I’ve swindled people. Hell, I’ve even laundered money, and worse for fucks sake! You’re changing the deal, Celerina, and I don’t like it.”

Celerina laughs haughtily. “Now, now, Jade….”

“Don’t! Don’t call me that again. Jade is dead. I left that name and everything attached to it a long time ago.”

“Until I say so, I own you….Jade. You are never too far from who you used to be and there is much I still want from you.”

©CynASnow2018

Apologies + Teaser

Hi all! Just wanted to drop a line and let you know that I am alive and things are a bit wacky in my writing world at the moment.

Currently I am working on some short stories, doing world building for the novel the short stories are building up to, and figuring out the finishing bits of A Royal’s Undoing so that I can try and get it out by end of Summer this year.

As an apology, here’s a teaser from the short story I am currently working on:

As I walked out the back door, the doors that led to the main baking area flung open, startling me. A very large, but oddly handsome, orc covered in flour, walked out carrying a bunch of covered containers that he placed in the van that was sitting right outside.  I stood there quietly watching him, intrigued. He’s extremely tall, so well muscled his arms were bulging under his t-shirt sleeves, and although he has skin the color of dark green olives, it looked very smooth, and I found myself wanting to run my hands over him. I’d been coming to this bakery for the past year and had never seen this orc.

He turned around and looked directly at me with the most intense green eyes I had ever seen.

“HEY!” His voice gruff, but not as harsh as I’d heard some orcs sound. “What are you doing back here?”

“Oh…uh…sorry.  I…uhh.” I clear my throat, shaking my head. What is wrong with me? Just answer his damn question stupid! “I come here every day and usually leave before the lunch crowd and didn’t make it today so I just snuck out this way to avoid the crazy.”

He stared at me for a moment, raising an eyebrow.

“I completely understand that. That’s why I work in the back. Hate crowds. You better go. Got an order that needs to get to Furs, Feathers, and Fins by 1230.” He coughs and starts to walk back into the bakery.

“Oh!! That’s right they are having that big celebration thing today aren’t they? Celebrating 25 years or something?”

I have no idea why I tried to keep him talking, but there was just something about him.

“Yep. It’s amazing what they’ve done with that place. I remember when it was just a small little pet store.” He clears his throat. “Enjoy the rest of your day Miss York.”  He disappears through the doors and is gone before I realize he knew my name.

From Kar’gan and Rebekkah – An Unconventional Love Story ©CynASnow2018

Enjoy and let me know what you think!

~Cyn~

Voices in our heads

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From Google Images

We as writers have quirks and eccentricities that non-writers do not understand. One of those ‘quirks’ is hearing our characters in our heads. Some of us have characters that simply help spur on the book by ‘telling’ us how the story goes as we are writing it. Other writers actually have their characters talk to them and react to things we’ve written or something one of our friends has said about them.

Take for instance the villain in my first novel, Khilseith Olastra. He is an ego-maniacal narcissistic archmage who thinks he should be the main character and everything should be about him. I shared a snippet of something horrible he does with my tribe (i.e. those I trust will read my stuff and not blab about them in public)  and one of them who is totally enamored with Khilseith reacted exactly as I thought she would. She couldn’t believe he would do something so horrible and was saying “noooo. WHYYY Khilli-poo!” And as I read that statement, I ‘heard’ a very irritated Khilseith in my head and this was the conversation that followed–

“Khili-poo!? How DARE she! Does she not know who I am!?”

I responded with “Of course she does. She loves you!”

“Well of course she does, I….am amazing.”

“But you’re a horrible person.”

“I am not. I did what had to be done. She was a traitor that had to be dealt with.”

Now some may think I am crazy for sharing this, but I know many writers who have this type of thing happen on a regular basis and I have been asked to share ‘behind-the-scenes’ and this is one of the many things that happens. To me and many of my fellow writers.

This is what it is like to have a creative brain. Writers ‘hear voices’, artists are ‘told’ what they should paint/colors they should use/etc, photographers have feelings or go by their instincts on when and where to take photos.

Are you a writer who has conversations with your characters? Let me know down in the comments! I’d love to hear from you!

~Cyn~

Before the Ball

Lily is sitting at her vanity, putting the finishing touches on her makeup when she hears a soft knock on the door and then Amyra talking to someone. After a moment, her great-grandmother walks in the room and smiles.

“You are so beautiful Liliana.  I am so glad I could be here to see your first ball and am able to personally give you this,” Talinia opens the box she has, showing Lily an exquisite and intricately designed hair comb. It was pure silver with dark brown owl feathers that come up over the top of the comb, a tiny crown made of oak surrounded by a couple of small oval moonstone crystals, and the tines have elven runes etched into them.

Lily gasps as she turns and reaches for the box.

“It’s gorgeous great-grandmother!”

Talinia takes the comb out of the box and motions for Lily to turn back around.

“No touching. Let me put this in your hair and then get going to the ball. The sooner we get you there, the sooner it will be over and then you and Taanyth can be public with your relationship.”

She smiles and nestles the comb in Lily’s halo braid so that the feathers laid against her hair, the dark brown of the owl feathers a beautiful contrast against the blonde.  She holds the hand mirror up so that Lily can see how it looks.

‘Thank you so much for this Great-Grandmother!’ Lily stands up and hugs Talinia.

“You are most welcome, my Starflower. It has been passed down to every female of our generation and since you and your mother are…..” she pauses for a moment with a slight frown, “well, on the outs at the moment, she asked me to give this to you for your special night as your father has suggested she not come to the ball so as to make things less stressful for you.” She hugs Lily tightly, a lone tear falling down her face.  She clears her throat and backs up and looks Lily over.

“Amyra. Bring Queen Liliana her cloak please. We must get going.”

Lily smiles at her grandmother, reaches up and gently wipes the tear away.

“No tears, Great Mother. This is supposed to be a happy occasion remember?” Lily rolls her eyes then laughs. “Let us go then, shall we?”

The guards open the doors and Dmitrie and Khilseith stand waiting to escort them. The two men are like night and day in their finery. Dmitrie is dressed like a forest god, dark green coat with a gold leaf design,a white shirt with billowy sleeves beneath, dark brown pants, and soft brown boots upon his feet. Khilseith in contrast is dressed in stone blue and light sapphire archmage robes. Archaic elven runes look like they were magickally sewn into the fabric as they give off a soft glow and an oval moonstone sits at the base of his throat hanging on a silver chain. Intricately designed, deep azure blue boots adorn his feet. The sides of his long silvery white hair is partially pulled back off of his face, clasped with a silver hair clip.

Lily raises an eyebrow at the two men.

“Where is Father? I thought he was supposed to bring me?”

Khilseith steps forward, offering his arm.

“Your father will be late and asked me to escort you instead. He is trying to …”he pauses a moment, his face thoughtful, “calm your mother. I am sure Great Mother has explained that he suggested it would be best if she stayed home this evening and let you have your night in peace since things are volatile between you at the moment.”

Lily nods and takes Khilseith’s extended arm as she shrugs at Dmitrie and Talinia.

“I know this is a bit off of tradition, but that is how my queen wishes most things, and since your father could not be here, he and I felt I was the best suited to escort you. I am an elder, I can protect you quite well, and you trust me completely.”

Lily looks up at Khilseith, her eyes shining and she nods.

“I do indeed. Shall we go then? I need to get this over with before I change my mind.”

“As my queen commands.”

Khilseith leads them through the Sanctuary to the main ballroom and stops right in front of the doors to let Lily prepare herself.

“Are you ready Lily?” He whispers.

She takes a deep breath and nods. Khilseith nods at the guards and they open the doors.

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Writing Prompts and Death scenes

Ahh my muse is going again after the miserable sinus issues I had! Today’s scene for my WIP ‘A Royal’s Undoing’ incorporated the prompts from Liza Kane’s #28stories28days challenge I’ve been doing but I will not be sharing them publicly as it is a very important turning point for the book and I don’t want to give that away. I can tell you that some people will probably  be a tad mad at me for finally showing the villain’s true side but I am hoping they will still like me regardless! It’s not like they didn’t know it was coming, just probably NOT in the way I’ve done it.

Death scenes are not always easy for people. I know one scene I wrote wasn’t an actual death scene but the announcement of a death and that was one of the hardest scenes I’ve ever written in my life but the scene I wrote tonight didn’t bother me a bit. I think what causes the different reactions is how we as writers feel about our characters. Writing a scene telling my MC (main character) that her best friend for her entire life was found dead was heart wrenching and emotional because I adore her best friend and telling ANYONE that their best friend is dead is never easy.

The scene from today however was where I got to flex my villain muscles and killed people I am not attached to.  The scene informing my MC is probably not going to be easy, but it may not be as emotional for me because of the character that is relaying the message.

So, my fellow writers, how do you handle death scenes? Does it bother you to kill off your characters? Do you relish killing off certain ones?  Let me know down in the comments or hit me up on Facebook or even Twitter! You’ll find those links —> over on the right side of this post!

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Picture used for inspiration only!

Week 2, Day 5 – Brave New World

Today’s Prompt is: “You have an enchanted backpack that gives you exactly what you need for that day. Today, you pull out a sword.”

Lily is up before sunrise and tries to be as quiet as a mouse as she gets dressed, throws her hair up in a bun, and stands looking at a bag she was handed the night before. The bag looks simple and does not look like it is holding weapons of any kind, but she was told to look at the bag, think about what she needs or wants to train with, and then reach in the bag. So she takes a breath, thinks about what she wants, and reaches into the bag. She moves her hand around a bit, feeling the soft cloth that makes up the interior, then her fingertips brush something cool and round. She grabs hold of it and pulls out a basic rapier.  She stares at it for a moment, surprised that this was what she got, but, she had just thought about needing a proper weapon to train with when she meets with Captain Torthana. Out of curiosity, she thinks again, reaches into the bag, and pulls out a scabbard for the rapier. Smiling, she puts the rapier in the scabbard, attaches the belt to her waist, and then sneaks out of her chambers without alerting Amyra.

She waves at the guards as she walks out her door, goes and finds two guards that can escort her to the training area, and once they join her, they head over to meet with Captain Torthana.

The training area is  an open field, with training dummies forming a large circle.  Captain Torthana is in the center practicing. Lily stands and watches Torthana for a moment. Lily has seen most women swoon over Kelvhan Torthana.  He looks to stand around six feet tall, has broad shoulders, deep chocolate brown hair, and his eyes are a weathered burnished amber. The sides of his hair are kept in braids that are pulled back into a half ponytail while the rest of his hair flows to his shoulder in waves. Lily thinks to herself <He’s handsome I suppose, but I prefer my men intelligent more than handsome.>  She does a little half shrug, shakes her head, and calls out to the captain.

“Captain Torthana!”

He turns, swirling his sword, and sheathing it with a flourish, bowing to Lily as he faces her.

“My Queen.  Welcome to your first day of training.”

His eyes flick to the band around her waist and the weapon attached to it.

“I see you got a proper weapon from the bag. I told you you’d get what you needed.”

He waves his hand, inviting her to join him in the circle.

“Shall we begin?”

Week 2, Day 4 – Brave New World

Prompt: “You open the door to your house, and walk into some Men in Black wrestling with an alien in your living room.” (adjusted to fit my world)

Lily walks up the steps of the gorgeous elven structure that she calls her home and realizes that the door is slightly ajar.  She pushes the door open and peeks around it but doesn’t see anything. She walks in slowly, looking around, then hears yelling and scuffling noises coming from the council room.

Unsheathing the sword that is currently strapped to her waist, she rushes to the council room and kicks the door open. When the door flies open, she sees some her guards and some of the rangers who are dressed all in black wrestling with what she can only call a dog.

“WHAT is going on in here and WHAT is that!?” She bellows.

The guards and rangers continue to wrestle with this dog thing, barely noticing she was there. She stands at the ready with her sword in the case that it comes towards her, but stays a bit away from the tussle so she doesn’t get in the way.

Captain Torthana had been teaching her how to fight with a sword and while she wasn’t that good yet, she felt she could at least slow the creature down if it got away from the others. She stood on the balls of her feet, her right foot facing forward and knee bent, left leg behind, knee bent, and left foot somewhat sideways, & her arms up and her hands hold her sword in a long point guard. While she stands there, her eyes dart around the room watching for other intruders and she shifts her feet here and there as the fighting continues and moves around the room.

Finally, they subdue the creature and put a leash on it to keep it from taking off again. Lily moves closer so she can get a better look at it. She can see it is a mix of leaf and moss green with tan paws and underbelly, and glowing, dark orange eyes.  It has some of its fur braided, hanging like ropes from its head, and a long braid that wraps around its fluffy tail and then hangs down a couple inches from the tip. It has tall, long furry elven shaped ears that are green and tan at the bottom and fiery orange that goes from mid-ear to the tips.

“It’s….” Katar pauses as he calms his heavy breathing then continues, “It’s an elven dog, my queen.  This one got out of his master’s house and has been wrecking havoc through the city and for some reason came here.” He looks up at Lily, his eyebrow raised, confused.

“It came here on purpose?”

As they all stand and get the dog to its feet, it starts tugging on the leash moving towards Lily. Everyone pulls on the leash or stands between it and Lily. Curious, Lily shoos the guards to the side and holds her hand out to the creature.  She squats down so she is closer to eye level and looks into its eyes as she’s holding her hand out.

“It’s okay. I won’t hurt you. You need to stay calm and stop causing problems in my city you hear me?” She talks softly to the creature, hoping that the techniques used in the human world would work on him.

As soon as the dog sniffs her fingers, it nuzzles them, and then gives her a dog-like grin. She carefully runs her fingers up the dog’s muzzle to rub its fur and play with his ears. The dog sits down and lets her, never taking its eyes off of her.  She grins at the dog as her fingers tickles the tips of his ears and then she moves slightly so her fingertips can run down its head so she can touch the various braids that decorate its body.

The guards and rangers stand and stare at what is unfolding in front of them. Never have they seen an elven dog react to anyone like this before. They are all very loyal to the Galnariens, but none of those present have ever seen one allow someone to be so affectionate.

“Who does it belong to?” She asks as she continues to pet the creature, who has now laid down at her feet and has its eyes closed as if it is going to sleep.

“Lord Kelleth, my queen. His son is Luirlan, the young lordling that squires to Lord Anafiel.”

“Alright. Someone bring Lord Kelleth here. I need to speak with him regarding Jhaan.”

“Jhaan? Who’s that?”

“That’s his name.” She smiles up at everyone as she stands, waving her hand towards the dog.

“How…..” Katar stops mid-question and shakes his head. “Never mind my queen. We will go back to our posts and someone will bring Lord Kelleth to you shortly.”

All of them salute her, one of the rangers takes off to retrieve Jhaan’s owner, and all but two of the remaining leave to return to their posts.

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Week 2, Day 3 – Brave New World

Prompt: “You’re on an elevator that stops between floors. The doors open.”

After his meeting with Khilseith, Linvanu needed to have some time to think. He told his second in command to keep an eye on things and he’d be back in an hour.  He took a deep breath and looked at the contraption in front of him.  It is a wooden platform with three wooden half walls with railings for stability and runs on a pulley system that was built by the dark dwarves that lived under the adjoining city of Obsidian Valley.  He steps into it and clutches the railing and pulls on the rope twice to let the Cayheri at the bottom know where he wants to go.

The make-shift elevator bounces a little as it starts downward, then is smooth until it comes to its destination. The wooden lift jerks so hard as it stops between floors, Linvanu has to grip the railings with both hands to keep from falling over and sends a stream of harsh words down at the elf running the lift.

“Bozi Txa! Chent!”

“I am sorry my King! The rope stuck!”

“NO excuses! Fix it or spend tend days in the dungeon!”

Linvanu swears some more under his breath as he knocks on the wall and watches the wall shimmer to life and steps into it.  As soon as he is inside the hidden cave, the door disappears. He stands still for a moment, taking a few breaths to calm himself, before he walks forward and sits in front of the wall that has elvish writing on it.

He brushes the wall to remove any dirt and dust that has accumulated and then lets his palm rest on it.

“Hello my love. I am sorry it’s been so long.”

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Week 2, Day 2 – Brave New World

Today’s Prompt is: “You look outside one morning and realize you’re looking at a completely different city skyline.”

Lily stretches, turns over, and opens her eyes and blinks as she focuses on the canopy above her.  It takes her a moment until she realizes where she is.  She sighs and throws back the covers and sits up. She pulls on the robe that her handmaiden had laid on the end of the bed for her, thinking <that is so weird that I have a handmaiden!>, then walks over to the balcony and looks out over the city of Galna Alari.

The sight took her breath away. The sun was just coming up and the light was filtering through the trees, hitting the exquisite elven city so perfectly that the colors from the buildings sparkled spectacularly sending rainbows all over the gardens. Lily was in awe over this displace of perfection and beauty and truly realized she was in a different world now. She had seen gorgeous sunrises before, but this scene was something the humans would truly describe as heaven and could only imagine in their dreams.

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