Sunday, December 29, 2013

When Characters Change the Story By Roxanne Rhoads

Hex and the Single Witch Excerpt featuring Mike Malone:

“You should have told me why you hate vampires so much. It was during the Hysteria wasn’t it?” The damn Hysteria ruined and destroyed so many lives all thanks to a bunch of power hungry vampires and Others who thought it was a good idea to let humans know they existed. Like the witch hunts, the burning times from before hadn’t proven that was a bad idea. But, no, they thought a new, modern generation of humans could handle it.

The Hysteria proved humans hadn’t evolved much. Of course, neither had the Others.

“Yeah,” he said into his hands.

“You know I lost my dad to vampires at the end. At the last battle. The rogues had the humans all riled up. No one knew what was going on, the riot started and there was this group of mercenaries, humans killing anything that moved. My dad’s team tried to get them out of there, but as soon as they realized vampires and Others were on the police squad the mercenaries decided to wipe everyone out. My dad was shot and while he was down rogue vampires finished him off.”

“Then how can you still be close to them?” Mike sneered.

“Humans played their part in his death too, Mike. Can I shut myself off from the world and hate everyone? It’s unrealistic. I understand your hate, but they are not all bad.”

“They all drink blood. They are monsters designed to kill humans.” His snarl looked ferocious.

I had not realized his hate ran so deep.

“And humans are designed to kill animals and each other. Doesn’t mean we all do.” Stubborn man.

“Anwyn, I’m sorry I can’t look at them the way you do.” He glanced at me then stared at the floor.

I touched his face gently and made him look at me. “Mike you can’t carry pain and anger around with you forever. Believe me, I know. I dragged it around with me for a long time. I lost both my dad and my mom that night. Even though my mom still lives and breathes, she’s not the same. But I can’t change it, and I can’t hate everyone for it. I just have to accept it. I took this job to try and prevent other kids from growing up with this pain and anger. Isn’t that why you took this job too? You know we have to fight the bad guys and take help from all the good guys we can, right?”

“Yeah,” he muttered.

I caressed his strong jaw. Goddess, he was a beautiful man. And more complex and tender than I had thought. I took off his top hat and laid it on the desk so I could run my fingers through his wild wavy hair. The move startled Mike and he looked at me with a puzzled expression on his face for a moment before heat flared in his eyes.

As soon as I saw the flames in his eyes my body responded. A burning need rose inside me, an ache suddenly needed to be filled.

Mike’s expression changed into one that promised deliciously wicked things. Hot damn.

When Characters Change the Story

Hex and the Single Witch is a story that’s been in my head and scribbled in my notebook since 2007.

I’ve been jotting down notes and ideas for years, then typing up scenes, deleting scenes, and piecing things together until finally it all came together as a completed book in 2012 (and Kay Dee Royal played a special part in the final product as she was the editor for Hex J).

It was a long road bringing my vision to life. I wanted to turn Flint, aka Vehicle City, into a place where “Others” walked among humans, practically out in the open being who and what they are.

And while I wanted the city to play a large role in the books- I’m a character driven writer (I am also a character driven reader- I can do without detailed world building and tons of crazy plots and subplots- give me angst, dramatic interaction, turmoil and mystery within the characters and I’m hooked).

I want to showcase the characters and their flaws, I want their quirks, their needs and motivations to be center stage. And that’s where things got crazy.

Hex and the Single Witch was originally supposed to have a love story, not a love triangle, as the romantic element. Mike Malone was supposed to be a prevalent side character, but never a contender for Anwyn’s heart.

But Mike had other ideas. As I wrote the story he became more dominant, more pushy, and just appeared in scenes. All the sudden he and Anwyn were up close and personal…and it worked.

And Galen…poor Galen. I think he was very upset about that turn of events because as Mike worked his way into the story more and more Galen became less vicious vampire and more whiny, damaged  and angsty then he was ever supposed to be. Galen was supposed to be the epitome of danger and damage. The poster boy for bad boys with fangs.

The end result for Galen in Hex was a damaged bad boy with a tendency to be confused- and to leave Anwyn confused as well.

From the reviews it seems Galen didn’t wimp out as much as I thought he did because readers are still rooting for him- or they are still undecided as to whether they want Anwyn to end up with the vampire (Galen) or with the human (Mike Malone).

Personally I have a plan for where the story will end….but as I have discovered sometimes characters will write their own ending so we’ll all have to wait and see who ends up with Anwyn’s heart.

I’m currently working on book 2, Hex and the City. I wonder who will be frontrunner for Anwyn’s heart in this book. What do you think? Any ideas on who Anwyn will end up with?