Are you curious about the sketches papering the walls around
my desk while I write this story? I know some readers prefer to let their imaginations
show them the characters, but I also know some like to see how the author perceives them.
So, if you are one of the latter, and you would like to view some of the most important characters in these books as
well as the places:
January 25, 2005
When I first began writing the Manipulated Evil
Series, I had no idea how intense it would grow. I knew in general some of the things that would happen, but the characters
drove the plot, reacting as their personalities would have them. It wasn’t until the first review came in from Nina
M. Osier, an excellent author of speculative fiction and other works, that I began to see it differently. In her review, she
states: “What is the true nature of evil? How can it come not from ill intent, but from good people who do wrong believing that
‘this one time, the end justifies the means’? As I read THE UNSEEN, I asked myself those timeless questions.”
And I asked myself, did I really write something so deep? I asked this over and
When Annette Gisby, another accomplished author sent her review not long after with: “It
is a story of love, sacrifice and ethics. Is it just to do wrong things for the right reasons? Can the end ever justify the
means? Is evil a force of nature or nurture?” Well, I started to see my own creation in a whole new light. A kaleidoscope.
During the writing of The Unseen, I knew only the technical accomplishments of what Carter
and his colleagues had begun with their ignorance and the tragedies that resulted. As the story progressed, a dream woman
showed up – yes, she just showed up as I typed. She plagued Kyle and Ravyn’s sleep with messages and at first
I myself wasn’t sure what she was talking about. I took some time, figured
it out. Other worlds came into existence, a deeper motive for what was happening, the true beginning and what really
happened. The Unseen is just the surface, the beginning of Ravyn and Kyle’s descent into the truths. As I continued to write, this dream woman grew to her manifestation in the last chapter of The Unseen,
after the puzzling appearance of a violet eyed man. No, through the first and even the fifth drafts, I had little idea
who this man was. I knew only a bit about him when the book went to print – was slightly surprised to realize just
who and what he was as I built Scattered Souls. Yes, I built it, because, although the first draft was finished at the time
The Unseen went to print, the deep details of it were just coming to life. Most revelations of these new mystical characters
hit me (or plagued me) at 2 or 3 a.m. And I spent a lot of that time, tossing and turning with frustration and staring
out my bedroom window at the stars while the thoughts tumbled and came together like a jigsaw puzzle in my mind. I had to
force myself not to jump up shouting “That’s it!” in a mad dash for the computer more than once.
The woman of the dreams took on a name, not one I particularly liked at first. I gave her
many names but only one continued to stick. I toyed with the placement of vowels, and she became Rania, watcher of all. The name I had resisted did fit nicely with the sounds of other names from her world.
She was so pure of heart, so wanting to do right and protect all. She became strong enough to demand her own Point of View
scenes in Scattered Souls to tell her part of the story. Shortly after I got
to know her so well, I was handed a book of true-life angel stories. One story introduced an angel named Raina with a similar
appearance. Coincidence, probably. Gave
me the chills just the same and if you read The Manipulated Evil stories and meet Rania of Abrenia, you may understand why.
I finished building Scattered Souls and started to get it ready for print. Scorching Eden was barely begun, and at this date, still is not finished.
Scorching Eden has been hard for me for a reason I never thought possible. I am writing fiction about characters I
created and should be able to control. But to try and control them was suicide for the story. It screeched to a painful stop
and didn’t move forward again until I handed Ravyn the reigns and let her go. The
emotions have overwhelmed me more times than I can count. The characters are
fiction, but they could be anyone, especially in our world today. They are very real somehow. And they rarely behave as they
follow no outline of mine.
In all my writings, none of my antagonists were wholly evil. With my first novel, Whispers
of Insanity, some readers were so sympathetic with the antagonist that they wanted to know more about him and his life.
The Manipulated Evil Series is no different in that respect. One I thought mean and truly evil changed as he developed. I started to ache for him almost as much
as I did for Rania, Ravyn, Kyle, and all the Guardians. The evil does not come from ill intent in this story at all.
Everyone believes what they are doing is for the good. They are trapped in a tug-a-war of some misunderstandings and mixed-up
perceptions. None want to truly hurt others, but none are able to ignore the things they see, or believe they see, happening. A complicated emotional mess indeed.
The Manipulated Evil series has become something so full of character heart and emotion
with aspects that hit the very core of our human existence. It is a story of sacrifices. Not one of these characters
lives through these stories without suffering. Whether readers will pick up on
this or feel any of the emotions is something I can’t tell. But it’s there if you take the time to see just beneath
the surface and get to know these characters and their many layers as I have.
And I hope you will.
March 10, 2004
I always said I would never write a series. I thought I would get weary of the
same characters because I couldn't see how a character could grow and change enough to carry interest through more
than one or two novels. But something strange happened after I finished writing my second book, Gone Before Dawn,
and started searching for my next project.
I dug through my ideas folder and pulled out a synopsis I had hand written in pencil on
two sheets of tablet paper many years ago. It wasn't much more than the description of two characters and the basic
plot line. They would fall in love, despite coming from two completely different walks of life, and they would have to battle
for their lives. Very simple and very cliché.
But these two characters spoke to me. I took
them and sketched them as I always do before I begin the serious writing of a novel. While I sketched their faces and
their eyes, a whole different story line came to my mind. They were from two different walks of life -
two different worlds - dimensions, to be exact. Why that happened, I have no idea, they are both very human.
But then Ravyn changed a little, suddenly becoming more than simply human. She had a different story to tell me.
Ravyn is very much like everyone, yet unlike anyone. She is strong, body and mind,
but a little fragile in heart and soul. Her emotional strength comes from her desire to watch over her siblings.
Kian and Keelyn were born.
I sketched them next, the young twins. Although they are so similar in appearance,
they took on completely different personalities. Kian is the always over protective yet reckless brother, Keelyn
is the caretaker sister of them all. They both think they know everything but they live a life very far from what we
see as normal. These two are very important to Ravyn. She would die for them and them for her.
Kyle spoke to me loud and clear, a typical college student feeling outcast from his family.
He lives a very ordinary life but feels lost in it as if some part of him is missing. Yet, he doesn't dwell on it, just forges
ahead and lives simply. He is shaken to the core when his father is murdered.
Kyle's unknown and mysterious past was told to me by his father, Carter, although Carter
I did not sketch. It is his work and history that is important to this story. His work is written down in
a tablet on my desk, dates, milestones, everything. All he did in his life rather
surprised me as did several of his revelations about other characters. Ravyn and Kyle are interconnected in
so many ways, but only she knows it. Kyle became the main POV (point of view) character
because he is the one most changed by the events awaiting him although no character comes out unscathed from this tale.
It occurred to me I was writing a science fantasy novel, a genre I never thought I would
attempt. Although I don't have extremely strange creatures or space ships, I
do have portals and other dimensions full of humans evolved to survive in their worlds, some strong with the power of mysterious
There are many other characters Kyle and Ravyn introduced to me and the story they had
to tell grew larger than I ever thought it could. They took me on a journey, sometimes in directions so heartbreaking
I didn't want to go, and never went with any of my books before, but I did follow this time. I followed these characters
to the end, an end that popped into my head one night while making supper. I
realized this story was too big for one or even two books, maybe not concerning word length in some people's opinions,
but definitely concerning content.
So call me crazy if you must, I'm just a ghostwriter of sorts, listening to the characters
I breathed life into as they whisper their saga to me. I can only hope to do
it justice and perfectly portray to you readers all the struggles, fears, heartbreaks, and hopes. But there will only ever be three titles to this tale, yes, only three...