Beautiful People is a monthly blog meme hosted by Cait @ Paper Fury and Sky @ Further Up and Further In. Every month they pose 10 questions for writers to answer about their writing and give readers the opportunity to learn more about the writer’s characters.
When I saw the theme for this month’s Beautiful People, I knew this would be a tricky post. Anyone who’s been following Beautiful People (or this blog in general) for some time already know that Eva, the protagonist of my YA fantasy The Keeper’s Curse, has been an orphan since she was 5 years old. And as I read this month’s questions, I realized some related better to Eva’s deceased parents, and others to her guardians since then.
So, that’s how I’ll handle this month’s post. You’ll learn a little about Eva’s mother and father, and I’ll also introduce you to Aunt Maji and Uncle Lusan, both of whom appear in TKC. Hopefully that won’t be too confusing. I’ll do my best to indicate who each question pertains to. Let me know in the Comments section if anything needs clarifying!
1. Does Eva know both her biological parents? Why/why not? (Parents)
Yes. Eva’s biological parents raised her until she was 5 years old, when they were murdered during the Mountain Folk’s raid of Eldenmonn. I talked about the sacking in this previous Beautiful People post. After Eva’s parents died, the mother’s older sister Nekamaji (Maji, for short) and her husband Lusanabro (Lusan) took in Eva and raised her.
NOTE: TKC takes place 12 years after the raid, when Eva is 17 years old.
2. Has she inherited any physical resemblances from her parents? (Parents)
Oh yes! Eva inherited her father’s amber eyes and her mother’s nose. Also, her hair is straight like her father’s was, and a blend of medium brown, red, and blonde that comes from her mother. The Faeries in TKC’s world have naturally two-toned hair, and Eva has the rare tri-toned tresses. (In case you’re curious, Eva’s mother was red-and-blonde, and her father was brown-and-blonde.)
3. How did her parental figures dress? Add pictures if you like! (All)
Pictures never seem to do the images in my head justice, so let me describe their clothes for you…
Both Eva’s father (when he was alive) and Uncle Lusan wear traditional attire for male Faerie commoners, which consists of solid, light-colored shirts, dark trousers, and leather boots. Uncle Lusan also ties back his long hair to keep it out of his face when he works in his arrow fletchery.
As for Eva’s mother (when she was alive) and Aunt Maji, they wore dresses or a skirt with a blouse or tunic, as other female Faerie commoners would. Knowing their personalities, both ladies prefer bright colors or a mix of light colors (whites and pastels) with darker, bolder shades. They’d also go barefoot at home and wear boots when away.
4. Does she share any personality traits with her parental figures? And which does she take after most? (Parents)
It’s hard to say… I think Eva carries bits of both of her parents with her. The women in Eva’s mother’s family were known for their gentle, carefree natures; and while Eva’s not exactly gentle (*lol*), she has that desire to create her own identity and feels “different” from most other Faerie girls. That’s also how her mother and Aunt Maji felt growing up, and their professions (mother: singer in the royal choir; Aunt Maji: a “name-giver,” who names Faerie babies after they’re born using magical foresight) reflect that sense of individuality.
As for her father, Eva definitely got her tomboy hobbies and personality from him. I can also see her being a “daddy’s little girl,” although she loved spending time with her mother and listening to her sing, too.
5. Does she get on with her parental figure(s) or do they clash? (Aunt & Uncle)
Eva gets along with Aunt Maji really well. While they both have different temperaments, Aunt Maji has always encouraged Eva to be her true self. This is probably why Eva respects and listens to her aunt’s wisdom and enjoys spending time with her. Both characters also have a tradition where they stay up late chatting the night before Eva travels for Council duties. There’s a scene like that in TKC, and I like how it shows the dynamics between aunt and nice while offering important (story-related) information.
Uncle Lusan is a different story. He loves Eva and his biological son Gidion, but his strict traditionalism often clashes with her independent streak and occasional tactlessness. A great example? Uncle Lusan threatened to throw Eva out of their home when she was named to the Council. Thank goodness for Aunt Maji’s peace-making (one of her strengths).
6. If she had to describe her parental figure(s) in one word, what would it be? (Aunt & Uncle)
That’s easy! Eva would say “nurturing” for Aunt Maji and “dictator” for Uncle Lusan. Makes sense, given the answers to #5 above, right? 🙂
7. How has her parental figure(s) helped her most in her life? (Aunt & Uncle)
Well, Aunt Maji and Uncle Lusan raised Eva after her parents were killed. I think that speaks volumes. They volunteered to be her new family, and gave her a safe and loving home during the most difficult and vulnerable time in her life. And being a name-giver, Aunt Maji has a different point of view on Faerie magic than most Faeries do, and she’s one of two mentor figures in Eva’s life (the other being Eva’s trainer Nomaro) who have encouraged Eva to be open-minded with her powers and create new spells that (from a world-building standpoint) obey the “rules” and limits of Faerie magic.
8. What was her biggest fight with her parental figure(s)? (Aunt & Uncle)
I don’t think Eva and Aunt Maji have ever gotten into a fight. They may have disagreed on things before, but Aunt Maji’s too even-tempered to let it escalate into a full-blown argument.
But Eva and Uncle Lusan? OH YAH. The fight I hinted at in #5 would be the answer here. He lost his temper completely when Eva was named to the Council. She tried to make him understand that she couldn’t let go of her tomboy behaviors and take up sewing, cooking, and other housekeeping tasks that would be expected of her as a potential bride. But he refused to see things from her perspective; and even though Aunt Maji made it clear that Eva would still live in their home during her Council tenure, Uncle Lusan’s last words in that discussion were, “You disgrace me, niece. No Faerie man wants a girl who won’t accept her rightful place.”
9. Tracing back the family tree, what nationalities are in her ancestry? (All)
Faerie, through and through. Eva’s culture frowns upon interracial marriages, so she doesn’t have bloodlines from the Great Isle’s other peoples (Mountain Folk, Humans, Saaresgard, Krunicians).
10. What’s their favorite memory with her parental figure(s)? (Parents)
Even though her parents have been gone for almost 13 years, Eva still remembers them vividly. Her happiest memory of them is from shortly before they traveled to Eldenmonn. The three of them were sitting by the hearth at home, and her father was playing a lute as her mother was teaching Eva a Faerie folk song. Simple yet full of joy and love – that defined Eva’s family perfectly back then.
That’s it for this month’s edition of Beautiful People. What do you think of Eva based on the answers above? If you’ve been following Beautiful People or Chronicling The Craft, did you learn anything new about Eva and her family (biological and adopted) today? Feel free to share your thoughts and any questions you may have by commenting below.