Beautiful People, Vol. 7: The Friendship Edition

Beautiful People 1

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.

Friendship is the theme for this month’s edition of Beautiful People. I didn’t even have to look at the questions to know which friends I’d focus on: Eva, a life-size Faerie and the protagonist of my YA fantasy WIP The Keeper’s Curse; and her cousin (also Fae), Gidion. So, apart from Saturday’s Chronicling The Craft, you’ll meet Gidion for the first time today!

Since you might already know a bit about Eva, here’s a quick bio for Gidion: He’s 21 years old, with green eyes and blonde-streaked ginger-red hair. And not only is he the Council of Selanaan’s chief negotiator, but he’s also the Council Captain. Which means that not only is he Eva’s cousin and best friend, but he’s also her boss. That has added an interesting dynamic to their relationship, as the questionnaire will reveal. 😉

(Visit the Beautiful People category page to catch up on past BP posts.)

1. How long have Eva and Gidion known each other, and how close are they?

Gidion was 4 years old when Eva was born, and their families both lived in the Fae capital of Netarlena. So, it’s safe to say that these two cousins have known each other all their lives. They also played together often when they were little and got along very well. So when Eva’s parents were killed when she was 5 years old and Gidion’s parents (Aunt Maji and Uncle Lusan) adopted her into their family, she and Gidion quickly latched onto each other in a sibling-like way. (Gidion is an only child, biologically speaking.)

2. What’s their earliest memory of being best friends?

Both Eva and Gidion remember playing with each other when they were young. They would play games like fanesiela (a magical cross between Tag and Hide & Seek), climb trees, swim, or fly through the forest chasing each other. (Gidion usually won the latter, since he was older and therefore able to fly a little faster. *winks*)

Eva also recalls how their friendship grew closer and more serious after her parents were killed. She suffered nightmares for a few years; and sometimes Aunt Maji would be the first to reach her when she woke up screaming, and other times it would be Gidion. So, Eva especially remembers Gidion holding her, rocking her, telling her it was only a bad dream and that she was all right.

3. Do they fight? How long do they typically fight for?

Ohhhhhhh yes. They did when they were fledglings, and they still do now and then. Thought their fights are more like short-lived arguments, never violent or overblown. Eva can be blunt and assertive, and isn’t afraid to question things if something seems off. Gidion, on the other hand, is more diplomatic. He tends to remain calm in the face of conflict and uses words as his “weapons” instead of emotions, like Eva does.  So, their arguments don’t last long because Eva’s volatility exasperates Gidion, and within a couple minutes he’ll make a final point and take off so she can cool down and think.

4. Are their personalities similar or do they compliment each other?

In some ways, you couldn’t have two cousins who are more different. Eva is a doer in every sense of the word (restless, straightforward, instinctive). Gidion is more of a thinker; he’s tactful, idealistic, and level-headed. Both characters complement each other well, however. Gidion can talk sense into Eva when she’s too hotheaded, and Eva looks out for people who might take advantage of Gidion’s gullibility. (He prefers to believe in the best in everyone until they prove they’re not trustworthy – which has its ups and downs.) Both cousins have also known each other long enough to know how to listen to one another and what each other’s strengths and weaknesses are.

5. Who is the leader of their friendship (if anyone)?

Hard to say. It’s fairly equal, unless you count Gidion’s rank as Captain of the Council, which makes him her superior. So, Eva and her fellow Councilors must follow Gidion’s instructions / advice in regards to their assignments and conduct. Gidion’s a fair, transparent leader, though; and since Eva respects Gidion (in addition to loving and appreciating him as her cousin), she has no trouble listening to him or following his guidance. However, she’s not afraid to speak up if she thinks he’s wrong about something or missing the point.

FYI – Apart from the Captain, rank within the Council of Selanaan is determined by years of service. Eva currently ranks fourth out of six, having been with the Council for 2 1/2 years when TKC begins. Gidion is not only the Captain, but the Council’s longest-serving member, with almost 7 years of experience behind him.

6. Do have any secrets from each other?

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you might already know that Eva wants to avenge her parents’ deaths by killing any Mountain Folk who cross her path. No one knows about her vow – not even Gidion. 😮

7. How well do they know each other’s quirks and habits?

Frighteningly well. 😉 That should be no surprise, given how long they’ve lived in the same kagende (“treehouse”). Questions #3 and #4 covered this a little already, but to offer more… Just by observing Eva, Gidion can recognize when she’s about to snap and when her mind is working on a new spell or solution to a problem. Eva also can tell when Gidion is worried; he has a habit of rubbing the back of his neck, or standing with his hands on his hips.

8. What kind of things do they like to do together?

*lol* Because Eva and Gidion live together and work on the Council, they pretty much do EVERYTHING together. OK, that’s an exaggeration… But they eat most of their meals together and talk several times a day. If they’re home, they might also go hunting or horseback riding together.

9. Describe each character’s fashion style. (Use pictures if you’d like!) How are their styles different / similar?

Eva and Gidion wear Council uniforms every day. Both wear leather boots, brown trousers (or leggings, in Eva’s case), and (if they’re traveling) gray hooded cloaks fastened with a brooch at the neck. And while Gidion wears a shirt and Eva a longer tunic, both tops use the same material (green-dyed cotton) with golden Faerie wings, dragonflies, vines, and leaves embroidered along the cuffs, collar, and hem. Other subtle differences include the knife sheaths on Eva’s boots and the types of brooches they wear with their cloaks (Eva’s is a pair of Faerie wings, while Gidion’s is star-shaped to signify his status as Council Captain).

If Eva and Gidion aren’t wearing Council attire… I guess Eva would wear a dress or a skirt paired with a peasant blouse. But she’s worn her Council attire for so long that it’s impossible to imagine her wearing anything else, unless it’s a special occasion. Gidion’s attire wouldn’t differ too much. He’d still wear a traditional Fae shirt, trousers, and moccassins or leather boots, but with more variety in color – in other words, not just green and brown every day. 😉

10. How would their lives be different without each other?

If Eva and Gidion didn’t have each other in their lives, even as cousins… Gidion’s life would be a lot less interesting, that’s for sure. He never would have had a “little sister” of any kind (his parents had planned on only having one child), but his patience wouldn’t have been tried as often, either. Eva’s life, on the other hand, wouldn’t have been as bearable without Gidion. Without him to welcome her into a new family, teach her how to hunt, soothe her after nightmares, or defend her from bullies at school, she would have felt irretrievably lost for a long, long time.

Um, that’s a rather sad note to end on for this month’s Beautiful People…

What do you think of Eva and Gidion’s friendship based on the answers above? Feel free to share your thoughts and any questions you may have by commenting below.

17 thoughts on “Beautiful People, Vol. 7: The Friendship Edition

  1. So, where do I get a kagende? And have I mentioned that I really like the sound of your characters’ style/clothing?
    The fact that Gidion is a ginger made me happy. And he sounds like a sweetheart. I am glad that Eva has someone like him to rely on 🙂
    Sad note or not, it sounds like Gidion and Eva have a wonderful relationship that enriches both their lives and your story. As someone with a lot of younger siblings, I can understand Gidion’s frustrations with Eva. Do his Council duties come into conflict with his relationship with Eva? It seems like they might, even if she is great at following his instruction.

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    • LOL! We’d have to take a trip to Kasialonen to find kagenden (plural form of “kagende”), but I’d totally be up for that. 😉 The Faeries’ houses are one of my favorite things about this world; and the story offers glimpses into both the underground (kitchen, entertaining rooms) and treetop (bedrooms) halves. The trees they use are a world-specific species, too; one that’s tall and sturdy enough to support that kind of structure.

      Red hair is actually a family trait. Gidion’s and Eva’s mothers were sisters, and they both had red hair. Eva’s not a redhead, though she has some blonde and red streaks in her brown hair. 😉

      I think being Eva’s Council superior has forced Gidion to put his foot down more often with her. He was more accepting of her behaviors when he was only her cousin. Now that he’s sort of in charge of her, he feels an obligation to keep her in line. It’s not easy – not only because Eva doesn’t always make it easy for Gidion, but also because Gidion’s a friendly, supportive character by nature. He’s not used to situations like this. (FYI: He’s only been the Council Captain for 6-ish months when TKC begins, so he’s still grappling with the change in dynamics.) It’s hard for Eva, too. I think she prefers Gidion the cousin-friend over Gidion the Council Captain, but there’s not much she can do about it except grumble when he switches from cousin to Captain. And Eva can be an excellent grumbler. *lol*

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      • On treehouses-have you ever played any of the Legend of Zelda games? Those treehouses were sort of what I was picturing.
        Does Eva mind that she didn’t get the red hair? (look at me with these deep questions, I’m basically a sage)
        Ahh, responsibility. It’s somehow both easier and harder to work under someone you’re close to, I think. You yo-yo between caring about their feelings, and feeling a little rebellious because, “they’re my friend/relative.” You know their weaknesses and flaws more intimately than you would a generic “boss.” It does make for an interesting dynamic.

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      • I vaguely remember Legend of Zelda… *Googles the LoZ treehouses* WOW. Those are cool! Not a whole lot like the dwellings that Eva, Gidion, and their Faeries live in, but I dig ’em.

        I… don’t think that’s ever crossed Eva’s mind. *lol* So no, she doesn’t feel left out for not being a redhead.

        “It’s somehow both easier and harder to work under someone you’re close to, I think. You yo-yo between caring about their feelings, and feeling a little rebellious because, “they’re my friend/relative.” You know their weaknesses and flaws more intimately than you would a generic “boss.””

        ^^ Exactly! 🙂 I couldn’t have said it better myself.

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    • Thanks, Victoria! 🙂

      Yes, there are a lot of pieces to TKC. If you’d like more information, feel free to check out some of my past Beautiful People or Chronicling The Craft posts. I also did a character interview with the protagonist Eva last month.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Aw they sound so cute! I love cousin relationships. ^ ^ I like their differences too and how they compliment each other. 🙂 Lol it’s okay to leave off on a sad note. That’s how my BP went this month. XD

    storitorigrace.blogspot.com

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    • *lol* Well, when we’re forced to think of how much both characters mean to each other and how their lives would be different without their best friend, I guess it’s supposed to get a little wistful.

      Thanks for stopping by, Tori. 🙂

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  4. I like character friendships, especially when they’re fun and complex! Gidion sounds like an awesome big brother to have. 🙂
    Kagende, I want one too! But I could settle for a picture I guess. 🙂 I wonder if there’s some artwork out there that’s similar enough so we could imagine the kagende better? Uh-oh, now I’m giving you blog homework. Sara is going to spend this weekend hunting for a kagende example. ^_^ 😉

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    • Thanks, E.! I think there’s actually a point in TKC where Eva says to someone that Gidion is like the older brother she never had.

      Ummmmmmm…. ehhhhh…. But that will distract me from revising the novel!! *lol* I may need two pictures, because technical a kagende is a split-level house. One half (bedrooms) is up in the branches, and everything else (kitchen, dining room, sitting room, storage) is underground. That way, if Faeries have non-flying guests like Mountain Folk or Humans, they don’t have to worry about how to get to the treetop level. 😉

      I’ll see what I can find. If I can find two pictures that are close matches to what I picture, I’ll try to write a quick blog post about kagenden in September / October.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Alyssa! Especially the world-building comments. I don’t know if I’ve really thought of everything. If I haven’t, my beta-readers will have to let me know. *lol*

      Eva’s vow of vengeance is the key to the whole story. The fact that Gidion doesn’t know about it is… well, it makes things twisty and interesting, that’s for sure. 😉

      You’re welcome! And thank you for returning the favor.

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