I’ve been working on my novel, In a Mortal Shadow, for a very long time now. I’ve know many characters longer than my husband. One was even a childhood friend. I had a 7:30 bed time, even in the summer. Outside it was still light, and I would hear the poing-poing as the cheap and colorful balls that every local grocery store carried bounced on the pavement. As my friends played Around the World, I lay in bed, jealous and alone, not remotely sleepy. I started inventing characters to play with inside my head when I couldn’t be outside. Venea was the first one to keep me company.
But Falion was my first love. I invented him in high school when I realized my story, Venae’s story, couldn’t be told by her. She needed a companion, and that transformed the story. I read that one of my favorite novels started out similarly. Carol Berg’s Transformation was originally about the prince, Aleksander, but she needed more of an everyman to tell the story. I did too. Thus were her Seyonne and my Falion born.
In the decades that I’ve known Falion, we’ve travelled the breadth of my imagination. I know so much about him, how he thinks, what he wants, where and how he grew up, who his friends and family are (and aren’t), what he eats, and how he dresses. But I didn’t know one very simple thing, the first thing we learn about every person we meet with—what he looked like, not the superficial description of tall, dark hair and grey eyes, but what he really looked like.
And I wanted to meet this man who I’ve spent thirty years of my life with.
See more art by Liiga Smilshkalne on her Deviant Art Gallery.