My heroine, Shara, is wild and wilful and a bit too outspoken for her own good. She has grown up in her uncle’s wealthy home in Gwyndorr—a home of rich foods and expensive objects, but lacking in love. The walls of her uncle’s homestead have hemmed her in her entire life, and she is starting to wonder why.
“She had always believed that the walls around the homestead were there to keep Randin and Olva safe in the event of an uprising against the nobility and town guards, but lately she had started to wonder if the walls did not perhaps serve another function. Were they the fortifications of a prison?” (Chains of Gwyndorr)
Shara is determined to discover the secrets she senses have been kept from her. And hidden in a concealed compartment in a forbidden room, she stumbles across the perfect way to the truth – a rare and magical rock.
“Yet, as she drew the object out, a small tremor passed through Shara. The rock was the most beautiful thing she had ever seen. Perfectly oval, its deep blue hue reminded her of an early evening sky and it’s gleaming surface, of moonlight. It felt comfortingly warm resting in her hand. This was no ordinary rock.” (Chains of Gwyndorr)
So starts Shara’s journey in the first book of The Poison Tree Path Chronicles.
I’m not sure how it is for most writers, but for me getting to know a character is a little like getting to know a friend. Initially, you know what they look like, some of the issues they face, some of their likes and dislikes. But the more time you spend with them, the deeper you go. They begin to show you parts of their heart that a casual acquaintance would never see.
Over the almost ten years I’ve spent writing this trilogy, I’ve come to know Shara rather well. She is the pivot of the story, the one character I knew from the start would be there. I had determined a little of the journey she would take as I began to write. From the outset I knew the secrets she yearned to uncover and where she might ultimately find the answers to her questions.
There were parts of Shara that I admired greatly—a deep courage and a sense of right and wrong. She speaks out for the weak and downtrodden in ways I might be afraid to. But I also came to know the more hidden parts of her. I learned that she has a few weaknesses—flaws that threaten to be her undoing as they play a part in the choices she makes.
The consequences of Shara’s choices ripple through the pages of the entire trilogy, just as the consequences of our choices ripple through our entire lives. And that is the most valuable lesson that Shara taught me, the theme that I mentioned in my last blog post:
Captivity or Freedom – every choice we make is a crossroad.
And so I hope that you enjoy getting to know my passionate, dark-haired heroine as much as I did and that her feisty character, deep struggles and journey of discovery are an inspiration to you.
Chains of Gwyndorr (Book 1 of the fantasy trilogy, The Poison Tree Path Chronicles) is currently available as an eBook on Amazon. The paperback releases in South Africa on 1 October and in the USA on 14 October.