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Spotlight: T. A. Chan (Guest Post)

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Relationships are funny, if not simply for the vast array of types: sworn-mortal-enemies, siblings, platonic friends, and of course, romantic ones.

The origin for Of Silver and Stars actually started out as a challenge for myself: I wanted to write a YA novel featuring a male and female main character that didn’t involve a romantic relationship at all*. This then led to my next question: since the two characters will obviously feature many interactions, what type of relationship do I want between them?

I didn’t know the answer and ultimately decided to simply write the story and see where the words take me. Let my characters do the talking. (Seriously. Half of the time the characters are the ones in control, and I’m just the writer along for the ride.) Since we’re already on the topic of characters, now seems like an opportune time to introduce the the four main players in Of Silver and Stars.

*Yes. There is still a touch of romance. Just not between our two POV characters.

Ebraham Tracer

The first main character in the novel, Ebraham Tracer is an 18-year-old silvertongue tracker who, after an unfortunate mistake three years ago, got exiled to the borderlands. A huge part of Ebraham’s character arc was inspired by the upsurge of social awareness in the past couple years (which ranges everything from the Black Lives Matter movement to #LoveWins). Although OSAS might be set in a fantasy world, it would only be right to portray both the good and the bad of a fictional society—and this includes prejudice. Ebraham, having been born into a society where silvertongues are painted as dangerous villains (after all, they do possess the ability to bend minds), much of Ebraham’s character growth had him exploring ways to reconcile norms he’d been raised on and new perspectives he gains throughout the course of the novel.

Also a fun fact: I pulled Ebraham’s name from YouTube. I forget the full username of the person who left the comment, but it began with “Ebraham”, and I thought it sounded pretty neat, and well, here we are!

Alivia Youngblood

Our second star of the show, 22-year-old Alivia Youngblood, is definitely one of my favorite silvertongues around (though I might be biased!). Her character is heavily inspired by the most outstanding traits of people I admire in real life. In the first half of the novel, she serves as a mentor-like figure to Ebraham. Funnily enough, Alivia’s last name is the result of me misunderstanding the lyrics in “The Phoenix” by Fall Out Boy—there’s a line in the song where I thought the singer was directly addressing a person whose last name was Youngblood (such is not the case, as I learned much, much later!)

Another fun fact: Alivia’s first name was somewhat inspired by Ebraham’s name. I thought it was neat how changing one letter in a popular/“standard-written” name could add a nice twist (in Ebraham’s case, Abraham → Ebraham), which is what I ended up doing with Alivia. (Olivia → Alivia)

Link to “The Phoenix”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JqY-6q-RNA

David Stone

Loyal to the bones, David Stone is most definitely a “lawful good” character. (A term/character trope I only recently learned, thanks to my critique partner!) The origins of David’s personality was definitely inspired by Maximus in the movie “Gladiator.” David’s character evolved over time to balance out Alivia’s nature, and it wasn’t until the later drafts when I finally figured out who he truly was at the core.

Yet another fun fact: David’s original name was “Davis”, but I ended up changing it to “David” because I hated how the possessive pronoun “Davis’s” looked (with the double “s” at the end).

Krystle

One thing is for sure: I know I would never want to make Krystle my enemy. The Elysian heir to the crown is by far the morally grayest character in the cast. If there was a song that could perfectly sum up Krystle, I think it would be “A Little Wicked” by Valerie Broussard. Krystle acts with good intentions, but her methods can be . . . questionable—and she knows it. And somehow, that makes her character even more interesting to write about. Oftentimes, even I find myself questioning what I would do if I were in the princess’s situation. After all, sometimes there is no “right” answer to a problem!

Last fun fact: My editor’s name is another spelling variation of the name Krystle. And yes, I have mistakenly addressed her as “Krystle” in emails. Multiple times.

Link to “A Little Wicked”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46rUBCewhxY

Bonus Character: Basil

I love horses. I love horses so much my editor actually made me cut out horse descriptions because I spent way too much time on them! (*waves to her if she’s reading this post*) But, since I don’t have any limitations on here . . .

Basil is basically the horse I never had, haha. She’s a bay mare with a very sweet temperament (so either the horse on the left or right in the picture above). I got Basil’s name shortly after I read A Picture of Dorian Gray.

And that more or less sums up the biggest players in Of Silver and Stars! Thank you so much for having me over on the Stellar Kitten! I hope you enjoy the novel as much as I had fun writing it. Happy readings!

–Tina

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Thank you so much for sharing with us Tina! After reading about the cast from Of Silver and Stars I have no doubt it’s going to be an intense adventure. I can see characters butting heads and being challenged. There are sure to be some difficult choices coming their way. If you’re interested in learning more about Of Silver and Stars you can find it here on Goodreads. And I’m also excited to share that I’ll be part of the Of Silver and Stars cover reveal that’s coming up on March 27! Keep an eye out for that, and we hope you have a great week!

 

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