Wow, that man is evil! Who is this character I’ve written?
These were my thoughts when I arrived at work this morning, having listened to another chapter of the freshly minted audio edition of High Maga, narrated by Darla Middlebrook.
The character in question is Prince Mechnes. I’ve written about him elsewhere. Brilliant and ruthless. Conqueror of nations. A master of violence and manipulation, an artist in sensual pleasures. My skin crawls every time I hear another scene with him. Which is weird, right? I wrote the guy, after all. Crafted him with my imagination. Why should he continue to surprise and dismay, two years after I finished the manuscript, six months after the novel was released?
Maybe it’s the same syndrome that keeps me wishing for a happy ending every time I see Romeo and Juliet. The implacable optimism that this time there will be a break in the vicious storm that is Mechnes; that the way I remember writing him wasn’t actually the way I wrote him in the end.
I’ve had readers praise Mechnes for being the single most important character of this book; while others haven’t been able to get past the opening chapters because of the horrors he encourages and commits. I suppose that polarizing effect is the sign of something good within the bad; a character that strikes at the heart of us all, whether we respond by pushing forward or pulling back.
I would love to see a Goodreads discussion on Mechnes. Just putting that out there. Maybe someday it will happen.
While contemplating the Great Evil that is Mechnes, I’ve had some very good news this week.
First of all, my editor, fellow author, partner in crime, and sister at Hadley Rille Books Terri-Lynne DeFino is a FINALIST for the 2014 Cygnus Award! I can’t imagine a more deserving fantasy author. The book that earned her this honor is Beyond the Gate, which was released last year by Hadley Rille Books.
We are one month away from World Fantasy, and I have been invited to participate in a panel on the work of Robert Aickman. I couldn’t be more thrilled, not only for the panel, but also because it gives me an excuse to spend the Halloween season brushing up on Aickman’s horror shorts. Dark Side, here I come! (Yeah, I know – as if Mechnes weren’t enough. . .)
Speaking of the Dark Side you must visit Heroines of Fantasy for our FRIGHT FEST. Both Terri-Lynne DeFino and Kim Vandervort have posted creepy excerpts from their books, and we have another horror short coming up this Friday from Julia Dvorin.
Next Monday on Heroines of Fantasy, I’ll treat you to a scene from High Maga, undoubtedly featuring my new favorite villain.