Character Profile: Nikki Evelyn Kanta

Ok, so I know I haven’t posted anything in like 2 months, and I apologize for that (again my laziness is to blame, as with most delays in my works). But to make it up to you all, I’m going to give you a deeper look at one of the two characters that I named after myself, Nikki Kanta. And if anyone can find the other character, I’ll give you a special prize.

To start off, I thought I’d give you all an insight into the mind of my editor, who not only took the time to proof the story twice before publication, but to also answer my anxiety riddled questions on if I was any good and the like. I liked Nikki the most. I’m not sure I can explain why. I think because of her innocence and kindness, and how she is able to accept and support her brother’s bond with Jazabel even though she has her doubts and some jealousy at times. This was her response to who her favourite character was and to be honest I was a little surprised. I’ve already admitted who my favourite characters were (although I can’t really say that I have a definitive least favourite character), but to have someone say a character that isn’t your favourite is a bit weird the first time you encounter it. It’s like someone saying that their favourite Harry Potter character is Ron: as a main character it’s a total possibility but with how great Harry, Hermione and some of the other Weasleys are, it may be a bit disjointed to your opinions. And to have that experience, I’m truly grateful to my editor (not to mention everything else she did for the Kanta Chronicles).

For those of you who haven’t read the FictionPress version of the book, one of the things that I added to Nikki’s character was her relationship with Romulus. And while the book doesn’t give a whole lot of history between them, there is in the lore I’ve laid out for the world of Bolfodier. At the start of part two, Iselda mentions that Romulus, Shade and Nikki have all been having play-dates together and have become friends. Over the years, Romulus of course falls in love with Nikki; and while Nikki has always known this, she never does anything to deter his feelings. And although it would have been nearly impossible for her to not love Shade, had Braria rejected their love, it would have been Romulus who she would have taken as her husband. Shade would have been upset, but realizing it would have been the best of a bad situation, he would have never said a word (also, he would have chosen Jazabel, so he didn’t really have a right to complain, knowing how Nikki initially thought of her).

Another thing that isn’t really mentioned in the book is that Nikki is the older of the twins and what that means. On the day that Shade and Nikki were born, Iselda demanded that Sabrina never reveal which twin is older to anyone, fearing it may lead to strife between the two of them over who is the rightful ruler. So the fact that Iselda reveals that Nikki was born first in her letter is a very big deal, as she is essentially declaring Nikki the heir apparent to the throne, when everyone just assumed that Shade was the eldest and therefore the heir. This is actually a staple of my writing: the female twin is always the eldest, and usually the more powerful of the two.

Character Profile: Sabrina

I’m going to come out and just say that Sabrina was named after the titular teenage witch. Foolish I know, but my influences are nearly legion, and she was one of the first characters I created for the story back when I was 16 (so cut me a little slack!). But despite her being a figment of my imagination, I feel Sabrina is one of my realest characters in the novel. She’s kind, unassuming, and aware of and slightly afraid of her full power. As she grew up in an environment that forced her to use her magic for selfish purposes, she swore to herself when she ran away from Vagala that she’d only use her magic to help those in need rather than herself. She actually reminds me of an old friend from high school that I had. Except for her bisexuality, that’s purely more of my being a teenager when I wrote her.

Greek Mythology and Bolfodier’s Underworld

While anyone with the barest of knowledge of Greek mythology can see that Hados is Bolfodier’s version of Hades (their names are only one letter apart), most might not realize that there’s more connections between the myths of our world and the underworld of Bolfodier. Similarly to Ancient Greece’s view of the afterlife, Bolfodier’s is a sprawling vastness that’s divided into three parts. The Gates are basically Elysian Fields (a Heaven-esque place for heroes and demigods and the truly worthy of mortals); the Fields are equivalent to the Grecian Asphodel Meadows (a.k.a. the Fields of Asphodel, and the place where most people would go after they died); and the Pits are Tartarus (the deepest part of the underworld where the cursed and truly evil individuals spent their afterlife in torment, similar to Hell). But the deepest cut into Greek mythology comes in the naming of Korena. In the myths, the wife of Hades was Persephone, who occasionally went by the name Kore, and was routinely brought back to earth to appease her mother to ensure the harvest. Similarly but in reverse, Korena and Hados are cursed to only spend one day on Bolfodier every 25 years by Lilith. The second half of Korena’s name comes from the Greek goddess Athena, virgin goddess of wisdom and strategy. I thought this fit in well with Korena’s introduction as Empress Annabelle, a man hating immortal who declares war on the protagonists. And the final bit of Greek influence on Bolfodier’s underworld comes from Zotz, the underworld’s guardian that barely gets mentioned. Zotz was supposed to be the equivalent to Cerberus, the infamous three-headed dog that kept the spirits of the dead in the underworld and kept out the living. But his name actually comes from Mayan mythology in the form of Camazotz, the giant bat god of death. And as a creature that is described as sounding like “a dragon trying to howl like a wolf”, isn’t a giant bat a perfect mixture of the two and a much more fearsome guardian than a dog with three heads?

The Write It Forward Event Is Officially Launched!

So awhile back I hinted at a special announcement due to come out soon. Well, today is that day. Today, I’m officially launching what I’m calling the Write It Forward Event; a chance for anyone and everyone interested in adding their own spin on the world of Bolfodier and potentially have it become canon. Full details are on the new Write It Forward page here on bolfodier.ca. This is me handing one of the reins of creative control over to my readership, as well as a desperate bid to get some attention outside of those who know me personally. So please, let all those creative types you know know about this event.

Hidden Familial Connections

Ok, so I know I’ve been a little behind on giving my weekly updates recently (as in only 3 since the end of June) and I’m completely sorry for that, and hope to make it up to you all in the coming weeks when I hopefully return to my normal schedule. As with most things, my laziness is to blame and you should all know that I can procrastinate with the best of them (see my bio for full details), but I’m here to get back into the groove, by revealing yet another secret to the world of Bolfodier that is not found in the book. And for those of you still waiting for that special announcement I mentioned in my last post, don’t worry I’m adding some last minute stuff to hopefully get it the attention it deserves and it will be made by the end of September.

Now, for today’s topic, I’d like to look at a few of the supporting characters from The Kanta Chronicles and reveal to you all their hidden connection. The characters in question on Gideon Vanto, and Remus and Romulus Shaw. As is stated in the book, Remus is Romulus’ father, but something that isn’t said in the book is that Vanto is Remus’ father. Yes, although neither of them know this truth, they are actually father and son; but with Remus having a even mix of both of his parents’ looks it isn’t as clear as Pan and Leo or Iselda and Shade and Nikki that they’re related. But seeing as Vanto only had romantic relations with 2 woman in his life (both being one night stands) he never considered the possibility of fatherhood. But this isn’t to say that the two didn’t end up having a close relationship. Vanto took a special interest in Remus when he first joined the Brarian army (as seen by his bringing him on the journey to Vagala). Over the years, the two became very close friends to the point that where Romulus came to view Vanto as a grandfather/uncle/mentor. And when Vanto retired from service (during the 3 year time gap in part three of the book), he strongly urged and recommended Remus to replace him as General. And while everyone thought that Remus would make a great General, he vehemently refused the post saying he didn’t want the responsibility of the nation’s security on his shoulders, but that he was humbled by the offer and recommendations of his friend and mentor (and secret father).

My Favourite Characters

Since yesterday was my birthday, and I didn’t post anything last week, I’m going to take the opportunity to talk about my favourite characters and give you all a small glimpse inside the brighter side of my mind.

My first favourite character is Jazabel. Born randomly from my discovery of the band NIghtwish from a photo on YouTube of a song of theirs, Jazabel is probably my favourite character that I’ve ever created-if not, she’s on the top three. She’s beautiful, loving and one of the most powerful Ladies of the Night ever born. She’s aware of the balance that needs to be maintained in the world (between Light and Dark) and tries to keep it through all of her actions. Her fate is one that I wish I could take back, but I know the story needs it as a ‘inciting incident’ to the climax of the book. But it is through Jazabel that I explored the lines that separate good and evil, the depths of relationships one can experience and the powers of magics that aren’t from Hados, Korena or Lilith in Bolfodier. Jazabel was a truly unique individual within a story with a goddess in disguise, the most beautiful woman in existence, and people who love their best friends more than their wives. And it’s for these reasons and so many others that Jazabel Nyx is my favourite character.

Another one of my favourite characters is Korena. And my reasoning for this is more superficial than with Jazabel. Korena is first introduced, at least in the book, during the first conversation between Kailee and Iselda. She’s not mentioned by name, but she’s there. But her real introduction is the start of the second part of the book. And one of the reasons that Korena is one of my favourite characters is her true form. Obviously she’s beautiful, but the truly unique part of her beauty (at least for me) is her hair and eyes. Her eyes don’t have a set colour as it’s always changing, never staying one colour for more than a few seconds. Her hair is a beautiful blend of every colour of hair: red, blonde, brown, black, purple, white and every combination of these as they mix together. Korena also has one of my favourite line in the entire book, and whenever I reread it I’m always looking forward to the scene in which she says it.

And to close off, one of my favourite male characters: Shade Kanta. Shade is pure wish fulfillment on my part. He’s the person I wish I could be; being nearly perfect, loved by all who know him, and in the most stable and eternal of relationships. You often hear about writers making their characters like themselves or people they know, and I certainly did that with Pan; him being more like me as a person, whereas Shade is my dream self. There are few characters that I took inspiration from real people in the book, but there are one or two.

I hope you enjoyed this look at some of my favourite characters. Let me know who some of your favourite characters are and why in the comments. Also just to let you know, the book is just about finished, all that’s left to do is printing and spreading the word to everyone so they can hear about this great story and world I’ve crafted.

Character Profile: Leo Kanta

Leo Kanta, Pan’s father, grew up to be the ruler of Braria. And by all accounts he was a good and just king. Renowned for his ability to judge people in separate capacities (father, husband, son, king, etc.), Leo was a respected ruler not only in Braria but in many other nations of Bolfodier as well. But like with any other person, he had his flaws. Being the third generation of the Kanta line to be born without magic, Leo grew extremely distant from all who were gifted, only acknowledging their existence when absolutely necessary. It got so bad that when it was discovered that Pan had been born with magic, Leo thought that he was not his son, and was on the verge of accusing Evelyn of infidelity until he noticed how much Pan resembled himself. As Pan grew, Leo’s detachment from the gifted in his kingdom faded, but were still a factor in his initial mistrust of Sabrina and the ultimatum he gave Pan on his deathbed.

But the most interesting piece of information about Leo is his Reckoning. Taking an abnormally long time to complete, Leo’s Reckoning was to travel to three different countries (Ginok, Ichmensch and Nefas) to study how to separate his opinions and widen his world views. He spent four and a half months in each country without talking to anybody as he studied the ways people interacted with each other and forcing himself to comprehend each person’s viewpoint and understand what they had gone through to reach this point in their lives.

Sadly Leo’s life was cut short at the age of 57, as he died from an incurable illness (lung cancer) at the start of the novel.

Let me know what you think about this look into Pan’s father. Does this make him more or less sympathetic as a character?

Character Profile: Kailee

One character that I feel that I constantly am overlooking in terms of the plot and of my favourite characters is Kailee. Partly due to my constantly calling K-lee, rather than the Khi-lee that is the right way to pronounce her name, and partly due to the fact that she has little to do in the final section besides officiating Shade and Nikki’s wedding, I’m constantly reminded of how important she truly is to this story as I’m rereading the formatted version of the book to make final adjustments before publishing. And the truth is, the story as it is would never happen if it weren’t for Kailee.

For those of you who don’t know who Kailee is, let me give you the highlights that make up her character. The younger of two daughters of the once proud but fallen from grace Lex family, Kailee is a kind, if meek, woman that grew up in the boarder town of OJA. Due to the actions taken by Hados when she was a child, Kailee grew up being subconsciously scared of men and with the looks of the goddess Nina. Despite all this, Kailee eventually grew to possess a confidence that, while not always present, gave her the strength to defy her family’s wishes and come to Terang to offer her help in bringing peace to the Royal family and leave Braria for 10 years with only her love Sabrina as comfort. She was constantly writing her parents and sister so they knew that she was alright and happy with Sabrina. After meeting Iselda, the two became fast friends to the point where Iselda having barely known her for more than a couple of months considered naming one of her children after Kailee. And it was Kailee who Iselda chose to be her surrogate mother to her children when she was kidnapped by the Empress of Toxai. Despite growing up a basic nobody, Kailee has become more than she could ever have hoped to be: loved by her extended family, a confidant to the Royal family and a well respected member of her community, as well as having removed the stigma that had followed her family for generations.

For those of you who have read the early versions of the story on fictionpress, let me know your thoughts on Kailee. Did you overlook her as I constantly have? Or did you realize her worth to the story from her first introduction? Do you wish she featured more in the third part of the story; or did you not like her character? Please comment and let me know your thoughts so I know what you want to hear more about from the world of Bolfodier.

Pics That Helped Flesh Out Characters and Locations

As I was writing the last and longest section of the book, I started looking online for pictures of fantasy backgrounds, characters etc. to help with my visual descriptions. Google images and Deviantart were a big help here. Here’s what I used to inspire the character of Jazabel Nyx, the setting of Victorinox and a picture that I feel would make a great side view of Sabrina.