OK, it’s no secret – I read a lot of blogs online. It’s hard to impress me with blog posts — all too often, people become strident, or they lose all logic in their passionate argumentation. Week after week, I am impressed with the posts of Jim C. Hines – www.jimchines.com. Jim can be uproariously funny. He can be righteously indignant. He can be incisively educational. And that’s just what he does with a few hundred words at a time. His novels are even better. And from what I hear, THE SNOW QUEEN’S SHADOW is Jim’s best yet. But here’s Jim himself, telling us about the Inside Track…
I learned a long time ago that one way to know and understand your characters is to figure out their deepest fears. Of course, being the author, it’s my job to then thrust them directly into those fears.
Yeah, my characters don’t like me very much.
I, on the other hand, love my characters. I love Talia (Sleeping Beauty), with her fairy-gifted grace and ninja-like skills. I love Danielle (Cinderella) and her enchanted sword of glass. And I love Snow White, who can go from flirting and laughing to blowing up your palace with mirror magic in zero-point-four seconds.
In the first book in the princess series, Danielle was forced to face her fears and insecurities. In the sequel, the author and all-around jerk struck at all three princesses. Book three was about Talia finally confronting her past. For the fourth and final book in the series, it was Snow’s turn.
Like most fairy tale princesses, Snow White has a rather horrid backstory. Her own mother wanted to cut out her heart. Snow was poisoned and left for dead. Ultimately, her mother was forced into red-hot shoes of iron and “danced until she dropped down dead” while Snow watched.
I tweaked that ending a little, but can you imagine the political fallout? The evil queen was dead, but what of the other nobles who rose to power during her reign? Snow’s homeland had become a place of corruption, greed, and general nastiness. Snow was young and inexperienced. She found herself a political pawn, eventually sentenced to death for the murder of her mother. Snow escaped her homeland, but could never return . . . until now.
That was the starting point for the external conflict of The Snow Queen’s Shadow. The internal conflict was harder. Over the years, Snow learned to cope with her losses and the horrors she’d seen. She sought out joy and wonder in everything she did. She laughed every day. She studied magic, learning to protect herself and to control the world around her. She locked away her past and lived for the moment.
As the author, it was my job to open that lock, and Hans Christian Anderson wrote the perfect key more than a hundred years ago. Snow White uses mirror magic, having kept her mother’s enchanted mirror. Anderson’s fairy tale The Snow Queen opens with the destruction of a magical mirror, a mirror powered by a demon’s dark magic. Every sliver of broken glass carries the demon’s power, and to be cut is to be infected by that power, to see only ugliness and evil . . . the very things Snow has done her best to escape.
I’ve known from the start that Snow, more than either of her companions, had the potential for darkness. Now it was time to unleash that darkness, to force Snow and her closest friends to confront it, and to learn just how strong Snow White truly was.
So, you know the drill… Comment on this post, and you have a chance of winning your very own copy of THE SNOW QUEEN’S SHADOW!
Mirrored from Mindy Klasky, Author.