I’m a long time reader of the urban fantasy genre. I love the idea of the supernatural colliding with the mundane in our world. However, when I decided to write the Hall of Blood and Mercy trilogy, I knew I wanted my various supernaturals to come in slightly different flavors than the usual kinds you read about. Twisting long-held genre tropes/beliefs usually provides the best humorous content, so I decided to really focus my efforts on the secondary characters in this trilogy.
So let’s talk about a few of those people!
Celestina Drake is a vampire—and not just any vampire, but the First Knight of the Drake Family. She’s deadly, gorgeous, and powerful. But when I was designing her role, I puzzled out what would it be like to be the second-in-command of someone like Killian. I concluded she would be overworked, have no free time, and lack opportunities to make deep friendships. These are all problems Killian has, so it’s pretty natural that they’d be reflected in his top vampire.
After pinning down those problems, I asked myself, ‘How would this affect Celestina?’ And it was then that I realized she would be starved not only for friendship, but for anything at all relaxing.
And thus, her desire to experience spa-style pampering for the first time in her very long life was born! I had so much fun playing up this aspect of her personality—it makes a great foil for her raw power that she hides 99% of the time, and it’s a very unlikely hobby for a vampire, which gives me plenty of chances to play up the humor in her, as well.
This also played into a trope that I generally don’t like–the idea that two women obviously have to be at odds just because the boss guy is interested in one of them. My disdain for that common plot device made it so I wanted Celestina to go out of her way to welcome Hazel. (What did she have to lose? Because of Hazel Celestina was experiencing free time for the first time in her life!) Even beyond that, I wanted Celestina to become Hazel’s friend.
As humans, we need friendships. Friends support and encourage us. They make us laugh, and won’t hesitate to tell us like it is. I wanted to create a set of urban fantasy characters where this kind of friendship could bloom–because even kickbutt heroines need friends to help dust them off and get back up for the next fight.
Which brings me to the next point! It was also really important to me to express the warmth of Celestina’s personality, as well. The traditional vampire is classically very cold/unemotional. And while Celestina is serious when the occasion calls for it, she’s also welcoming and very charismatic, which is crucial for her role as First Knight. Think about it, if the Drakes only had Killian and Josh at the top, things would be reaaaallllyyy different. Even from a leadership aspect her warmth is important to balance out the Family.
And if I also deeply enjoyed undermining the classic vampire with her sparkling disposition, weeeeeelllll maybe that wasn’t entirely accidental. 😉
Up next we have Josh Drake! Josh was loosely inspired by a friend of mine (who, yes, has a thing for collecting weapons of all kinds) but I specifically twisted this character to go against almost every vampire trope in existence.
It starts with his name–Josh is probably the most non-vampire name you can get–and continues with his entire persona. He’s not as tall, and doesn’t appear to be as deadly as the other vampires.
He’s well versed in all weapons from guns to swords to martial arts, but doesn’t hesitate to use them in ways that might seem…unusual. (ie: the infamous potato chip bag scene.) However, unless he’s serious, he has the intimidation factor of a sad kitten. I purposely did this because 99% of vampires in fiction books are super intimidating, and are usually so deadly they frighten everyone in the area. Josh is the opposite in that people tend to underestimate him–except his Family, obviously.
I also wanted to make him a different sort of weapons lover–because I’ve seen tons of characters in the variety where they respect their weapons and take excellent care of them. So I decided to make Josh more on the end of a person who loves his weapons, but especially loves to buy and use them! (For ANY purpose.)
He does have the sort of melancholic persona a lot of vampires are presented with, but instead of being “wistful for days past” or “jaded by present times” I gave into the sarcastic delight of my heart and made it so Josh soulfully predicts death around every corner, and unlike Killian, he practically looks forward to his demise.
What do you think, Champions? What other secondary characters in this series intrigued you? 🙂
This is a pretty far out guess ….but I am suspecting there is some connection between The Paragon n Leila.I mean…..there is something ’bout her that feels like she is hidin’ or what;and well ,Hazel suspects she is a fae……and well paragon is searching for something……or wait……..mebbe someone?(like I said FAR OUT GUESS ;). )
Just wondering how Josh learned the art of girl talk 🙂
Sharon Harbison says
If you don’t mind, I would like to know a little more about the elves. But all this info on the different races is wonderful! Thanks!
I want to add one more Character that I’d like to hear more about: the Houses of Wizards. It seems to me that House Medies was pretty thrilled with Hazels attitude. Could it be that it feels Hazel’s attitude about people over houses and the need to be strong physically and skilled magically is the better way to preserve and strengthen the magical community? That strength is tempered with mercy and kindness, but still ready to defend itself and not be naive? And which Wizard House is bigger that House Medeis now? And what kind of people live there? It will be fun to see how the house’s expansion effects Hazel’s political clout, too.
I agree with all of the comments so far. I just want to add that I’d love to see the Paragon in his true form. Also, I don’t think we’ve seen Aphrodite’s full power and influence. And I’m sure Kitty will have it come out in a fun twist. Looking forward to all of the character profiles. 🤓😉
Arletta Miller says
OK, I would like to know more about:
– Mason. Why is he so obsessed about leading the House? Why did he even think this was possible? How long has he been plotting the coup against Hazel? Did he have her parents killed?
– Great Aunt Marraine. I suspect she is more powerful than we’ve seen so far.
– Felix and Momoko. What, exactly, is there relationship? They are obviously staunch supporters of Hazel’s, but just what are their strengths and weaknesses? How do they take to the new House direction? (though I think we will see that last one in the final book.)
– Mr. Baree. What, exactly, is his role/responsibility in the House? It seems to me that each person in a House has a particular part they play, What is his? Was he a close adviser to Hazel’s parents? Was Mason?
– Rupert. How long has he been with the family? What happened to his “one?” How did Killian know about her?
– Josh. Just how long has he been a vampire? Where did he come from? (I’m suspecting that most of the vampires in the family have been adopted.)
– Killian. Why does he drink only packaged blood? (I know, obvious question.) How long has he been a vampire and what happened that triggered such an intense drive/commitment to fight a battle against something that seems so inevitable to his race?
– Julianne. Has she always been this bubbly? Just how much of the human personality comes through when a vampire is “born?”
That’s all I can think of right now.
Jocelyn Malone says
I second Mason, especially since he’s dead now, so maybe there aren’t quite as many spoilers to avoid (maybe still a few? Dunno)
I like the Mason idea, and if he DID kill Hazel’s parents.
Hey Kitty! I would love to know mare about Hazel’s cousin (I forgot his name D: )! I would love to know why he is so obsessed about Hazel not being the coven leader.
Or him being coven leader.
I want to know more about the Paragon, Rupert and Leila. And maybe about Queen Nyte and Consort Ira. Actually, I would be happy if you discuss any of your characters.
I would love to hear more about Felix and Momoko!! Unless we’ll get more on their past with Hazel in the last book, in which case I understand not giving spoilers away.
The Paragon was definitely one of my favorite side characters. He was so much fun and I loved his line at the ball about how he knew Killian had a thing for Hazel. I really wanna see more of him and find out what hes looking for as well as just have him become better friends with Hazel.
Rupert interests me. Killian says Rupert found his “one” so what happened? Does he really think Hazel still smells like rat blood or is he trying to convince himself? Hazel saved his life so surely that should mean something.
And I am interested in Leila. I hope she appears again. Hazel seems to think Leila has some power and to live next to the Drake Family – there has to be something about you!
I enjoy the humour – a delightful escape while in lockdown.
Raelene Monahan says
I suspect Leila may be a seer
Exactly, It would pretty cool if she was a seer.
I was so upset that we were not going to get to Angelique’s story right away, but—boy, was I dumb in thinking that! This series is so much fun. Way more so than I thought it would be, as I’m not a huge fan of vampires. Everything you write is a true pleasure!
I love this!! Celestine is my favorite. I want to hear more about Julianne! Your the best kitty!
I wonder how soon it will be until Celestina tells Killian to get Hazel back so that she can have more spa days. Josh is the best, his sarcasm and attempts at girl talk. Who are the 3rd, 4rth, and 5th vampires?
I loved, loved, loved that you went against the two women can’t be friends and must be in competition trope. I hate that one as well. I love all the side characters and can’t wait to see what happens in the next book. I need the resolution of Celestina and Hazel’s friendship and how Celestina will make it up to her as much as I need Killian’s.
Yes! I was so upset with her coldness (though obviously it was necessary) but I felt like real friends (or lovers) would figure out a way to make things work without out so much deception. I know it will all work out because Kitty would never do that to us, but I loved Celestina so much so I am eager to see how she reconnects with Hazel….almost as much as I want to see how Killian reconnects because well, love, lol.
I have thought about Celestina’s coldness (because like you said, good friends shouldn’t do that and it bothered me too) and see it as a mask. She has for so long been all about her job just like Killian himself. I’m guessing her mask was so that she didn’t show her true feelings which MUST be there down deep. She’s also used to following Killian’s orders without thought and the idea that she was doing it for Hazel’s safety probably played into it as misguided as it is. She’s like a toddler learning when it comes to friendships since she’s not really had one.
I’m waiting for her to crack in the next book and maybe even see a sign of revolting. At least that’s what I’m hoping for. I need something from her to show how much she values Hazel. I love positive female friendships in books and yet the seem to be so rare. I can’t wait for the resolution of their friendship and also as a romantic for Hazel and Killian’s. Twue Wuvvvv (Princess Bride Style)
I love these backgrounds on Celestina and Josh! I’d love to hear more about Rupert, (his One?) and the Paragon, (What’s he looking for?) I can’t say enough about this series. I’ve never read this genre at all and only did so because it was K M Shea writing it. Now, I love this world of Hazel’s and Killian’s! I cannot wait for the last book, but I never want it to end.