On my last blog tour I had a fantastic blogger: Kristin Aragon from Better Read Than Dead pointed out in her review how many characters I had. In her review of Insight she stated that at times she wished she had a flow chart to keep up with everyone – yet at the same time she felt connected to each of them. Before her last review of Image she created the flow chart she talked about, and it took my breath away. Simply because even as the author of this series I’ve never sat down and looked at each of the characters in my fictional world. They all came to life on their own without any foresight. In a way it was like being introduced to you boyfriend’s family, or even your best friends.
Each of my characters are like family to me, and you know what they say – you can’t choose your family! Some I can’t get enough of – others drive me mad. There are even a few that I don’t understand or really know why they came to life( at least not yet), and just like my family I can’t make them do anything! I have tried – every time I plot their future they override me with a new direction that I never anticipated. So, like with my family I have chosen to love them – for all of their positive qualities – and, well, their negative ones, too.
To get to my point I thought it would be really fun to post about each of the characters in the Insight series, and even introduce you to the ones that will be debuting this year in my new series ‘See’
I'd plan to blog about them in the order each character was created, but as I stated above – I have no control over them.
For those of you who have read Image I’m sure you raising your eyebrows about Dane wondering what he's up to, no worries I will never spoil anything for you, but I thought maybe you would want an ‘insight’ into who he was before the fate of Willow Haywood called him.
I look forward to your comments, if there is another character you want to hear about next tell me!
You know that feeling you get when you look into someone’s eyes – the eyes of the ‘one’. How your heart flutters, you hold your breath without knowing it – you find yourself curious to know everything about that person…you find yourself daydreaming about a distant future you may have with this person that has come into your life….that feeling never came when Dane looked into Willow’s eyes. Perhaps it was because they were children when they first met, or maybe because his heart was already spoken for – just as hers was.
Dane is one of Willow’s best friends. He is a year older than her but they have always been close. That bond was created the first time – at age six – when Dane unwittingly followed Willow to another realm when she helped an image.
It was simple game of hide and seek – one that all kids play. When he found Willow behind a tree she didn’t run or smile – she was staring just to her left. The five year old little Willow stood from her crouched position holding a stare with thin air. Dane reached for her arm just as she passed him and in that moment – the summer day turned frigid. The world around him had changed and before them there was an old woman crying. Willow reached for her face – the woman never looked up at them – but Dane, only a small boy was still terrified. His heart hammered in his chest as his fast breaths leaked out a fog around him. Willow never said a word but the woman’s crying stopped – she even smiled slightly. As soon as Willow let go of her Dane felt a force push him back – he fell to the ground and when he opened his eyes he saw the sun, felt the warmth of it. He heard the birds – the radio that was playing on the porch – they were back.
He sat up slowly to find his young friend smiling slightly at him….he went to speak – to ask how – what – why but before he could utter a word she touched his shoulder and said “tag – your it” then ran to hide.
They never spoke about these ghostly images that would pull them away as they grew up together, but Dane learned to recognize that look in Willow’s eyes – the one that told him that she was seeing something he could not perceive…he would always hold her tightly as a force of energy would pull them into another world – and pushed them back into theirs once Willow had brought peace to the one that had called her.
Almost every thought Dane had was about Willow – he managed to stay at her house each night of the new moon – he did that because he knew on that night his best friend would have a terrifying nightmare – one that caused her to scream out – then embrace her chest as the weight she always felt was lifted….he hated those nights. He tried to keep her awake – to make her stay safely at his side, but she refused…he never understood why – why she would knowingly close her eyes on a night like that. He wondered who else was in her dreams – if that person was who she was thinking of when her eyes stared endlessly into thin air. He studied every painting she had created looking for clues to her dreams – ways to help her, but all he ever found was the refection of the people he watched her save.
Outside of Willow Dane’s life was somewhat typical. He was an only child, his parents owned a little diner on Main Street in the small town of Franklin. They worked constantly – always trying to make ends meet – and find ways to expand. They told him over and over they worked so hard so that when he took over it would not be so hard on him….the only problem was he didn’t want to take over…he didn’t want that life.
At the same time he didn’t know what he wanted to be ‘when he grew up’. He was a star athlete in football, baseball, and basketball in high school – even managed to earn a few scholarships to various schools. He chose to take a year off…he told his parents it was to help them, to take time to chose the school that was best for him, but everyone knew he was waiting for Willow – waiting to see what school she would go to.
There was this unspoken ‘hands off’ rule everyone knew about Willow – she was beautiful girl and had countless admirers that would do anything for her attention, but they knew that even though Dane and Willow never admitted to being a couple – they were close enough. Close enough that it would be wise to keep your distance – to be nothing but a gentleman around her.
Dane had taken Willow to every school function there ever was…he never asked her, she never asked him…it was just always assumed. Each game he played – she was there smiling cheering him on, and with each victory she was the first one he ran to when it was time to celebrate.
One summer night, when Dane was seventeen, at the lake, as he and Willow gazed at the stars a moment came – one they had avoided for years – their eyes met and slowly their lips touched….this kiss was empty, his heart did not race…he never felt butterflies in his stomach…and when it was over he acted the same way he did when he was six and he saw her help her first image – like nothing happened. That moment gave them no doubt that they were nothing more than friends – good friends, but nothing more.
He wasn’t in love with her, but he did love her – he did feel that it was his job to protect her from all of the odd things she was capable of, and down deep inside something told him if stayed close to her that he would find that missing piece – he would figure out who he was meant to be in this life….he knew he wanted to travel – to see the world. Step out the small town life…he didn’t want the type of life that would give him routine – he craved adventure.
You know what they say – be careful what you wish for….Dane followed Willow when her fate finally called her – and he found everything he was looking for, and everything he wasn’t.
Today as I write the fifth installment of the Insight series Dane is still developing - the canvas of his character has layers I have yet to see – he has an old soul – one that may not have always been has pure as he is in this life. He is still trying to find his place, but he knows that the job of protecting Willow no longer belongs to him and him alone…he gladly welcomed the people Willow led him to – embraced worlds that were beyond his own, and fought demons within and around him.
I look forward to knowing more about him. I hope you enjoyed getting to know him…a little more depth into his and Willow’s past – one that is only mentioned within the series itself.
Ok so who's next??? Tell me who you want to hear about!