One of the more unique characteristics in the Svatura series (at least in my opinion) came from two random suggestions, both from a somewhat unexpected source – my parents.
First, a little background. The series features a group of people – known as the Svatura – who have extraordinary powers, each one a little different from any others and can be physical, mental, etc. Some of my characters have the ability to manipulate other Svatura’s powers. For example, Ellie can use another’s gifts if she’s touching them. Or Selene can turn off powers as will. When Ellie and Selene are doing these activities they see those powers manifested as lights glowing inside the person they’re focused on.
Each Svatura’s light is as unique as their gift. For example, Ellie, my main character in the first book, Blue Violet, has a glow that is a violet blue color matching her eyes. Selene, the main character in Hyacinth, the second book, has a fuchsia colored light. Lila the lead in book three, Crimson Dahlia, has an ice blue light inside her. And Adelaide, the heroine in book four, Black Orchid, has a pale yellow light.
The origin of the idea for the lights themselves came from my mom. She was a High School English teacher. When I finished the first draft of Blue Violet, I sent it to her for an opinion. One of the critiques she provided was she wanted better descriptions of my characters when they were using their powers. She doesn’t read paranormal romance, so she found it difficult to visualize the supernatural sections of the book.
While applying this great suggestion, I found that describing the physical powers like my firestarter or my shapeshifters was easy. But trying to put the mental gifts on paper was a bit tricky. Consequently, I came up with the imagery of the lights to give me something more “physical” to describe. I can show my characters seeing the lights, manipulating the lights, extinguishing the lights, etc.
Originally, my lights were going to be colorless (just a glow) and “internal” (so visible only to the Ellie’s and Selene’s of this world depending on their powers). After I’d done many rounds of edits, my dad read the book. I have to give him some major props because paranormal romance is so far from his genre it’s ridiculous. So it meant a lot that he’d take the time to read the book. By that time, I’d changed the lights to be certain colors.
Dad came up with an extension of the colors concept that I loved. In the finale of Blue Violet, Ellie shapeshifts into a rather extraordinary creature (I won’t ruin it for you by telling you what). Dad suggested that I have her eyes glow her violet blue color and another physical characteristic of her power also be that color (hope that’s clear without giving it away too much.)
You Never Know
You never know where the spark for an idea will come from. In this case, two proposals that sparked a concept that will become central to my entire series. So much so, that when my publisher, The Wild Rose Press, contracted the series, the new book covers strongly incorporated the concept. I do have to say a huge thank you to my parents for their support and suggestions which have lead this story line down paths that have been a pleasure to write and fun to see where they take me.
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