For me, my characters are one of the most important things in my life. Maybe that’s not such a good thing, but it is what it is, and I think it kind of comes with the territory.
These characters have been the one thing to remain consistent over the course of the years, and each new character that was created is something like a manifestation of each event that has taken place throughout the duration of my developing this world. While the characters may not be mimicking their real life counterparts exactly, there are certainly parallels drawn between the world of The Catalyst and the world in which I live. For example, when I decided to write a scene where Xanthippe is facing the death of a friend, I was more than likely experiencing a loss of some kind in real life as well, and this was my way of coping with it.
I can easily say I’ve had my fair share of less-than-desirable experiences, but that’s because I am no one special. I’m just an ordinary person, and there is nothing exceptional about me in any facet of my life, which led me to wonder, why should my characters escape negative experiences?
In real life, people die.
In real life, people fail.
In real life, people have their hearts broken.
In real life, there aren’t always going to be happy endings.
And that’s okay.
So, of course, I realized my characters each need to experience these things as well. They are going to have to deal with death–lots of it. They’re going to have to deal with failure–repeatedly. They’re going to have their hearts broken, they’re going to have friendships fall apart, and they’re not going to have happy endings all the time. Life is not about happy endings and perfect circumstances and everything going the way you want. It’s about learning, and bonding, and experiences–both positive and negative. And most of all, it’s about discovering what means the most to you.
This is, in part, why Xanthippe ends up with Bane in the end. Bane is her world, he means everything to her, and as she faces more and more situations that bring her closer to the extinction of life, she begins to realize where her heart truly lies. This doesn’t mean that she never cared for Eromai, nor does it mean she derived pleasure from hurting him, it just means that her love for Bane takes priority over her obligation to Eromai. Therefore, whilst she is thrust into unfortunate circumstances (and many readers will call it an unhappy ending), she still feels as though she has an almost happy ending, because she still has the one thing that matters to her the most: Bane.