Today is a very special today- I have author H.D. Lynn with her 5 Things she loves about her newest book, God’s Play!
If you don’t love your main character, write the book about someone else. (Or cheat and write multiple POVs!) I happen to be a huge fan of my main character, Toby, who grew up in a family of hunters and was trained as a child soldier to fight shape-shifters. However, Toby knows he’s different. Unlike any other hunter, Toby can lift the Veil, a magical protection that gives monsters their power to shape-shift. Toby’s family exploited and feared his talent, and he’s unsure whether he’s really human or not (the Veil is supposed to be something only witches can control).
- William and Toby’s relationship
Toby meets the shape shifter William when a hunt goes awry. Toby’s hunting party is ambushed, and his mom and uncle are killed. William finds Toby in the carnage, honoring Toby’s mom’s last wish and saving him. This is not the ideal way to meet someone, especially someone who you’ve come to view as a mortal enemy all your life. They’re unlikely allies, and they only start working together to kill Fennis, the shifter who attacked Toby and who William has a history with.
I felt monsters always got the shaft in mythology; they’re the henchmen of the ancient stories. Who cares if they die, right? This book is all about monsters and telling their side of the story. William’s a shape-shifter, dealing with duel nature, and Cassie’s a gorgon, living in hiding until she could take a human disguise. They’re friends partly because no one else understands what it’s like to live that type of life, and Cassie gives William some advice he really should listen to. But it’s not a pity party for the monsters, either. While Toby and Cassie may not enjoy the supernatural aspects of their identities, other characters definitely do. Circe and Fennis are ruthless villains, and both of them urge Cassie and William to accept what they really are and be a little more, well, monsterish.
- Family Isn’t Destiny
There’s thousands of resources out there teaching parents how to raise their kids because parents don’t want to raise their kids wrong. What could be more wrong than growing up in a family that literally teaches you to kill from the time you enter middle school? Toby’s a child soldier, and he’s internalized his family’s message of hatred, and his character arc is about realizing that the things he’s been told growing up aren’t always right. He has to dig through his own feelings towards his mom, uncle, and grandfather, trying to figure out if they wanted the best for him after all.
- Being a Hero isn’t about being a Saint
For Toby, being a hero means shouldering the morally difficult choices in the story. He doesn’t ask anyone else to take those burdens for him, and this is why God’s Play is his story. He doesn’t take the easy way out at someone else’s expense. In this story, that’s what it means to be a hero, to not be a coward. Toby’s willing to fight (and kill) for the people he cares about because he doesn’t want them to be hurt protecting him; he risks himself instead.