Guest Post By: J.K. Hogan
What's the hardest thing about character Development?
Character development is a slippery slope, and I think every author approaches it differently. Probably the hardest part for me is making sure I do my characters justice for the reader. Creating them is easy, I've been doing that since I was a child. They just pop into my head and live out their lives—sometimes they talk to me, sometimes I to them. I think writing is the only profession in which that last statement doesn't make me schizophrenic. But it's true! With my characters, I know every nuance of their personality before I ever strike a key.
Therein lies the hard part—striking the keys and making sure the reader is going to see what I see when they read about my characters. I've got to get Jeremiah to come across as a goofy yet sexy, somewhat nerdy hero—an adventurer with a hidden need for love and family. I need to show the reader that Isla is fiercely independent and afraid to trust anyone, yet deep down she's so lonely.
Marduk, while a secondary character, was a particularly hard nut to crack. His personality is often a contradiction of itself—as he goes from ancient magical being to just a kid who likes movies, and back again. It's hard to create that kind of duality and have it read as intentional.
All of the tiny nuances that give a character his essence can be difficult to communicate, especially trying to do so without your own thoughts and feelings coming through. I feel that if I can get all of my characters' traits across in a way that makes the reader identify with and root for them, then I've done my job as a writer. They're like family to me and I want my readers to love them as much as I do. You can read more about Jeremiah, Isla, Marduk, and all of their friends in Fire on the Island.
“She who wields the mark is the barrier between man and monster. She is the daughter of gods, the mother of man, protector of all. Vigilati Usque Ad Mortem”
All Isla Macallen wanted was a simple existence on her little Scottish island, free from her mother’s insanity and the prying eyes of neighbors. What she got was embroiled in a war for the souls of mankind. A war of good versus evil, of witches versus demons, and Isla learns that she alone can end it.
Dr. Jeremiah Rousseau was a self-proclaimed nomad, traveling the world researching paranormal phenomena. He doesn’t expect his research to lead him to Scotland, and to the woman who will turn his world upside down.
Together with a facetious shapeshifting animal spirit guide, Jeremiah and Isla discover that she is part of an ancient bloodline bred to protect the gateways between the human world and the spirit world, to keep evil demons from destroying them. They must find the key to defeating Alastore, the demon king, and closing the gate before Samhain, when the veil between the worlds is lifted. As the war for their souls wages around them, Isla and Jeremiah will risk it all for love—a love neither had ever thought possible.
This was a really nice creative story. I love that it takes place in Scotland. There were good descriptions, that can make you feel you are with the characters. The story itself was very good, interesting, and I felt that there were a good amount of mystery, ahh yes romance, paranormal elements including witches and demons, and there was a good pace, nice flow, throughout the whole story. The characters were well developed, including Isla, whom had an unstable mother when she was young, and ever since she was eight or nine, she was really on her own, no family. Now, twenty years later, she at times lives in seclusion, because people talk about something that is imprinted around the back of her neck; she does not even know what it is, but people think she is a witch, so it is really until Jeremiah comes from Southern USA, that she finds someone she can maybe find someone to trust and even more, and someone that will help her through an unbelievable journey. Good versus bad is something that conflicts in this story and it really was interesting, from beginning to end, to read what the outcome is. All in all, I just found this to be a well written story, and look forward to more of Hogan's writings.
My Rating: 4/5
I say Rated R (Adult Content)
J.K. Hogan has been telling stories for as long as she can remember, beginning with writing cast lists and storylines for her toys growing up. When she finally decided to put pen to paper, magic happened. She is greatly inspired by all kinds of music and often creates a “soundtrack” for her stories as she writes them.
J.K. resides in North Carolina, where she was born and raised. A true southern girl at heart, she lives on a farm with her husband and their three horses, one miniature donkey, one cat, and two champion agility dogs.
In addition to writing, she enjoys training and competing in dog sports, spending time with her large southern family, camping, boating and, of course, reading! Please feel free to visit J.K.’s contact page—she’d love to hear from you!
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*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising*