Cait @ Paper Fury, or Skye @ Further Up and Further In, the lovely beings who host this linkup. So, if you follow this blog, or even pay marginal attention to it, I am sure that you aren't surprised that I chose to talk about some of my characters from The Art of War series, my major current WIP. Hey, at least I will be mentioning a newish character this time. Quick content warning: I do mention abuse in this post.
The Character and her parents:
Lili Ashlin Jor Mai
1. Overall, how good is their relationship with their parents?
Er...well. Lili kind of has issues with all of her parents. She doesn't rely on Ashlin or expect her to be a good caretaker, because of events I touched on in this Beautiful People. But she truly loves and cares about Ashlin. Mai...well, I touch on that a little bit in the aforementioned Beautiful People, but suffice it to say that Mai was not a good mother at all. Jor was a very good foster-mother to Lili, and they had a very good relationship (I can't tell you why that changed, because too many spoilers).
2. Do they know their biological parents? If not, how do they cope with this loss/absence and how has it affected their life?
Lili knows both of her biological parents (Mai & Ashlin).
3. How did their parents meet?
Mai and Ashlin met when they were young because Ashlin's parents were fostering Mai and her brother Hal because Mai and Hal's mother had died. It wasn't until they were both older that they became a couple and had Lili.
I talked a bit about Jor and Ashlin met in the couples edition of Beautiful People. But I'll elaborate a bit. Ashlin had just become queen, and was trying to get a handle on that. She was also forming her court, which meant both her people and foreigners who didn't have a powerful position in their own country were jockeying for positions. Jor had heard about this new queen of the Wise Ones, and had traveled to the capital of Kaltewirin (the country of the Wise Ones), Elfhame to see if she could get a position. Out of all the people there, Jor was one of the few who were bold enough to outright ask for a position, and Ashlin was amused and intrigued enough by Jor's manner to say yes.
4. How would they feel if they were told "You're turning out like your parents"?
Honestly, for any of them, at the point I'm at in my writing, Lili would not be happy to be told that in regard to any of her parents. As for specific emotions, Lili would be frightened to be told that she was turning out like Ashlin because she thinks Ashlin is fragile and too soft-hearted, which she never, ever wants to be, because she knows how people can take advantage of and damage someone like her mother (Ashlin is, however, a lot stronger than her daughter gives her credit for). If Lili was told that she was turning out like Mai, she would be angry and slightly frightened, because she'd be worried she was taking after Mai's bad traits and actions. If she was told that she was turning out like Jor, she would, earlier in the series actually be quite happy about it, but at the current point, she would be quite angry.
5. What were your character's parents doing when they were your character's age?
Ashlin was learning a bit about what being queen would mean, but for the most part she was just enjoying her freedom as a young woman. She enjoyed it so much, in fact, that she ended up having Lili's older sister, Tavali, or Vali. Vali was not Mai's child as well though. She and Ashlin were not a couple yet.
Mai was adjusting to life without her mother and life with Ashlin's parents (there's a big age gap between Ashlin and Mai. But Kori, Hal, and Ashlin are all about the same age.) She was also keeping an eye on the Council that was ruling her brother's country for him until he came of age.
I can't tell you what Jor's life was like when it comes to particulars because it would be slightly spoilery. But, as Jor was part of the yokai nobility, she had a pretty well-off life and was very privileged.
6. Is there something they adamantly disagree on?
Mai and Lili disagree on pretty much everything (they're on opposite sides of a war). Ashlin and Lili disagree on how best to run a country, but Lili never challenges her in public (it would undermine Ashlin's rule, and potentially destabilize the country, which is not something either of them needs). Jor and Lili...they used to agree on mostly everything, but now they don't.
7. What did the parents find hardest about raising this character?
Ashlin, probably just trying to adequately take care of her child while being imprisoned, so nothing to do with Lili herself. Lili was a very quiet baby and small kid; some of that was nature, and some of it was the atmosphere she was raised in. For Jor, it was probably trying to make a connection with Lili, who didn't really trust anyone at the time she met Jor. I'm not going to say what Mai found hardest.
8. What's their most vivid memory with their parental figures?
With Ashlin: I think it's probably when Ashlin began teaching her how to use knives. It was the one time that they were allowed to be outside, actually, truly outside when Lili was a child. It was chilly, in the last month of the year, and Ashlin was humming between instructions and demonstrations. They were both less unhappy than they usually were.
With Jor: it isn't any specific memory, but all the times that Jor took her to do something fun or played a game with her, or made her laugh are etched in her memory.
With Mai: One of the most vivid memories for Lili is when she tried to protect Ashlin, and Mai slammed her to the floor, breaking a few of her bones, and allowing the minor breaks to heal improperly.
9. What was your character like as a baby/toddler?
Lili was extremely curious as a little one, but she was also very, very, very quiet.
10. Why and how did the parents chose your character's name?
Well, this is actually a bit complicated. So, in Lili's culture, children are given their true name on the day they are born, which no one uses on a daily basis, and isn't supposed to be known by anyone except the person's parents/guardians and significant other/s. Ashlin chose Lili's name, and Lili knows it, but Jor and Mai do not know it (Mai for obvious reasons, as a true name can be used to control a gwinos). So, Lili was called 'child' by Kori and Mai, and endearments by Ashlin, because Lili didn't get her everyday/legal name until she and Ashlin were freed of Kori and Mai. This is because grandparents are usually the ones to give the everyday name to their grandchildren. Shiai and Rowan, Lili's grandparents, chose Feliki Talisen Atrimife as her legal name. Atrimife because that is Ashlin's surname, and Ashlin was the parent who gave birth to Lili. Feliki was because it means 'lucky', and Lili's grandparents thought she could use some luck in her life. Talisen because it means both 'shining' and 'hidden'. They thought these meanings appropriate because Lili had been hidden for the first part of her life, and the 'shining' was appropriate because, as Lili's grandparents they thought she shone (that she was amazing and smart). Lili is a nickname that Nor came up with, and that Lili loves for that reason. After Nor came up with it, Lili got all of her family to use Lili instead of Kiki, which they'd used before.
So, here's more about my characters!
I hope it was interesting.
Anything that you guys find intriguing/want to know more about?
Sorry my posts are so sporadic, I promise I'll try to be more regulated/consistent once I have more time