Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Character Guest Post: Haylwen Rightad of C.H. MacLean's TWO EMPTY THRONES #characters #writing #books

Today is character guest post day!  We have Haylwen Rightad of C.H. MacLean's new YA fantasy, TWO EMPTY THRONES, with us today.  Enjoy!

Okay. I've never done this blog thing before so please give me a little slack? It's dangerous for me to be on the computer, so I'm just going to fire away. And if this cuts off suddenly, well, I apologize in advance.

But that's not what I'm here to talk about. I'm here to talk about dragons. Yes, you heard me. Dragons. They're not a make-believe symbolic figure. I'm not talking, “I think they're cool as a tattoo or on a poster.” I mean, living and breathing, scales and claws, they could be your teacher.

Sounds crazy, I know. But that's how my life has been recently. Crazy. I used to sit around and mope about how I didn't have any friends and how being dragged from school to school stunted my social growth and limited my educational opportunities. But after the baskilon attack, things really fell into perspective you know? Finding some really great friends didn't hurt either. You know, once you have things in perspective, which friends you pick changes.  And don't get me started on the whole magic thing. That's just too much to even talk about in a blog. But the dragons—well, that's something you need to know about.

See, like I said, dragons are real. They're not hiding in a cave somewhere, sitting on a pile of gold. Well, maybe they do that sometimes, but that's not all they do. They're walking around among us. No, I don't mean stomping around on clawed feet and you just haven't seen them. I mean, they look like regular people. Right up until they explode into a giant scaled and clawed beast with a long tail and fangs as long as your arm. Then they stomp around and do crazy things, magical things.

If they can do all that, it really pokes you in the eye with the real question. What are they doing here? Are they just trying to get along? Are they really nice? Or are they doing terrible things behind our back and we just don't know about it? Or maybe they're lying in wait for the right time to take over the world. I mean, if you were an enormously powerful creature, what would stop you from doing whatever you wanted?

So, knowing what I now know, going to a regular school just seems silly. (Unless you want to see if any of the teachers are really dragons, I guess.) What I really want to know about, what I think we all should learn about, is dragons. They very well might want privacy, but to pretend they don't even exist is like pretending nuclear weapons don't exist. (They don't teach us very much about those in school either.) Fortunately, I know where all the magic books are. The stuff I find online about dragons is mostly about those fantasy dragons that don't really exist. So I'll be sure to get real information out on whatever things I can find. We have to stick together, right?

I might be overreacting. Maybe the dragons are good, maybe not. Maybe they are like people, and some are good and some are bad. It makes you wonder what's going on, though, if they are hiding and you've never heard about them. If I ever get a chance to ask one, you bet that will be my first question.

I mean, what about all those stories? Seeing a real, live dragon makes you wonder. Did those old fantasy stories start off true a long, long time ago, and then just get changed? I've heard of that happening. Then people read those old stories and just make stuff up. Well, it's time we got some truth about dragons.

I guess I'll just have to see what happens. I read something in one of those books I mentioned, and it makes sense. It was talking about magic but it could have been talking about dragons or anything. “You will always have challenges,” it said. “You will always have opportunities to fail or succeed. Life expands exactly as much as you do.”

A year ago I would have never imagined my life as it is now. I suppose after I get this whole Dragon thing figured out something else will come up. I can only dream what that might be.

So bye for now. If you have any ideas about dragons, please let me know.

About the Author:
To young C. H. MacLean, books were everything: mind-food, friends, and fun. They gave the shy middle child’s life color and energy. Amazingly, not everyone saw them that way. Seeing a laundry hamper full of books approach her, the librarian scolded C. H. for trying to check them all out. “You’ll never read that many before they expire!” C. H. was surprised, having shown great restraint only by keeping a list of books to check out next time. Thoroughly abashed, C. H. waited three whole days after finishing that lot before going back for more.

With an internal world more vivid than the real one, C. H. was chastised for reading in the library instead of going to class. “Neurotic, needs medical help,” the teacher diagnosed. C. H.’s father, a psychologist, just laughed when he heard. “She’s just upset because those books are more challenging than her class.” C. H. realized making up stories was just as fun as reading, and harder to get caught doing. So for a while, C. H. crafted stories and characters out of wisps and trinkets, with every toy growing an elaborate personality.
But toys were not mature, and stories weren’t respectable for a family of doctors. So C. H. grew up and learned to read serious books and study hard, shelving foolish fantasies for serious work.

Years passed in a black and white blur. Then, unpredictably falling in love all the way to a magical marriage rattled C. H.’s orderly world. A crazy idea slipped in a resulting crack and wouldn’t leave. “Write the book you want to read,” it said. “Write? As in, a fantasy novel? But I’m not creative,” C. H. protested. The idea, and C. H.’s spouse, rolled their eyes.

So one day, C. H. started writing. Just to try it, not that it would go anywhere. Big mistake. Decades of pent-up passion started pouring out, making a mess of an orderly life. It only got worse. Soon, stories popped up everywhere- in dreams, while exercising, or out of spite, in the middle of a work meeting. “But it’s not important work,” C. H. pleaded weakly. “They are not food, or friends, or…” But it was too late. C. H. had re-discovered that, like books, life should be fun too. Now, writing is a compulsion, and a calling.

C. H. lives in a Pacific Northwest forest with five cats, two kids, one spouse, and absolutely no dragons or elves, faeries, or demons… that are willing to be named, at least.

His latest book is the YA fantasy, Two Empty Thrones.

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