What is it about chaotic, even ‘bad’ characters that we enjoy so much? From Rumpelstiltskin in Once Upon a Time, to Vala Maldoran from SG-1, and a whole range of others, somehow these often become fan-favorites, often to the creators’ surprise.
For instance, I can’t help but wonder if the producers of The Walking Dead knew that Norman Reedus’s character would become such an overwhelming fan-favorite! He seemed like such a minor, unstable element in the first season, but quickly become a much bigger character. And fans have threatened to riot if they kill him off!
So perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised that Kailar has become such a popular character in The Sword of Dragons…but I was! As more and more people read The Sword of Dragons and Burning Skies, I hear more people tell me how Kailar is their favorite character, or at the very least the one that interests them the most.
It wasn’t until my girlfriend mentioned why she liked Kailar that I noticed the trend (and then the next day at work, a random person in the hallway stopped to tell me that she is his favorite!)
From Villain to Antihero
If you’ve read the first book, you know that Kailar was one of two villains in The Sword of Dragons. However, when I first started planning out her character, I knew that I wanted to do something far different from any story I’d written previously.
I had a habit in all of my previous writings of never writing from the perspective of any of the bad guys. In fact in Star Trek Dragon, the ‘villains’ were often entire species, rather than individuals. I saw this as a failing in my writing, and I knew I had to change it.
So I started developing a villain who wasn’t bad just to be bad, but who had ambitions and desires, and who really thought of herself as in the right. In fact from the very beginning, I wanted her goals to be the same as Cardin’s, but how she pursued them was what would set them apart.
I also never intended to have Kailar be a part of the series beyond book 1…but by the time I finished writing book 1, I knew that her story wasn’t done. I enjoyed writing her too much, and I was already coming up with plans for what to do with her character in book 2. So it would seem she isn’t just a fan-favorite, but she is becoming a writer’s favorite :D
So she made her return in Burning Skies…only this time, her story, her journey was much more personal. Imagine for a moment something you love to do, more than anything else…imagine that your ability to do it was taken away. If you’re a pilot, imagine that you, for instance, lost fine motor control and could no longer control an aircraft. A painter who went blind. A singer who lost her vocal chords.
What would that do to you? How would it affect you? Would it tear you apart?
…and what would you do to get it back? How far would you go? Would you do anything, or would there be limits?
Kailar’s Journey is Just Beginning
Knowing now that so many people love her character so much, I’m really excited to announce that her journey has just begun! But where am I taking her, you might ask?
Well…the thing is, she is a chaotic character, an antihero. So if you’ve finished book 2 and you think you know where she’s going, you might think again. Her journey will never be a simple one, and there will never be a clear path forward for her. She will always struggle against the darkness within her, and as much as she wishes to do right by everyone…there will always be obstacles.
But that doesn’t mean writing her character won’t be fun. She’s a chaos character, after all, they do the things no other character would dream of doing. So expect more than a few surprises along the way :)
Thanks for reading, everyone! Stay tuned for news about The Orc War Campaigns, as the series will be returning soon!