When I pitch The City of Veils, I tell people it’s basically a YA-Fantasy-meets-Batman. To that end, I wanted to make sure that Brynna didn’t just talk about being a vigilante, girlfriend got out there and beat up some bad guys. The problem, of course, is that Bruce Wayne has money and, more importantly, electricity. For my purposes, I had to find a way to make Brynn a badass sans both!
No Electricity = MAGIC
Okay, so this should’ve been a no-brainer. The beautiful thing about fantasy books is that you can do things like add magic to them. Spells and Sorcery aside, my actual fantasy books tend to be without the magical element. Madion Trilogy is practically a historical (except that it’s in a fantastical world) and Brynna doesn’t really have any magical creatures or powers. But I did incorporate the use of the Nestori, who are earth-magic witches.
They use powders and flowers and have a connection with the earth. For Brynna, that means instead of using night-vision goggles, she gets to use fluorescent mushrooms and special glasses. She’s also a sure shot with a crossbow.
Believability and Vigilanteism
In the movies and TV shows, there’s a little bit of suspension of belief in some of the things that Batman does. For Brynna, I wanted to make sure that I didn’t turn her into a one-dimensional character by making her Good At Everything. She arrives to vigilantism from a survive-or-be-killed thieves camp, and before that, she’d at least been taught the finer points of defending herself.
More than that, I really wanted Brynna to struggle with certain things. She’s had a few years to establish herself within the city, knowing whom she can trust and who she can’t. She’s put a couple of people behind bars and is recognized by citizenry. Even still, her biggest fish – capturing Lord Beswick – remains just out of reach. Gotta have something to work for, right?