Hello friends! Since you seemed to enjoy my last post focused on my character profiles, I decided to do another similar posting. Instead of focusing on my leading cast of characters (though I'll probably do another such post, but focused more on the supporting cast, as they are just as diverse and important to the story), this post will be focused more on some of the images I used to help build and shape the land of Selkirk. These images can be found on my Pinterest account in the boards dedicated to Selkirk and the costumes, but not all those clothes belong in Selkirk, or the first two books, so I wanted to share a few of the more prominent images of the scenery and outfits you'd most likely run into in the first book!
First, I want to introduce you to some of the elves. Now these aren't your Tolkien elves, they wear tattered rags for clothes, seem impervious to the weather, and some even look like walking trees if they get old enough! They have glowing yellow eyes, and most have filed their teeth into fangs. While none of the images are 100% spot on, images like these really helped me shaped the elves currently plaguing Tallis and her friends:
It's no secret that I based most of Selkirk off of a medieval version of Scotland with a smattering of Ireland and England in there for good measure. The names of the towns and cities, the food, the language, and the attire are all inspired from those places (but mainly Scotland). So of course, as I was envisioning the forests, the towns, and the other places Tallis found herself traversing, images like these were instrumental in capturing the feel and the mood of the landscape, as well as the feelings Tallis and her friends had while going through the areas:
If you've read the book, you may have noticed that every once in awhile, I put on my Tolkien and George R. Martin hat, and get really descriptive about clothes and armor. I know not everyone is a fan of that, and is often seen as just a trope of fantasy novels, and if it is, sorry? But I honestly like getting detailed about that stuff every now and again, I think it helps complete the sense of you being there, of being able to really visualize the different characters and their personalities based on the clothes they wear, or the armor they choose to put on. I won't do it for every single outfit change, usually just once or twice to complete the image of the world, and then after, it's on you, dear reader, to make sure the characters aren't running around naked, unless you're into that kind of thing, then go for it! Regardless, I spend a lot of time looking for clothes that fit the world and characters, and the ones below fit that well for the first book, though if you have visited my Pinterest boards, you'll know the costumes vary wildly from book one to two, and beyond. These are just a few that inspire the looks I talk about in "The Duality of Nature":
You may want to click on the images in order to get a clearer view of the detail in each one, but I hope this little teaser was interesting, and if you've read the book, the details from some of the locations or clothes now make more sense to you. I'll post more of these as we get closer to book two's release date and beyond so you can see even more of Selkirk, and the things and people Tallis and her friends encounter along the way. Let me know what you think of the images, or if there are certain characters you'd love to see the character profile for. I'd love to hear from you all!
Now that the first book in “The Monster of Selkirk” series has been out for close to five months, I wanted to do a character feature on the four main characters so you can get to know them and (hopefully) move Book I from the “Want to Read” pile to the “Currently Reading” pile. I have also taken the liberty of collecting images of costumes that inspired everything from their clothes to their armor, as well as actors who I’d love to see play my characters. Of course, if you’ve read the books and have a different opinion on the leading roles, I obviously want to know! But first up, let’s take a closer look at my leading lady, Tallis.
Tallis has never felt comfortable in her own skin. She has always felt out of place and the teasing she endures has only exasperated that feeling of alienation, and the isolation that comes with it. She struggles with finding her place in the world, a place that is uniquely her own, and not thrust upon her due to the “station” she was born into. She yearns for knowledge, to do the things that people say she can’t do, and to never feel like others are leaving her behind. She knows, deep down, that she does not belong in Kincardine, and should leave the place she has called home her entire life, but the fear of the unknown has always held her back despite the animosity she receives at home with her father. She hates having to hide how she feels, and who she wants to be, but until she figures out what she wants for herself and her life, she bottles up her desires, and continues with the simple monotony of her day. The only people who can say they truly know Tallis are Donovan and Rosslyn, though Tomas is eager to learn more about her, Tallis never seems to grasp why… Regardless, once Tallis feels like she has found a true friend, she’d do anything to keep them safe—at any cost.
Donovan is Tallis’s older cousin, and raised even poorer than she was! He’s learned from a young age how fragile life is, losing his mother when he was a toddler, leaving his father to raise him alone. Donovan feels very strongly for his family, and will do anything for them, or to make them proud of him. This goes for Tallis as well—who he treats as a little sister—though he would never tell her that he trains as hard as he does so she will be proud of the man he is becoming. He’s always been a serious man, without a dishonorable bone in his body, making him closer to the kind of knight Tallis reads about in the monastery then any of the other young knights in Kincardine. Donovan lives for his duty, and does his utmost to keep those he has vowed to protect from any and all harm, even if that means following them into the forest to battle feral elves!
Rosslyn is the ultimate free spirit. She was born in Selkirk’s version of a Gypsy clan, adhering to a code of life where you follow your desires and live how you want to live, shunning anyone and anything that tells you otherwise. The clans do have to do what is best for the clan as a whole as dictated by their leaders, and when that meant putting her mentally challenged brother “out of his misery”, Rosslyn’s parents decided to give the clan life up in order to save their son, and Rosslyn would never want to be apart from her baby brother. Despite her free thinking ways, Rosslyn is extremely attached to her family, so even with the call of adventure always tempting her, she never leaves home for very long. Rosslyn’s disregard for the laws of the land often puts her at odds with Donovan, but she enjoys Tallis’s company far too much to let the knight’s disapproval deter her. Unlike Tallis and Donovan, Rosslyn does not know how to fight, she can defend herself in a tavern brawl just fine, but she is no match for the vicious elves, making her choice to follow Tallis into the forest strange, until you realize that the same fierce love Rosslyn has for her family is also given to her closest friends. Rosslyn would do anything for Tallis, just as Tallis would do anything for her.
Tomas has lived in the monastery his whole life, having been abandoned there as a baby by—according to the brothers—his wanton mother. The only life Tomas has ever known has been a cloistered one, one where he initially struggled with coming to terms with why his parents did not want him, and why Wodan (the human’s god) would not speak for Himself and explain why he was abandoned. Once Tomas accepts his situation and his place in life, he devotes all his time to studying everything he can get his hands on, feeding a keener mind than any in Kincardine have seen before. He never imagined that his life would deviate from the course it was on since infancy, until he meets Tallis. While his sharp mind often paints him as an intellectual outcast by those in his order, Tallis is genuinely interested in the contraptions he has been thinking up. Tomas hadn’t realized the difference between a friend and an acquaintance until he met Tallis, which has him imagining a different path in life, one where Tallis is a fixture. He knows that he cannot—and should not—act upon these confusing feelings, but Tomas doesn’t fully appreciate her pull upon him until Tomas is presented with an opportunity to lead a different life, and his curiosity about the world will not allow him to let such an opportunity pass him by!
And that’s it! Those are my four leading characters in a nut shell. Or, rather, it’s everything about them I felt I could share without the fear of spoilers. I hope you find them fun and interesting, like people you’d want to hang out with and get to know better, as that’s how I felt writing them. If you read the book and envisioned the characters or outfits a bit differently, I’d love to hear/see it, so please share in the comments!