We’re at the six week mark, y’all. SIX WEEKS UNTIL ISLAND OF EXILES!
Hahaha no I’m not nervous, why do you ask?! Okay, I’m lying, but I’m still here to talk more about Island Of Exiles!
I mentioned last week that Island Of Exiles changed a lot between the proposal Kate Brauning bought and now. That’s an understatement, honestly. SO MUCH changed it’s hard to think about it as the same book.
Unexpectedly, one constant was a character: Tessen.
FYI, he’s based on a teenage Christian Keyes.
Tessen popped onto the page when I was writing the first draft, and he immediately surprised me. Somehow. It’s strange to see a character you’re creating as mysterious, but that was Tessen. Mysteriously intriguing. Tessen demanded page time, and he got it, slowly becoming a much more important part of the story than I’d planned.
After I sold the series to Entangled & Kate Brauning gave me notes, there was basically an earthquake on the desert island. Major pieces of the world rearranged, the language shifted, & everything (& everyone) got a new name. EXCEPT TESSEN.
Not only did Tessen’s name remain when so much changed, it became the basis for my language & naming conventions. For those who don’t know, tessens are Japanese iron bladed fans. Heavy, beautiful, & dangerous. (YouTube | Wikipedia) I named Tessen after this weapon, and I loved both the sound of it and how well it fit his character. Because of this, he became the linchpin to my worldbuilding. The names of everyone and thing else shifted around him.
I’ll talk more about the languages in Island Of Exiles another week, but I will say this now: Tessen was the catalyst for them.
After writing him in 2 books, I can’t say Tessen is as mysterious now as he was at first, but I am no less intrigued. Hopefully, when you meet him in a few (ONLY SIX!) weeks, you’ll be just as in love with him as I am.
Be prepared, though. Khya might fight you for him. 😉
Meet Tessen! Order Island Of Exiles.
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