I'm Marion Sipe and today I'm here at Unnecessary Musings (Thank you, J.A.!) to talk about my epic fantasy novel A SIGN IN BLOOD. I worked long and hard on it, sometimes despairing of it ever being finished, but mostly I loved every minute of it.
I really enjoyed writing these characters and discovering over the course of the story (and its many edits, revisions, and drafts!) how exactly they related to one another and the world in which they live. Most of the characters in A SIGN IN BLOOD don't quite fit anywhere, and Liral and Sadin or no different. Liral is supposedly a queen, but all her life she's been called 'slow' and told that she is incapable of ruling. Liral's mother has always been a larger-than-life figure, adored by her people and respected by the Factors and Factrixes. After her mother's—suspicious and quickly hushed up—death, Liral has been like a shadow in the court, under the thumb of the Factors' Council and unable to break away.
Sadin, on the other hand, is Full Rank Clergy, a respected and high position which allows him much more freedom than most among his people ever experience. Yet, he's haunted by the memory of one brother's death and the other's abandonment of him. Though his still-living brother, Bastian, is a priest at the same temple, the two of them have never been close. Sadin tells himself that he doesn't need his family, and that the temple and its clergy have become his family, but the anger still simmers just below his surface.
Both of them have position, status, but neither is happy, or safe. They both belong within their constructed worlds, and yet they don't. They both desperately want control over their own lives, but the methods they'll use to achieve that are very different indeed. I enjoyed writing both of them because neither is straightforward. There's a lot of complexity and emotion, often hidden or repressed, and neither of them is entirely aware of their own motivations.
Liral's world is very different from Sadin's, until they collide and both of them have to decide who to fight for, and who they will make their enemies. It made writing these characters very fun. They both surprised me now and then, and sometimes I wasn't even sure what one or the other would decide until it came time for them to make the decisions.
And both have to fight quite a lot. And, well, both get their butts kicked occasionally… Okay, so they get their butts kicked fairly often, but neither Liral nor Sadin has ever been a one to give up easily. Will that be for good or ill?