Once I had my female character … it was only natural for me to give her someone else to play with, learn alongside and to ultimately find love within her world.
He had to be flawed and vulnerable too and with a gift that rivaled Graces. A gift that gave him an equality and a way to understand and connect with Grace.
I had already developed a large part of the story when I started playing with the development of Kai as a character in the book, so he already had some structure before I created him. I knew that his gift would come from the arts and music seemed to fit so naturally.
Musicians playing together, it’s a conversation, and ideally I want our conversation to be really intriguing and interesting and beautiful.
Personally, when I was Grace’s age, I dated musicians, falling in love with their talent, their music, watching them create. I was always amazed at how someone could play around on a guitar, add some words, and create a song. I longed to have that kind of talent! I think it’s awesome … I still do!
Don’t get me wrong though, the music has to be vulnerable and real and honest, leaving the audience with a longing for more … not everyone with a guitar is able to do this. I’m talking about musicians with the capability to translate experience into sounds that move you. This was the kind of gift that I wanted to accentuate in Kai.
I lost a lot of friends in my teens and 20’s who were musicians and all that’s left of them now is their music … and still, it brings me back to very specific memories and feelings when I hear their songs or their voice singing … music is so powerful.
So I pulled from the musicians I knew when I was on the verge of my 20’s and picked the best parts of who they were and then added my own darkness to Kai. I thought about the part of myself that holds music in such high regard and what it is about the guitar in particular that intrigues me. And I wrote from there.
I hope that my reverence for music and the guitar, in particular, comes through in my writing and my portrayal of Kai.