Saturday, May 16, 2015

Beautiful People - Leander

My first Beautiful People post! Yay! These linkups are hosted by the creative geniuses, Cait and Sky. I’ve been reading people’s monthly BP posts for quite some time now, and have long dreamed of doing it myself one day.

Fellow questers, that day has arrived! (Am I not dramatic?)

But yours truly is completely new at this. I’ve been hemming and hawing over which character to use from my big fantasy work-in-progress series. Should I pick either of my two main characters, Aileen and Josiah? The burdened and noble Lord Mauray? Gruff leader of the dragons, Captain Dauntless? Rex Nelson, a pilot from book 2 whose character arc desperately needs work?

Or perhaps someone from a story that I’m not currently working on, like Will from Blood Rose? (For those of you wondering, that’s my novella retelling of Beauty and the Beast.) I just didn’t know who to pick.

But at last it came to me: Leander. He’s a talking white lion living in Demetria, a country located in another world. These ten questions fit him perfectly, as he is one of my most broken characters. His backstory is just one heartache after another. I won’t divulge it all here, but perhaps this inside look at Leander will let you and I get a better understanding of him.

1.     Does he get nightmares? If so, why or what of?

Yes. In his younger days, he had frequent nightmares of his father. These days, the occasional nightmare involving his lost daughter plagues his sleep. Those bad dreams also include a white orb called ‘the Prophet.’

2.    What is his biggest guilty pleasure/secret shame?

There can be a big difference between guilty pleasure and secret shame. He has none of the former, but the latter . . . Well, he harbors very deep regrets. Firstly, that he was unable to stop his mother’s murder; secondly, that he failed to keep his daughter safe.

3.    Is he easily persuaded or does he need more proof?

Because of his traumatic past, Leander has trust issues. He requires substantial proof, and even then he may still doubt someone.

4.    Does he suffer from any phobias? Does it affect his life in a big way?

He is extremely wary of the Prophet, since it was responsible for what happened to his daughter. If he thought it could be destroyed, he’d do it, but in reality, he fears it. This fear almost prevents him from joining two young dragons on a life-changing journey.

5.    What does he consider his “Achilles heel?”

His daughter is the chink in his armor. He’s built up walls around himself to keep from getting hurt again, but if his daughter was still around, he would do absolutely anything for her. The only way Leander could be manipulated would be through her—hence, the weakness.

6.    How does he handle a crisis?

Depends on the crisis. If it involves any of the few people he loves, he will grit his teeth and charge right into the thick of things. If the crisis affects people he doesn’t care about, or requires him to face his own personal flaws, he will run from the problem as fast as he can.

7.    Does he have a temper?

Oh, does he ever. His father was always angry, so that doesn’t help. And the tragedies Leander has faced have filled his heart with bitterness. All it takes is the smallest thing to set him off. When he finally cools down, however, he will be left with the same old broken pieces as before. That hollowness is a worse feeling than the anger.

8.    What are his core values and/or religious beliefs?

He acknowledges God’s existence, but scorns Him. What use has he for a deity who stands back and watches the world’s pain?

9.    What things does he value most in life?

Family is the most important thing to him, period. But everyone has been taken from him, leaving him a wrecked soul indeed. He also values his dignity, and cannot stand the skin he’s in.

10.What is one major event that helped shape who he is?

There are three events that shaped Leander—two that battered his heart into its current wounded shape, and one that started the journey of untwisting that heart. One: watching his father murder his mother. Two: losing his daughter. Three: a pair of dragons requesting his help on a rescue mission. It was then that his carefully constructed walls began to crumble just a bit.


Leander’s had a special place in my heart ever since I started writing book 1 of this series, way back when I was twelve. For the seven years he’s been with me, he has developed in my mind from a grumpy, reluctant lion to a creature burdened with heavy sorrows. Book 2 (that tangled mess of a draft I once called amazing—ha, what a laugh) offered me an opportunity to explore his backstory. Although represented horribly on paper, his tale does gleam brightly in that netherworld of my imagination. One day it will all be properly polished and presentable.
Oh dear, alliteration is a sign that I need to stop. Fare thee well, questers! If you’re doing this month’s Beautiful People, let me know! And either way, what are your thoughts on this bad-tempered beast? Besiege me with your brilliant—
Botheration, I did it again. (Ack, that one was unintentional! I’m done now, I promise.)



  1. YOU DID A BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE. SO EXCITING!!! This is absolutely my favorite blog meme. It was one of my very first blogging things to do myself, waaay back when it had a different host than Cait. Then it stopped for like a year or two which was horrible. Let's just say when it got revived I was practically jumping off the walls in excitement.

    Oh my goodness, we get a closer look at Leander! The more and more I learn about this character the more I love him!!! <3 I can definitely see why he has a special place in your heart. The poor thing, such sadness! I mean, his father killed his mother??? I just can't get over that horribleness. I do so hope his story has a happily ever after. He needs it!

    If all goes according to plan (which rarely happens, but ya know) I'll be doing this edition of BP Monday. :D

    Thanks for sharing, Tracey! Leander is crawling deeper and deeper into my heart. I cannot wait to meet him in the story!

    1. *grins* I can see why--I've only done one, and it's so much fun! There will very likely be more BP posts here in the future...

      I'm so glad you love him! He needs some happiness in his life. I know--I'm not even sure how his backstory all came to me, but when it did, it was just wave after wave of sorrow and misfortune. As for a happily ever, we'll see. XD (I'm actually not sure of anything in that regard yet.)

      Yay! Can't wait! :D Hmm, who will it be? My first guesses are the Beast and Larke, but you have such a delicious cast to choose from that ANY of your characters would be amazing.

      Aw, thank you! I hope that day comes sooner rather than later. :)

  2. Yay you did a Beautiful People. A talking white lion sounds so fascinating. Lender is fascinating :)
    Everything to do with his daughter is heart wrenching, poor guy, err lion.

    1. Thanks, Skye! :D There is something about him that grabs me too. (Well, I guess it's supposed to work that way, being his author, but still. :P)

      Heart-wrenching is good. *rubs hands deviously* At the same time, I dread certain heart-wrenching scenes involving, ahem, certain heart-wrenching characters. I'm not at all subtle, am I?

    And fyi, my therapist explained that anger helps people who are not whole fill up to the point that they feel whole. Nice description you put of Leander there. ;D
    Okay, this guy is awesome. You need to do more with him!
    And the alliteration was great. XD Made me smile.

    1. I am chuckling silently at your comment, Elphie. XD

      Ooh, now that's terribly interesting. Thanks for the psychological insight! ;D

      *salutes* Not sure how and when I'll bring him back here, but I'll definitely keep that in mind for future character-related stuff!

      Haha, thank you! And thanks for the wonderful comment!

  4. A white lion is cool! He does seem awfully tragic. :( Poor thing! I hope life gets better for him. And yay! You've joined Beautiful People! It's so fun!

    1. Thank you! And yes, he is, poor guy. :( Beautiful People is fabulous! I'm looking forward to doing more of these as they come out. :D Thanks for the comment, Tori!

  5. THIS POOR LITTLE BABY. Well. Big baby? White haired scaryish toothy baby? YEAH I'M JUST GONNA SHUT UP NOW. But he sounds completely interesting and trust sad. :'( it's so sweet that is daughter is his weakness though. Awwww.

    1. LOL, yep--a big, white-haired, scary, toothy baby. XD Glad you enjoyed reading about him!

  6. Nice post about Leander! I feel so sorry for him... :(
    By the way, I liked your pictures, especially the last one. It looks so sweet, I could just hug it!!! <3

    1. Aw, I feel sorry for him too, poor guy... Maybe life will get better for him eventually? XD
      Yes, that one's very huggable!