Saturday, August 22, 2015

Beautiful People - Friendship Edition - Josiah & Aileen

I put off doing this month's Beautiful People (which is friendship themed) for a while because I just didn't know which companions to feature. Luci and Aleida came to mind, but that would be somewhat repetitive in light of last month's BP post. Then there's Luci and Hadrian, but they're a romantic pair. And, erm, she doesn't really have any friends beyond those two people. So I crossed Sleeping Beauty characters off my list of candidates, and settled on the obvious choice.

You may have seen their names floating around here before: Aileen McKay and Josiah Williams, the main characters of that fantasy series spoken of in vague terms on my Writings page above. I've spent so much time with them, they've almost become real in my mind. Answering these questions will be fairly easy!

Before we continue, if you're new to the wonderfulness of Beautiful People, you can find out more from the hosts, Skye and Cait. Now: onward!

1. How long have they known each other, and how close are they?
Only a matter of weeks (although for me, they've technically known each other for seven years). Yet in those few weeks, they form a bond stronger than most. Death-defying experiences tend to encourage such bonds, you know.

2. What’s their earliest memory of being best friends?
They were distant acquaintances for a long time--knowing names and faces, passing each other in the halls at school--but the whole best friend thing is quite recent. Their first real connection was when they started talking about the disturbing visions they were both experiencing. Shaken by their most horrible waking dreams yet, they found empathy in each other.

“You mean you’ve been having dreams too?” Aileen gave a wobbly smile. “I wondered, especially since you were researching dreams in the library.” The smile disappeared. “Does that mean you had a dream like mine? About your family?”

Josiah crossed his arms in an effort to ward off the cold, both inside and out. “Yes.” In as few words as possible, he outlined the visions of the past few days, right up until the end of the latest one. As he finished, his eyes welled with tears again. Something conclusive needed to be said now, something comforting, but no suitable words came to mind. So instead, he pulled Aileen into a hug—the kind of embrace between friends who have borne the same miseries. They stood there shivering, Aileen’s head resting against his shoulder while snow swirled around.

3. Do they fight? How long do they typically fight for?
So far, they've fought only once, but it was a doozy and lasted for days. Let's just say they could have avoided some very bad things if they'd only been more open with each other. *coughs to hide evil author laugh*

4. Are their personalities similar or do they complement each other?
Josiah is more outgoing, whereas Aileen tends to be introverted. He makes snap decisions; she thinks things over, too much sometimes. Both feel very deeply. As for negative emotions, Aileen releases tiny amounts of pressure through biting, sarcastic remarks (which don't prevent the inevitable explosion later on), and Josiah processes them as they arise. Depending on what's going on, that process will either be verbal or else shown through body language.
I would say they complement each other . . . which is sometimes code for "they clash." Most of the time they mesh well, though.

5. Who is the leader of their friendship (if anyone)?
Josiah definitely is. Or at least, he leads in action. Aileen may lead more in the emotional sphere. She was the one that instigated their first connection, and she'll often be the one to bring up deep or difficult topics.

6. Do they have any secrets from each other?
Naturally--they haven't known each other long enough to know everything. But do they keep intentional secrets? Well, considering that open communication is pretty vital to staying alive in another world, no. Except for that time when tension drove them apart (see question 3).

7. How well do they know each other's quirks and habits?
What they do know, they know quite well. But it's hard to pick up on all of someone's quirks when they've been transformed into a dragon! Facial expressions just aren't the same, you understand. As for verbal mannerisms and other such things, I'd say they've got a pretty good idea of what to expect from each other.

8. What kind of things do they like to do together?
Save multiple worlds. Fly around in dragon form. Train together. Fight together. Go off on epic quests together. When life returns to normal, however, they enjoy having long talks, being in the woods outside of town, and wondering when the next adventure will turn up.

9. Describe each character's fashion style (use pictures if you'd like!). How are their styles different/similar?
In a few words . . .
Josiah: functional and comfortable. Tees and jeans will do the trick.
Not quite how I envision him, so ignore the face.
(Although the hair color is pretty close...)

Aileen: artsy in a casual, somewhat vintage way. Maybe a scarf or cute ankle boots added to a basic outfit.
Again, this picture is here only because of the clothes,
but this one's a wee bit closer to how I imagine Aileen.
Oh, oh--except her eyes should be brown. (Finding
good charrie pictures is so HARD.)
10. How would their lives be different without each other?
They would likely be dead. If not dead, then significantly less than they are now. Aileen wouldn't have gotten outside her own mind or learned to risk, fight, and forgive. Josiah wouldn't have discovered humility, sacrifice, or the uplifting strength of companionship. Together they are more than they are apart.

I'm getting excited about this series all over again! In a way, I've been missing them. Their world is sometimes an insane challenge for me as the writer of it, but I love it to bits. Keep being patient, Aileen and Josiah--I will come back to you. (Just as soon as my Sleeping Beauty novella finishes growing up, then goes on a cruel diet to lose about five thousand words in weight . . . But that's another post for another time.)


  1. Oh my goodness. 0.0 That quote is pure awesomeness. *needs to know more about this story nowwww*

    And I totally agree about how hard it is to find perfect pictures of charries. You'd THINK that it'd be easier.. But some just want to keep their face hidden.

    I reallllyyy love Aileen's outfit choice, and her name. Both so cute. <3

    1. Oh! Thank you so much! :D It's been my baby for so very long already, and I suppose I sometimes take for granted that everyone else doesn't know nearly as much about it as I do.

      *le sigh* Most of my characters tend to stay hidden, it seems. Even with Aileen and Josiah, I can mostly envision them, but I know them far better from INSIDE their heads than from the outside. Strange how that works.

      Thanks! :D To tell you the truth, I've actually waffled over her name a number of times, thinking it sounded too old-fashioned for a modern teenaged girl. But I'm glad to hear you like it!

    2. I totally understand that. I talk about my story and then people look at me like "Wut?" And then I think: Right. You can't read minds and I won't let you even near my previous baby. xD

      Nooo, that totally makes sense. I can SEE my character--it's right there in front of my eyes--but yet I mostly see the inside of their head with a slight outwards appearance.

      I love old-fashioned stuffs. Especially some of the clothing. xD

    3. Haha, that's exactly it. Or when I'm brainstorming with my brother, and wind up leaving him in the dust because of all the things I forgot I hadn't told him...

      You put it perfectly! I find envisioning secondary characters a lot easier, most of the time.

      Me too. XD Thanks for the follow, by the way!

  2. "goes on a cruel diet"...hehe, that's how I talk about editing and trimming too. XD AHEM. But I loved this!! They sound like an epic duo (I'm always partial to friends who bash each other up during training and are still best buds, hehe) and I adore Aileen's style. :D
    And TOTALLY intrigued by that little snippet.
    Thanks for joining in!!

    1. Haha, maybe my subconscious picked up the term from you then. Wouldn't be the first time I've borrowed phrases from others and thought they were the project of my own genius... XD

      Thanks! Yes, those sorts of friends are the best. :D

      *clutches heart* I'm thrilled to hear that! Thank you!! (For the comment AND for coming up with brilliant BP questions every month.)

  3. I love them, and their dragons.. wait. Never mind, that is awesome. I really like the friend relationships where they fight a bit, because realism and it's relatable. I let out frustration with little bits of biting sarcasm too, and it doesn't keep me from blowing my top so to speak. I understand Aileen. I haven't written a word in my Sleeping Beauty entry I better get cracking. * Small panic attack*

    1. Thanks, Skye! Yes, they're in dragon form for a goodly portion of the novel. *rubs hands* Makes for all sorts of interesting things... And heheh, the fighting--it's probably one of my favorite parts because of all the tension and conflict. >:D
      About Sleeping Beauty: you can do it! *sends coffee and hugs*

  4. Oh yay!!! I was so happy to see you did Josiah and Aileen. Every bit of information I get about this novel excites me, and I also wanted to learn more about Aileen because I don't feel like I know her yet. So this was perfect! :D

    That snippet. o.o *clutches heart* So beautiful! They seem like a fantastic team, conflict and all. ;) I love how emotionally deep Aileen is. She seems like a beautifully deep character.

    The answer to #8. XD They live quite the busy life. Lol.

    I just absolutely adored this post! I looove hearing about your charries! *huggles them all*

    1. D'aww, you sweet thing! ^___^ (I hope to give Aileen a spotlight all to herself sometime. She hasn't been talked about as much as Josiah around here. Silly boy hogs the attention sometimes...)

      Thank you so much! She is a very deep thinker and intense feeler, that's for sure, and she helps to balance out Josiah's quick, take-action response to things.

      LOL, they do indeed! Poor them, carrying the weight of more than one world on their shoulders. We authors are mean. XD

      Day made! Thank you again, Christine! I'm so glad you enjoyed it--and the charries gladly accept the hugs. ;)

    *takes a few deep, calming breaths* But actually, sounds like Josiah and Aileen have just the kind of friendship I like to read about - not without rocky moments, but genuine and strong. Also, they turn into dragons, which is amazing. Hope SB retelling goes fast so you can get back to your darlings over here. :P

    1. Your comment makes for a great way to start my day--you're so sweet! Thank you!! :D
      That's exactly what their friendship is like. :) And dragons, yes... I have to bite my tongue (stop my fingers?) from saying more on that. Spoilers, y'know. ;) Haha, I'm hoping that too! Although SB has been a lot of fun, there is something special about my "darlings," as you say. Thanks for the comment, Sarah!

  6. They sound really cool! I like their fashion styles. ^ ^ Scarves for the win. And they turn in to dragons? Sweet! :D Their story sounds cool. ^ ^

    I did BP as well this month. ^ ^

    1. Thanks, Tori! :D I love scarves too, and can never have too many. Yep, they transform! I find that aspect pretty fun to write, not to mention challenging. (For all the awesome things dragons can do, there are some things they just can't. Their facial expressions are limited. They can't write or do anything TOO precise with their claws. 'Tis interesting, working with that. XD)

      Great, I'll be checking that out! BP is so much fun.

    2. Scarves are one of my favorite accessories. As soon as it's cold enough I wear them all of the time. Dragons are just awesome. They never get old to me. XD

      Cool! It is indeed! I've found so many new blogs with it. I try to visit six new ones every time. :)

    3. Haha, nice. And I'm glad to hear of another dragon enthusiast. I think it was Bryan Davis's "Raising Dragons" that got me hooked, and my own sort naturally found their way into my story. :)

      I should read more people's Beautiful People posts. I know it's a great feeling to see comments from new readers, even if they only pop by once. Six? Wow, that's impressive! Keep it up!

    4. I believe it was the same for me. XD I always though dragons were always the villains before them.

      Very true. I've met some ones that I keep up with their blogs regularly that way and vice versa. ^ ^ I found a great anime blog.

    5. I know, right?? Who knew dragons could be the good guys? XD

      Nice! It's great how BP encourages networking and all.