Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Beautiful People - Valentine's Edition - Will + Emi

We interrupt the regular broadcast of Lovely Books
with another round of Beautiful People...

Valentine's Day has come and gone, but it's still not too late to join in with this month's edition of Beautiful People! Our wizardly hosts Cait and Sky have mixed up a love potion series of questions aimed at character couples. If you're a writer, and you haven't yet checked out this linkup, dash off and do that now! BP has been such a fun and helpful tool for me, a way to get to know my characters better and give others a chance to meet them.

Sort of how Will looks.
Usually I like to feature characters from whatever I happen to be working on at the moment, but seeing as I'm not actively writing anything this month (it's research and plans and quite a lot of thinking about research and plans right now . . .), I elected to dust off one of my favorite romantic pairs. Today you get to meet Will and Emi!

Long ago, in the distant history of 2014, before Adventure Awaits was born, I wrote a novella-sized retelling of Beauty and the Beast for the Rooglewood Press contest. Blood Rose is the tale of how Emi, a young scientist, finds herself stranded in the countryside, where the only refuge is an ancient manor belonging to the mysterious and charming William Thornburgh. Events conspire to keep her there, but with each passing day, Will's behavior grows stranger. Secrets lurk in the manor's dark corners. In desperate need of Emi's knowledge and skill, Will locks her up. Escape is not an option. Can she fulfill his seemingly impossible demands? And can a broken, beastly man ever be made whole again?

Sort of how Will looks when a particularly beastly
side of him surfaces...

Kind of how I imagine Emi. (There's too many sort
ofs and kind ofs when it comes to character models!)

I had such a blast writing this novella, so I'm excited to give you a glimpse of the protagonists! If I go crazy with snippets, I apologize.

1. How did they first meet?
Emi, recently graduated from university, was driving to her hometown in search of a meaningful job, when her car broke down.
Forty miles from the nearest hint of civilization.
Right in front of a creepy old manor.

That creepy old manor happened to be the home of Will, a reclusive but nonetheless well-mannered young man. (Well, he looks young, anyway.) He offered to give her a place to spend the night, which she warily declined, choosing to sleep in her car rather than in the house of some stranger. But then, you know, the next day she ends up injuring herself. With a twisted ankle and slight concussion, she has no choice but to let Will care for her.
As he stepped through the doorway, Emi turned her head toward him. "Will?"
He looked over his shoulder. "Yes?"
"Why did you run out into the woods?"
Although his gaze never wavered, layers of shadows seemed to shift in his eyes. "Lost something." He gave her a slight smile, clapped a hand against the doorframe, and walked on.
Emi stared at the spot where he'd stood and listened to his footsteps fade down the hall.

2. What were their first impressions of each other?
He scared the living daylights out of her, but after that initial shock, she found him strange. Oddly dressed (old-fashioned breeches and a billowy shirt), for one thing. Rather kind and gentlemanly, for another. All this is shaded by her wariness, of course, because as a lone female miles from civilization, she's in a vulnerable position. But Will's actions seem to indicate he is entirely noble.

Will sees her as a beautiful young lady, deserving of respect, but a certain desperation reminds him that she may be just what he needs. It's not long before he also realizes how smart and kind-hearted she is. There's a lot of conflicting emotions on his part.

3. How long have they been a couple?
I never know how to answer this kind of question. What timeline am I supposed to use? At the beginning of the story, they're not a couple at all. That doesn't happen until the very end of the story. It's hard to see your captor in a romantic light when he's already come close to killing you. (Heh. Spoiler alert.)

4. How committed/loyal are they to each other? Would they break up over a secret or a disagreement? Could stress drive them apart? Would they die for each other?
Loaded question! And very spoilery, too, I might add! Their relationship is rife with secrets, particularly on Will's part. Stress? There's a whole whackload of that too. But commitment and loyalty do slowly grow between them. (I refuse to answer that last question about death. One day you may get a chance to read Blood Rose, and then you can see for yourself.)

5. List 5 “food quirks” they know about each other. (Ex: how they take their coffee, if they’re allergic to something, etc….and feel free to mention other non-food quirks!)
Will knows that she glows when she's excited. He knows her well enough to realize at a certain point in the story that when she stops wearing the old-fashioned gowns he provided her, and instead wears the jeans and sweater in which she arrived, that she's planning to leave. He's good at reading her emotions and the underlying thoughts behind them. One thing he does not know is that she prefers her fried eggs hard, not runny.

Emi knows that he eats a lot. As she gets to know him better, she starts to read between the lines, picking up on the hurt and the secrets he doesn't express. And as the story progresses, she learns the warning signs--the clues that he's about to turn beastly.

I know that's not five for either of them, but that's all I could recall from their story at this point.

6. Does anyone disapprove of their relationship?
There's not really anyone around to disapprove. Emi is very much a loner, with practically no close friends. Her parents died in a fire. Will is a complete hermit, and his parents have passed away as well.

7. What would be an ideal date?
I'll answer this one from the perspective of what happens after The End, because as I said earlier, they're not a couple until then. An ideal date would be a long stroll through the woods, where Emi is far from her books and projects. Afterwards, they'd make a simple meal at home and cuddle by the fireplace.

8. What are their personality dynamics? Similar? Contrasting? Do they fight a lot or mesh perfectly?
Both are very intense people, but it manifests in different ways. Will is deeply loyal to those closest to him--though that includes very few. He carries the weight of past mistakes, and it is a heavy burden indeed. Emi is the kind of person who grasps at stars, a person who lives poised on the line between hope and discouragement. She is driven, but kind. She sees beauty where others see only ugly brokenness.

They have a number of fights--some actual, physical fights and some merely verbal--but I have a feeling that further down the road, their relationship will be largely peaceful. They will eventually mesh well, with Emi giving grace to Will, and Will helping Emi to relax and just be.

9. What have been their best and worst moments together as a couple?
To answer that definitively would be to spoil the entire story, but I will let these two snippets speak for themselves.

Here's a good moment (not the best, mind you):
Will was grinning at her, shaking his head slowly.
She grinned back uncertainly. "What?"
"Nothing, it's justyou glow when you are excited."
Emi touched her warm cheeks. Drat, I'm blushing.
His smile softened, and he reached over to clasp her wrist. "There is no need to feel embarrassed. I think your ideas are brilliant. You have much to offer the world."
Sitting there in the old kitchen, with crisp autumn air filtering through the barely open window and a low fire crackling at her back, Emi laid aside her doubts for the moment and simply let the next breath be her focus. "Thank you," she said softly.

And a bad moment, though not the very worst:
He cut her off with a sweep of his hand. "Quiet!" he bellowed. "Ever since you arrived, you have defied me and stirred up things of which you have no part."
Emi backed against the wall, putting as much space between her and Will's hulking frame as possible. "You want me to keep my nose out of things? Fine, I'm leaving anyway. See?" She lifted the potato sack. "Now open those doors."
Will's dark eyes pinned her to the wall as effectively as manacles. "You will not leave," he said between tight lips.
She uttered a short, incredulous laugh. "What?"
"You stay here until your purpose is accomplished."
"Purpose? What purpose?" Emi swallowed, more acutely aware of her vulnerability now than she'd been on day one.
Will leaned in until his face was only inches from hers. He opened his mouth to speak, but winced instead as if struck. He clenched his eyes shut. When they opened, his dark brown irises flickered with red light. "You stay," he growled, "as long as I need you."

10. Where do they see themselves and their relationship in the next few years?
Will and Emi, as of the time of Blood Rose, wouldn't really have an answer to this question. I would like to see them happily married, working together to advance medical science and heal people. In fact, I wanted to see that so much, that I once wrote a little piece of 'fanfiction' to get a glimpse of their lives a couple years down the road. (Can you write fanfiction of your own stories??)

Thanks for taking the time to meet my beastly Will and beautiful Emi!

What are your thoughts on Beauty and the Beast? Have you entered any of the Rooglewood Press contests? Speaking of which, the announcement of the winners is now two weeks away! *cue inner screaming*


  1. Awww, they sound fantastic! Are you planning on publishing this novella?

    I love Beauty and the Beast... I never thought of it as one of my favorites, though I do enjoy the Disney version (probably because Belle is depicted as a daydreamer who loves books and is also quite capable of being practical and standing up for herself... just loved that combo). But it definitely wormed its way deeper into my heart throughout the Rooglewood contest last year. :)

    1. Thank you! It always makes me happy to hear other people like my charries. It's like knowing someone likes your children, y'know? XD
      I really don't know... The thought has crossed my mind a number of times, but I'd like to expand the story first. There was a lot of character development happening very quickly. And some of the medical stuff probably needs more research. But maybe someday down the road! :)

      I love the Disney version too! (Funny thing, though: I always preferred the Beast in his beastly form over the golden-haired prince.) Gah, I NEED to snag a copy of Five Enchanted Roses yet!! There's a certain stone curse that begs to be read about. ;D

    2. Haha! I haven't met anyone yet who didn't prefer the beast in his "beastly" form! (me included) Why couldn't he have looked like Flynn Rider? But almost every time I watch the movie it gets to the end and something inside me whispers, "Aww, bring the beast back!" hehe.

      Yeah, writing short stories seems to require a lot more intense editing for some reason... but it's good.

      :-D awww :) well, when you do get a copy, I hope you enjoy the stories! I really loved Esprit, Wither, and Wulver's Rose. Jungle King was good, as well, but fell a little flat for me, not sure why, really.

    3. Flynn Rider is probably the very best Disney prince yet. I feel the same way too when I get to the transformation scene! I mean, it's touching, but the prince isn't quite the same as our lovable Beast.

      Maybe it's because of how much needs to happen in such a short time? Or that could be just my problem. I usually find it hard to write short stories. :P My plots turn epic on me...

      I'm sure I will! They all look intriguing in different ways. Maybe I'll have to do an actual book review when I read it. :D

  2. Loved this! Your Blood Rose sounds like a very interesting novella, any chance we'll be hearing more about it someday? :)

    1. I'm so glad! ^_^ I don't know--hopefully yes. I may want to get it published one day, but if you wanted to hear more about it before years and years go by, feel free to ask questions or request a post about it. XD

  3. WILL AND EMI!!! I cannot tell you how excited I was when I saw you were doing them today! MY BBYS. <3

    They're particularly special to me because I feel like you and I started REALLY becoming friends and getting to know one another while I beta-read Blood Rose. This story really brought us together, and I just love that!

    Oh man, oh man, oh man. This resurfaces the feels big time! Even though it's been a while, all the feels suddenly feel completely fresh after reading this. The snippets really brought it all back. And gracious, your writing! <333

    I just want to hug them! I need to reread the fanfic so I can relive all the happy feels.


    1. Since I've kind of already done Hadrian and Luci (or at least blabbered about them enough), I thought I'd walk down memory lane and do Will and Emi. Most of my other character couples are either grown up and married, or else...not clear enough in my mind yet. XD

      That's so true! I was looking back at those old emails today. All the fond memories... <3 That's where it all really started! Hard to believe that's almost two years ago.

      You precious person! Your comments always make me smile! Just--ah, no words. <333 I'm so glad you enjoyed visiting them again!

  4. Awk, writing fanfiction of your own writing is EPIC I SAY. XDXD hehe. Although I'd kind of never though about it before?!? Anyway, Will and Emi sound really interesting...and I loooove intense characters so your answer to #8 was my favourite to read. :') Also their way of meeting sounds SO INTRIGUING. Good luck for the contest!!

    (And thanks for linking up with us!)

    1. Haha, glad you think so! I just HAD to see what happened to them after the events of the novella. XD

      Intense charries FTW! They're so much more interesting than placid characters. (A combination of the two is always interesting as well...)

      Thanks! That contest has come and gone, actually, but I'll certainly accept the well wishes for this year's contest. ;)

  5. I love this! I love how you used snippets to answer the questions too ^ ^ It was totally engaging and it makes me want to read more. Also....what's his purpose... o.O I really want to read this!! *reaches for the full story*


    1. Aw, thank you, Cassia! I had to go searching through the manuscript to jog my memory for some of the questions, which meant all the fond memories came flooding back . . . which meant I could hardly help but use some snippets. XD

      *evil cackle* To be honest, comments like that usually tear me between my sneaky author side and my "oh, you wanna know? let me tell you EVERYTHING!" side. XD

  6. This sounds such a cool story! And I love what I've read about Will and Emi's relationship. How they met, their differences and quirks - and the snippets are very well written. I also have ideas about Will's "beastly" side... But I think I'll keep those as as ideas for now. ;)

    I'm not sure how we haven't met before through Beautiful People, but it's nice to finally stop by and "meet" you. Here's my latest BP link, if you're interested: http://saraletourneauwriter.com/2016/02/16/beautiful-people-vol-12/ (I didn't do the Valentines questions, since I'm still writing about the same couple I covered last year, but here's that link too: http://saraletourneauwriter.com/2015/02/10/beautiful-people-1/).

    1. Thank you, Sara!! I'm glad you like them and that you enjoyed the snippets too. ^_^ Now *I* am very curious about your theories! I'm tempted to ask you what they are, but I wouldn't want to confirm or deny your ideas in public. (Unleeeess you'd want to use the contact form on the sidebar? If not, that's totally fine. I'm just a curious person. XD)

      I know I've seen you commenting on other blogs--perhaps Musings of an Elf or Stori Tori's Blog? It's great to officially 'meet' you! I'll definitely hop over and check out both of those posts. :D

  7. Your Beauty and the Beast retelling sounds really interesting! It seems like a different take on the story. Also, your characters sound neat too. I like that Emi is a scientist.

    1. Thank you! It did take a pretty different track than usual. :) What started as contemporary ended up with a dash of sci-fi and a sprinkling of thriller. And of course there's the romantic aspect.

  8. I seem to be picking up a sci-fi feeling with this story. (taps fingers together and cracks a grin) I like it.

    I think I'm going through a sci-fi stage right now. It's interesting.

    1. Heheh, there is a touch of that, which is different for me. I hardly ever read straight-up sci-fi, much less write it. It was a fun challenge.

      Oh? Any sci-fi reads you'd recommend?

    2. That's a cool idea, putting a fairy tale into a science fiction setting.

      I don't actually know a lot of sci-fi, which is probably why I'm so hungry for it.
      I enjoyed C.S. Lewis' space trilogy (although I've only found two of them so far. They can also be categorized as philosophy). I found Marissa Meyer's Lunar Chronicles to be very good at first. But then something didn't sit right. So I'd recommend with caution.
      They're the only physical books I can think of.
      I'm reading two other stories online. But that usually leaves me waving frantic hands at the screen and yelling "Upload a new chapter! New chapter, please!"

    3. Oh, I think my brother started that trilogy. I myself haven't gotten around to it yet. Interesting that you mention the Lunar Chronicles . . . Cinder is close to the top of my TBR pile. I've heard mixed reviews on the series, so I guess we'll see how I find it. :)

      Haha, that's the trouble with those! And with beta reading. Unless you fall behind, you must face the agony of waiting between chapters.

  9. Yay, a look into your MC couple of Blood Red Rose! I love this story, and will gladly and shamelessly fangirl over it. :D
    As to writing fan fiction of your own work... I guess you can, if you are a 'fan' of your work. I have actually written side stories that don't actually happen in my 'real' novel but I love anyways, too. I find it fun to explore impossible possibilities with the characters I love. :)
    P.S. Wishing you all the bestest best of luck with the contest!!!!

    1. Aww, thank you!! <3 I was just squinting at the screen and trying to remember if I'd ever sent you Blood Rose, which I don't think I have--and then I remembered that I'd rambled on and on about it to you in person. So you probably know most of it. XD

      Isn't it so fun to explore like that? Even if no one else ever reads it, sometimes it's enjoyable/informative to write those side stories and see where they go. :)

      P.S. THANK YOU!!! In twelve short days, they announce the winners. o.o Meep.

  10. Ah, these two. I missed hearing about them.

  11. I. NEED. TO. READ. THIS. STORY. Gahhh, it sounds so gooood! (But of course, everything you write is fabulous.)

    Hehe, I find it funny that your character Will literally looks like Will. XD

    THE SNIPPETS! Gosh, I love them so much <333 I'm really intrigued by Will. He sounds kind of intimidating/frightening/lovable/I don't even know. I JUST LIKE HIM, OKAY? And Emi looks wonderful, as well.

    So much adorableness! I loved learning about Will and Emi. Hopefully I'll read about these two in print one day! ^_^

    1. ASKLFJAS, YOU ARE PRECIOUS. I would have no problem emailing it to you. (Just send me a message via the contact form on the sidebar.) But that's totally up to you, of course--just giving you the option! :)

      LOL, it's pretty funny. The PotC Will dresses kind of like my Will. XD

      Thank you so much! That is EXACTLY what Will is supposed to be like. I'm really glad he came across that way just in a BP post. Emi is very dear to my heart too. ^_^

      Aw, I hope so too! Maybe one day... *wiggles eyebrows*

    2. OH MY GOODNESS REALLY?? *does the Snoopy dance* YES PLEASE. I will be sending you a message posthaste!

  12. Will may scare the living daylights out of Emi but I know he is cute! "Nothing, it's just—you glow when you are excited." [Awwww] even when he is a caveman he sounds cute "You stay," he growled, "as long as I need you." nothing like a beastly to tame ;)
    Advance medical science and heal people sounds like great character arcs for Will and Emi. I never knew someone that wrote fanfiction of their own stories! Is it posted? I should check the Rooglewood Press contests. since you are counting the weeks I assume you entered Blood Rose in the contest? if so... one week now… Good luck!

    1. Haha, I think so too! I always did like the Beast more than the Prince in the Disney version, anyway. :)

      Thank you! LOL, I guess fanfiction isn't really the right term for it. Maybe mini follow-up? XD No, the story isn't posted anywhere. I'm contemplating expanding it and maybe publishing it one day.

      The Rooglewood Press contests are amazing--definitely check them out! Blood Rose was actually entered in LAST year's contest (Five Enchanted Roses), and I entered a different story called The Brightest Thread in this year's contest (Five Magic Spindles). Neither story won, but thanks so much for the well wishes!

      And officially, hello and welcome to Adventure Awaits! ^_^ I'll be sure to hop on over to your BP post!

  13. oh almost forgot! here is my Beautiful People post: http://www.danielaark.com/what-a-week-37-writing-tip-characters-relationships/

  14. This is a neat idea for a fairy tale retelling! Beauty and the Beast is my favorite fairytale. ^ ^ I like the whole fact that she's a scientist. Very cool. Will seems quite menacing. XD

    My BP: http://storitorigrace.blogspot.com/2016/02/beautiful-people-valentines-edition.html

    1. B&B is one of my top favorites too! Thanks very much--I'm glad you like the sound of Will and Emi. ^_^

      I'll definitely go check your post out!