Marcus doesn’t like to celebrate his birthday. I mean, he really doesn’t like it. And I totally understand.
His backstory is ultra-grim, and things were set in motion on his birthday. FYI, you can read the story of his “Transformation” in the free collection of short stories you receive after completing the sign-up process for my newsletter.
It’s often hard for me to put my characters through the wringer. They feel real to me and I love them.
As a writer, it’s my job to present them with seemingly insurmountable challenges to overcome, and sometimes also with burdens to carry. And as fictional characters, it’s their job to help readers see themselves or others in their lives through another lens, and hopefully find comfort or understanding through the process.
I’m a firm believer that reading fosters empathy. When we spend so much time in another person’s head—even if they’re fictional—it seems impossible to me that we wouldn’t come to understand them better. And it’s my hope that the reading experience can help me be more compassionate and understanding with others in reality. I’ve talked with other avid readers who feel the same.
Being a writer makes for a more complicated experience when empathizing with fictional characters, but I have to move past it to write the stories waiting within me. I think that’s actually what has me halted with Vaughn’s story. I love Vaughn more than just about any other character I’ve ever come up with. How am I supposed to put him through the challenges my muse has laid out?
He would be the first person to tell me, “One step at a time,” or rather, “One word at a time.” So that’s what I’ll do.
It will help knowing he has such awesome friends to support him, like Marcus and Tessa and Meg. And, of course, Damien, who is turning out to be just magnificent (which he has to be, if he’s going to deserve Vaughn 💖).
I hope to be spending some time with all of these wonderful characters on Marcus’s birthday. It’s too bad werewolves don’t eat cake! Maybe I’ll have some on Marcus’s behalf. Or maybe I’ll write another short story set on Marcus’s birthday, showing where he is now and how much better his life has become since Tessa arrived. That seems like the perfect present for him.
And if you’d like to spend some time with Marcus and the Blades, Pack is available on many distributors!