Introducing Taryn ~ Kickass Heroine of Aelinae

Blessed Summer Solstice, everyone.

Since yesterday was Taryn’s birthday, I thought it would be fun for us to get to know this character from my fantasy The Temple of Ardyn.

Taryn’s Pendant

Taryn thought her life on Earth was completely normal. Except perhaps, for the charmed pendant she always wore ~ the one that communicated to her with little chirps or songs sung quietly in her mind. Then there’s her grandfather Brandt, who is a bit odd, teaching her a secret language so someday she could speak with faeries and the like. Not to mention the arcane knowledge he taught her instead of more traditional histories. Even so, Taryn never thought her life strange until the day Brandt took her through a portal to another world. A world of beauty where magic dwelled in everything. A world of savage beasts, human and animal alike, who would seek immortality as Gods.

Aelinae. The world where she was born.


Taryn graciously accepted my invitation to be interviewed on the blog, so thank you Taryn for your time. I know you’re busy these days. First, just let me say Happy Birthday!

Taryn ~ Thanks, but please don’t shout. I had too much spiced ghrom last night.

Spiced ghrom? Is that an Aelinean drink?

Taryn ~ It’s an Eleri drink. Kind of like coffee and chocolate mixed with spices. Usually it doesn’t involve alcohol, but for special occasions they add some. I think it’s 150 Proof. Ouch.

Sounds delicious yet lethal. Being raised on Earth, what was the hardest part of adjusting to Aelinae?

Taryn ~ You mean besides the fact that I can’t get pizza and cheeseburgers? Probably dealing with all the family drama. On Earth I was an only child, here I have relatives everywhere I look. It’s hard to find time alone, you know, just to think.

I can imagine. What are some of the highlights of your new world?

Taryn ~ ShantiMari, definitely. It’s kind of like the Aelinaen version of The Force. Very woowoo mysticism, feel the flow of energy type of thing. Learning to control it is a challenge, but one I’m definitely up for. Just don’t tell anyone how many times I’ve burnt myself by mistake, okay?

Is it dangerous?

Taryn ~ Well, let’s put it this way, you have the ability to create and destroy in equal measure. If you do it wrong, that’s bad. I can be impatient to learn and might try things on my own before I’m ready, so I often get it wrong. I like to think of it as learning on the job. Rhoane would kill me if he knew I told you that. You don’t think he’ll see this, do you?

Can he read English?

Taryn ~ I hadn’t thought of that. No, he can’t. Okay, we’re good.

So, what besides inflicting damage to yourself, what else do you like to do on Aelinae?

Taryn ~ I love showing my friends new things, like how to mix martial arts with sword work or how to surf in the ocean.

You’ve done martial arts since you were little, what belt are you?

Taryn ~ I have no idea. We moved around a lot so my style isn’t one discipline, it’s a mix of many forms which always frustrated the sensei at whatever dojo I attended.

You mentioned swords, are you any good with one?

Taryn ~ I’m getting better. My friend Baehlon is teaching me how not to kill myself.

You’ve got all the makings for a kickass heroine. You’re smart, tough, you’ve got a big heart, and you’re sexy.

Taryn ~ You’re funny. I’m totally not sexy. I’m a tomboy who likes to wear jeans and t-shirts, well, I suppose I have to say leather pants and a jerkin now since they don’t make jeans on Aelinae. That’s another thing I miss about Earth. But, um do you think Rhoane thinks I’m sexy?

I’ve no doubt he does.ย When you first met him, what did you think of him?

Taryn ~ I thought he was tall. Seriously, he’s like six three or something. Then I thought he had the greatest eye color I’d ever seen. It’s like dried moss you find on trees in really old forests. I’ve never seen anyone with eyes like that.

That’s it? You thought he was tall and liked his eyes? He’s totally hot, you had to at least think he was cute.

Taryn ~ First of all, you have to remember I’d just fallen through a portal to another world. I wasn’t really thinking of anything except where am I? What the hell is going on?

What do you think of Rhoane now?

Taryn ~ {blushes} Next question.

Hmmm, touchy. Since arriving on Aelinae, you’ve undergone some physical changes like your hair turning silver. Do you like the changes?

Taryn ~ My hair turning silver is the least of my worries now! To be honest, when it first started changing I didn’t like it. I wasn’t sure who the girl in the mirror was and I didn’t want to lose the essence of who I am, so I fought it. But I came to realize everything was happening for a reason. I might not like the changes, but they would come no matter my feelings on the matter. I suspect there are more in store for me, so I try not to get too comfortable with what I have at any given moment. I’ve learned everything can be ripped away in less than one beat of your heart.

Let’s not leave the interview on a downer, what are you going to do for the rest of the day?

Taryn ~ Well, it’s summer here, just like it is on Earth, so I’m going to head down to the beach for a picnic with my friends. I’ve been hearing rumors of a war with the West and of course there are pirates in the Summer Seas, so there is never a shortage of excitement around here. I’m just hoping to have one day of peace and quiet. Wish me luck.

From what I’ve heard of Aelinae, Taryn’s going to need all the luck she can get.


Delving into our character’s private lives can be so much fun. What they do when they aren’t on the page, how they dress, the music they listen to, it’s all part of creating a character people relate to.

Do you like to use Pinterest for story boarding? Are you a cork board type visualizer, or do you keep everything in your head? Do you make up backgrounds and stories for your characters? What’s your process for creating them? Share with us, we’d love to know!


26 thoughts on “Introducing Taryn ~ Kickass Heroine of Aelinae

  1. This interview will make for an awesome counterpart to your book for readers. I feel like Taryn has a sweet, eloquent tone to her voice. Am I close? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Hope she has a kickass birthday!

    I’m more of an in-my-head visualizer. I use images for research, though. Google Maps helped me venture through snowy forests in the mist of warm CA weatherโ€”really brought me back to the climate and look of arctic Minnesota enough to write about it.

    • You’ve got the essence of Taryn perfect. She probably had a very kickass birthday. They know how to party on Aelinae.

      Google Maps has saved me a few times, too. Isn’t it strange how we can ‘forget’ some things once we’ve been gone for awhile? Arctic Minnesota is very far from California, that’s probably something I’d want to forget before it was even over.

  2. Looking forward to meeting Taryn in book format, the interview has me interested.

    I can’t plot, plan or anything. I start with couple characters, something that is fundamentally different between them and a way to force them to spend a lot of time together. That is my formula for romance writing. I’ve tried numerous formats for planning, plotting and the like. It never works, I just have to sit and write and find out who they are and fix any plot holes later.

    • Thanks Asrai! I’m a lousy plotter. I try, but then the story goes off in another direction and I follow it. After the fantasy though, I’m learning to keep an eye on my word count. It’s easier to add content than subtract, that’s for sure.

      I love that you just throw two people together and let them figure out the story. Sounds like something I’d do!

  3. I’d love to learn martial arts with swords work. I’ll have to ask Taryn for a lesson ๐Ÿ™‚
    I set up a Pinterest months ago, tried it once and gave up. There are so many social networks around, I can’t keep up. Orlando is looking very Johnny Depp handsome in that pic.

    • You should see if there is a kendo studio near you. That’s probably the best form to start with. You’d be so kickass!

      I admit, I’m addicted to Pinterest. It’s my guilty pleasure now instead of watching trashy T.V., I’ll surf the web looking for interesting pictures. Orlands IS looking very Johnny Depp. Maybe that’s why I like it so much. Some of Orlando’s pictures are very sweet/feminine looking and Rhoane is definitely rougher looking.

      Have a great weekend!

  4. Hi,

    Apologies for the off-topic comment, but I couldn’t find a contact email for you.

    A while ago I put out an ebook of my writing, called ‘The New Death and others’. It’s a collection of short pieces, mostly dark fantasy.

    I was wondering if you’d be interested in doing a review on your blog.

    If so, please email me: Let me know what file format is easiest for you, and I’ll send you a free copy.

    You can download a sample from the ebook’s page on Smashwords:

    I’m also happy to do interviews, guest posts, or giveaways. Just let me know what you’d prefer.


  5. Happy Birthday Taryn! What a fun interview. I love getting to know characters in this way. It makes me want to know more about them…and how better than in their book?

    I would love to use Pinterest for story boards, but I’ve read enough that it makes me nervous. I don’t have enough of my own pictures to use, and I’m not into getting sued for using pictures taken by others (I know, some people say you won’t, but others say you can be)….not to mention I haven’t been able to figure it out anyway. So I stick with the cork board and pics I cut from magazines and sale ads.

    For my main characters, I know pretty much everything there is to know about them, down to the smallest of details. Far more info than will ever see the light of day (or pages of a book). I also like to interview them. Those are my Sybil moments, but that’s okay. I’ve learned a great deal about a couple of of my characters…and actually started liking the heroine in the last book in my series (not written yet). I really didn’t like that woman and knew it would be hard to write her if I didn’t change that. The interview did the trick. The other character had a cool sense of humor I didn’t know about.

    Does anyone else ever look over their shoulder when they write or talk about stuff like this? ‘Normal’ people probably think we’re nuts! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I know what you mean about Pinterest. So far, I’m only repinning what’s already on there and some of my own pictures. I hope it all gets sorted soon.

      I do have cork boards in my office with magazine pics or some I’ve printed from the internet. They provide a sense of calm and keep me firmly rooted in the world. I’m like you ~ I know all about my characters. Stuff no one ever needs to know, I’ve created in a journal I keep for each book. Any scars, physical or emotional, their tics, habits, likes, dislikes, way of speaking, etc. all gets jotted down. I think I like making up their personas as much as writing the whole book! Especially when it’s like you said ~ you discover things you weren’t aware of.

      I stopped looking over my shoulder. I’ve never been normal, so it doesn’t bother me anymore. Still, my husband will give me a look every now and then that conveys, ‘You know these people aren’t real, right?’ and I look back at him like, ‘Oh hell yes they are!’.

      • I get that look very often. Because I’m with you. I ‘gave birth’ to them, and in some ways it was a whole lot harder than bringing my flesh and blood kids into the world. At least my kids developed their own personalities. I own everything about my characters…and they are entirely real to me. Not that I talk to them or anything. Much… ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Happy Birthday t Taryn! What a fun post. I recently had to interview my characters for a class (something I’d been meaning to do anyway but hadn’t been able to find the time) and it was great fun! Their personalities came out with each question. ๐Ÿ˜€ Taryn’s personality was bleeding through. Loved it! I can feel, something big is going to happen between Taryn and Rhoane. ๐Ÿ˜€

  7. Pingback: Giving A Little Love to the Romantic Suspense | Tameri Etherton

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