Welcome to authors E.L. Reedy and A.M. Wade! They’re joining us today on the tour to celebrate their new collaboration, Upon Broken Wings, published by Evernight Teen. They sharing some keen personal insight into their main character, and there’s also a giveaway so be sure to check out the Rafflecopter widget for details.
Anatomy of the Creation of a Main Character
We started with a “normal” teen boy with all the fears and angst one would expect him to have. As the story unfolded, there seemed to be some missing elements. What made him different and interesting? Why would the reader care about him? What challenges did he overcome and how did they change him?
One day, we were talking about our families and friends with teens on the autism spectrum and how their lives were challenging not only to them but to those who loved them as well. We listed how life differed for them. There is no normal for them. Any new situation can be horrifying, painful, or non-eventful, all at the same time. And, the idea of Andrew was born.
Pulling examples from real life—painful, sweet, funny, and heart-wrenching moments—we started carving him into a real person. Nothing was sacred or too close to home. Any thought that could help create him was ruthlessly put to paper.
Trying to tie life and death by showing connections between someone on the cusp of death and one who should have so much time more time—if he could find a way to join the rest of humanity– was a bigger challenge. On this world, there is no magic cure for autism or its many facets.
The cemetery roses were foreshadowing future events. The white roses, however, were a tie to the real world full of love and acceptance. Sadly, for his sake, he only sees the link to those who have left.
We had to show his growth and acknowledgement of how others were affected by his actions or lack thereof, and how Life goes on, if one only reaches out to live it.
Andrew had to see himself as more than an abandoned child. He had to come to see himself as a defender and help someone else find the courage to look for signs of love and welcome in the hearts of those around him.
Once we did all that, we still had to show that despite his seeming indifference to the world around him, Andrew, too, was an important part of it and was to be instrumental in showing others the way to the Light.
By demonstrating that he could show love and could communicate his feelings in his own way, we were able to help Andrew become what the Creator had seen in him, by accepting the help of those who loved him and aiding one who needed him. A snapshot of Andrew and Michael.
About the Book
Authors: E. L. Reedy & A. M. Wade
Publisher: Evernight Teen
Release Date: Friday, April 20, 2018
Is This Book Romance?: Yes
Story Type: Novel
Word Count: 69,500
Cover Artist: Jay Aheer
Genres: YA, LGBT, Fiction, Paranormal
Keywords/Categories: Gay, Straight
Warnings: Death, Suicide, Demons
Blurb: Bound by a dark act of hate and despair, high school freshmen, Andrew and Kiernan, learn that their untimely deaths did not bring an end to their pain, but only began the suffering of those left behind. While his lost memories return, Andrew must master seemingly impossible feats, both spiritual and physical. As a dark spirit stalks Kiernan through the borderlands of life and death, he must also face the pain his actions have caused his loved ones. To save both their souls, Andrew must convince Kiernan to return to life and open his eyes to the love and beauty which had always been there.
Andrew was at the graveyard that same morning, of course—every morning, windy or calm, snow or shine—he hadn’t missed a single day since the previous Halloween, when he said the final goodbye to the last of those dear to him.
Despite the sun’s half-hearted attempt to shine, the chill of autumn easily seeped through his black jacket, which he wore in turn over a black shirt and pants. He had not taken up an interest in the Goth Mythology, in truth, he did not even know the meaning of the word. He simply wore the only color that could accurately reflect the feelings tormenting a fourteen-year-old autistic boy who had found no other way to share with the world he felt no longer cared about him.
Andrew had placed his offering of white roses at four graves that morning, the fourth being that of his father, Matthew, whom he had never met. Michael’s final gift, the gold medallion, hung free from a chain around his neck and glittered in the morning sun.
The mysterious angel statues—there were two of them now—the woman, his mother, and a slightly shorter male, which could have represented a young teen—shone in the sparse daylight. The second statue, which held a book in both hands, had appeared within days of Michael’s funeral, but it never struck Andrew as odd and he never guessed its purpose, despite the resemblance and the timing of its appearance. As you might understand, he was rather wrapped up inside of himself, far more so than usual in those dark days of mourning, numbness, and irreparable regrets.
He glanced one last time at Judith’s grave. “Love you, Mom,” he half mumbled. He then sighed, resigned to a fate he lacked the strength to change and regarded Michael’s headstone. “When you left, you took my heart with you.” He sobbed quietly for the longest moment, before whispering, “and today—tonight—I want it back.”
A sudden gust of wind disrupted his reverie and reminded him that he still had to go to school. And that’s when he saw him—a sad-faced light-haired boy, right around his age, with his head down—who walked through the rows of tombstones. Something slipped free from the boy’s fingers and rode the wind, twirling high at first, then as if driven by destiny, it sailed the distance between them and landed at Andrew’s feet, coming to rest against one of his shoes.
While wringing the fingers of one hand—he had perfected that ability—he retrieved it, a business card with the name and number of a local suicide hotline. The irony of the situation escaped him. As I may have eluded to earlier, that was another part of his autism. Things made sense or they did not, there was no in between, no use of symbolism to make understanding easy.
He only shrugged and crumpled the card, before letting it go. He shot another curious glance back toward the sad boy, and he could swear that he vanished before his eyes. He shook his head and blinked rapidly, disregarding what he had seen, and put one foot in front of the other, and walked aimlessly with only the thought of reaching school on time.
Andrew paused when he came to the old rustic bridge, a decorative path across a small pond at the edge of the graveyard. He had a sudden flash of Michael’s face, and the memory of how he had died. He walked the long way around the pond and he never looked back.
About the Authors
E.L. Reedy — Was born and raised in Iowa, where he devoured tomes of fantasy, sci-fi, and young adult novels as a child. In his free time, he is an avid gamer (D&D and Pathfinder). He has traveled the world as a soldier in the U.S. Army, and now lives in Iowa, where with his writing partner, he continues to pen works in the realms of Fantasy and Horror in the Young Adult Universe.
A.M. Wade — As the only girl in a family with five boys, she readily escaped into fantasy, sci-fi, and other fiction novels. Having traveled through most of the US, she enjoys using scenery and characteristics of the different states in the story adventures she created for the little ones in her family. Now, she writes sci-fi, fantasy and horror with a lifelong co-conspirator.