Today it is my pleasure to host Corrina Lawson who is the author of the Phoenix Institute superhero series, which won the Science Fiction Romance Galaxy Award as “Best Superhero Origin Series.” The next book in that series, Phoenix Inheritance, is out this week. Here she talks about how to know when it’s time for a character to step up and receive their superhero origin. Take it away Corrina!
How do you know when a character can carry a story?
When I created the Phoenix Institute series, I deliberately created a supporting cast that might be eligible, one day, for their own stories. But just plucking a hero from a supporting cast isn’t so easy. There has to be a story that needs to be told with that character.
Years ago, when the great teacher Jennifer Crusie critiqued one of my scenes (in a as-yet unpublished romantic suspense), she said “I love her! Can she be the heroine?” And I said, no, I wish she could, but she’s already complete and happy.
I gave the same response to my editor when she asked me to make one of her favorite supporting characters in the Phoenix Institute series, Daz Montoya, the hero of his own story. Daz is a natural leader, confident, smart and, as yet, not the stuff of which compelling stories are made.
Heck, Daz was supposed to be the hero of book three, Ghost Phoenix, but I couldn’t get it to work. He was too centered, too in control and too calm about the events of the story. Until things happened in Ghost Phoenix and Daz began to doubt his skills.
When Phoenix Inheritance opens, Daz, a Navy SEAL who left the service to head up a private special forces team, knows he’s in over his head. He inhabits a world where his enemies possess telekinesis that can kill, or they can toss fire with their minds, or they can control his mind with telepathy. How does a normal human, albeit a well-trained warrior, survive in this world? Daz fears he can’t.
More, Daz believes he’s become a liability to those he’s sworn to protect. Add that to his frustration at not being as involved enough in the life of his young son, and guilt over the break-up with his son’s mother, and Dazstands at a crossroads. How does he overcome these obstacles?
He has to become more.
Thanks so much Corrina for stopping by and taking us behind the scenes on what it took to tell Daz’s story!