At WWC, I heard someone said your main character should always be the most interesting character. So I wanted to talk about my top five favourite characters in my stuff and which characters are in comparison much more interesting, but I’m starting off on the wrong foot because now that I think about it, Finn is probably the most interesting character in the Tempest series.
I have always been exceptionally character driven, and up until Mercedes Lackey wrote the Chrome Circle, I honestly believed I could read about my favourite character reading a book for three hundred pages.My formally favourite character was going to work in a horse farm. I didn’t want to believe I was bored, but I tried to summit that book so many times I can’t even give you a number before I gave up on it. What I found interesting at fourteen and at twenty-one turned out to be two completely separate thing. But the SERRAted edge books are the reason I write paranormal.
My top five favourite main characters, in no particular order are Finn, Matt, Cy, Vision and Colin.
Day one is Finn, my gay little selkie boy from Coral were his Bones.
Finn is a fascinating character to write. I’m putting this in present tense because I’m currently working on the book two. Susan MacGregor says it as succinctly as possible in her Letters to the Slushpile and again in her ABCs that alien or shifter POV’s have to absolutely nail that sense of other in an interesting enough way that the reader gets that the protagonist is not human, and yet relatable enough to your hopefully human audience that you don’t push your reader away. Finn’s a sea lion, which is both a fiercesome predator and also the powerbar of the sea for bigger fish and other mammals to munch on. Finn’s sense of smell and his awareness of the world in a 360 degree space is so much fun to write. I cheated, making Finn 49% human so that he can be in a relationship with a human and develop all the same human attachments. Some selkies gather in harem-like arrangements, though others, like Finn mate for life.
Finn, like all my favourite characters has been wounded in ways that would crumple most people, but like Matt, he wants to be whole and complete. He fell in love with his mate and loves him as fiercely as he knows how, but if he hadn’t had his heart stolen away at his eighteenth birthday, he and Devon would have probably broken up by now. And since in this world, selkies can literally die from a broken heart, the stakes are really, really high. If Devon doesn’t hold his tether, he’ll float away on the tide and if he lets go, Finn will die. I love the world and the characters so much.
As a selkie, he has the most to lose because going back to Paul after his hard earned two week “vacation” will probably kill him or worse. He understands that his boyfriend could lose arms or legs and still be a whole person, but if he were to lose a limb, he wouldn’t be able to swim as a sea lion. Nothing rings the dinner bell so hard in the ocean as a prey animal swimming erratically. If he loses a hand or a foot, the only safe place he could swim would be in inland lakes or pools, and Finn was meant to swim in open water. If he were a sword, he’d be the one thrust into the forge and then bent back over himself time after time after time, but any shock to his system has a real chance of shattering him. He grew up extremely wealthy but had lost both his parents in a boating “accident” as a very young boy.
Unlike the other four I want to talk about, Finn might actually be the most interesting character in the book. As other, he has a way of looking at life that is completely unique. His boyfriend, Devon, isn’t the shining perfect example of a human and has had to deal with a lot of resentment growing up being the boy-next-door to the kid who has everything except for a family. Eddie, Devon’s dad, is a trans man, though Eddie viewed his surgery as important in his life as getting his tonsils out. He’s always been Eddie and Finn is a bit awkward around him because he doesn’t think a straight man would understand what it could possibly be like to be the receptive partner in a relationship.
There are two antagonists, Finn’s master/boss, Paul and the Pacific sea witch. Everything out there across the universe has a personification in this Council of the Infinites, and for any of them to be involved in the tiny life of a tiny sea lion is ludicrous.
So, yeah. Most of my other stuff has at least one non-POV character who is more interesting than Finn is, but I don’t think that’s the case in Coral.