Hello, everyone! Today I’m doing something a little bit different and joining the Beautiful People meme hosted by Cait @ Paper Fury and Sky @ Further Up and Further In. I only just discovered Cait’s blog yesterday, but from what I’ve read so far, it’s a wonderfully quirky and just aesthetically gorgeous blog about books, writing, and more books! 😛 So go check Paper Fury out, like, right now.
Okay, what is this ‘Beautiful People Meme’ you speak of?
From the Beautiful People FAQ on Paper Fury:
Beautiful People is for writers. Every month, we post a list of 10 questions for you to answer about your characters. It’s designed to help you get to know your characters – their quirks, their personality, their flaws, and who they are.
I’ve seen a couple of other bloggers I follow do some Beautiful People posts, but I never really thought about jumping in until now. This month’s theme is Parents, because Mother’s day is coming up, so I thought it might be fun to apply these questions to the parents of Behind Her Mask was Death‘s main character, Devon Lavender.
The reason I haven’t really done any posts like this about characters or stuff I’m working on is because I’m always super nervous that I’ll never actually finish my WIPs, and if I tell people about some of the stuff in them they might be disappointed if I never finish the books. However, lately I’ve been growing more confident in this area, and getting better at actually finishing things, so I thought I might try this meme out at least once, just for fun. Devon’s parents, Vanessa and Augustus Lavender do not actually appear in Behind Her Mask was Death, although they are referenced. A prequel featuring them is (tentatively!) in the works, but for now let’s jump into the questions!
DISCLAIMER: I cannot guarantee that everything here is or will be canon in the future. As I said, I’m working on that prequel, and I have spent a fair amount of time developing these characters, but some stuff is still unclear in my own mind, so I will try to answer the questions as best I can. Enjoy!
Also, there may be a few minor spoilers ahead for BHMwD, so be forewarned!
1. Overall, how good is their relationship with their parents?
It really depends on what point in time you’re talking about. When he was younger, Devon and his mother, Vanessa, were basically inseparable. He adored her. His relationship with his father Count Augustus Lavender, then and now, is more formal and distant. After Vanessa’s death when he was just twelve, Devon has withdrawn even further away from his father, and even though he still lives in his father’s house in BHMwD, they tend to keep away from each other in daily life.
2. Do they know both their biological parents? If not, how do they cope with this loss/absence and how has it affected their life?
Devon grew up with both his parents, but, as I said, his mother Vanessa died when he was young. This has effected both his relationship with his father and his own personal life very deeply. Devon’s friends have helped him cope with the loss, but he has still become quite lonely and withdrawn from the world in the years following her death.
3. How did their parents meet?
Vanessa and Augustus grew up in almost opposite situations. Vanessa is the daughter of a fisherman and trader in the island nation of Archipelago, and Augustus is the son of the wealthy, influential Lord Lavender. The Lavender family are members of high society in the city of Kips Capper, but Augustus despised his moody, sometimes cruel father and frivolous friends and left the city to travel. One of the places he went was Archipelago, where he met Vanessa.
4.How would they feel if they were told “you’re turning out like your parent(s)”?
It would really depend on which parent you said he was “turning out like”. Augustus Lavender is a rather emotionally distant, cynical man, and it would be a real blow to Devon’s own security and self esteem for people to think that he was turning out to be like him. He wishes and aspires, however, to be kind and caring and joyful like his mother, and to take a real, genuine interest in people the way she did.
5. What were your character’s parents doing when they were your character’s age?
(Devon is twenty-two in BHMwD, so I’ll use his age in the WIP prequel for a more interesting answer.)
At age twelve, Vanessa would have been helping her mother cook and look after the other children, as well as swimming in the clear, blue-green sea on sunny days and sometimes taking long, silent walks with her grandfather down the beaches. Augustus would have been in school, or perhaps his father would be forcing him accompany him and his sister Annaliese to some high-society function or an evening at the theater.
6. Is there something they adamantly disagree on?
(I am taking this to mean something that the two parents disagree about, although it could conceivably mean something that the character and his parents disagree about, but, you know…)
Augustus is a cautious, rather cynical man, disinclined to trust people until they give him a good reason to. Vanessa is an open, caring person who feels best when she can be helping others. Being a Countess in a rich, important family meant that she had the means to help others in ways she couldn’t before. While Augustus did reluctantly let her travel into the poorer, rougher parts of the city to give aid and food to families there, he refused to let her bring Devon with her, or to even tell him where Vanessa went.
7. What did the parent(s) find hardest about raising your character?
Devon is usually quite reserved and gentle. If he does get angry, however, he can sometimes find himself saying or doing things he would never, ever do normally. He also has a tendency to conceal his feelings, so that he doesn’t ‘bother’ anybody with them, sometimes making it quite difficult to tell when he’s been hurt or upset.
8. What’s their most vivid memory with their parental figure(s)?
Devon will always remember his mother’s voice as she spoke and read and sang to him when he was young. His most vivid memory…? I’d love to write it here, but then it would spoil the prequel, and I haven’t even written out the scene yet, so… Sorry. You will have to wait and see…
9. What was your character like as a baby/toddler?
I think Devon would have been a fairly shy, quiet child. He probably learned to speak before he could walk, and clung close to his mother in times of trouble.
10. Why and how did the parents choose your character’s name?
Devon’s full name is Devon Augustus Lavender. He is named in part for his father, of course, but also for his mother’s wise, beloved grandfather, Devin Oshar. His name reminds Vanessa of her home and the people she loves and misses.
(Literally just made that up. But I like it! That’s definitely canon as of now…)
Thanks for reading! I had so much fun doing this meme, and who knows, maybe I’ll try it again next month… 🙂