Yelena is captured by four goons and almost killed. It’s during this chapter that I realize it’s hard to write about four unknown assailants that are all male. When I write “he” how can a reader know which one? That’s when having uniforms helps and Yelena gives them each a nickname. I learned this trick for this chapter and I use it quite a bit in all my books.

Valek arrives to the rescue and, while having a damsel in distress is not ideal when you’re trying to write about a strong female protagonist, at this point in the story she doesn’t know how to fight. That scene – where he fights four opponents with a pewter beer mug is accurate – no movie magic. A person can do all that with a mug. How do I know? Well, I have a brown belt in Issinryu Karate and learned how to fight hand to hand and fight with weapons. AND I acted it out with some friends.  I hate reading action scenes in books that are physically impossible or just…wrong.  One of my pet peeves.  Oh, and that’s my favorite fight scene…ever!

There are more hints about Rand’s duplicity in this chapter and Liza tries to pin the blame on his mood swings on Yelena.  Yelena doesn’t know how to physically fight, but I show her standing up for herself verbally.

Then there’s the arrival of the mysterious southern magician.  Yet another complication/conflict. Poor girl, doesn’t have any time to relax.  And I do that on purpose. A book can be broken down into a simple formula.  Protagonist wants something more than anything else in the world.  She encounters a series of obstacles as she works to achieve this goal.  The obstacles get more difficult to overcome as the book progresses.  Yelena wants to be free.  Her obstacles are Butterfly’s Dust poison, Valek, General Brazell, and now the southern magician.

In the first couple drafts of the book, I never gave the southern lands a name.  In fact, I sold the book without a name, but, when I found out my publisher wanted a second book, I thought I should have a name for the south.  I picked out Ixia from a map of Greece (from one of its islands I think).  I opened an atlas/book of maps to a random page and there it was.  Sitia is also part of that island so it seemed like the perfect name.

Question 13 – In Inside Out, what is Trella’s full name?

Don't answer this question in the comments!! This is another chance to win! There will be 31 questions for each chapter note published. Collect the answers to ALL the questions (or your best guess) and then enter to win a T-shirt at the end of the month (I'll post the Rafflecopter on the 31st).


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