Now lets talk about Marko. His passion and pleasure comes from ruling others. He loves money for the purpose of controlling and using people. On the streets of Bosnia, he used his muscle and quick wits to move up as the leader of his own gang. He cared for no one, only whether a man would swear loyalty to him, and be his to command. Men joined him because he offered safety, not because they liked him.

When people started betting on fights in the streets, Marko was the first to start making money. He was able to tell which man had the drive and skills to survive. He had his men capture rival gang members so that they could set up their own fights. His power on the streets grew, but Marko wasn’t satisfied. He wanted more. Then suddenly it was gone.

The fighting was taken from the streets, by the Bosnian mafia. There was so much war and chaos in the country that no one seemed to care about some illegal side sport. Marko was angry. Most of the fighters on the streets had been taken as gladiators for the game. Marko’s power was gone, well at least most of it. Marko hated the mafia for stealing it from him. When Stefan, a leader of the mafia, came to him and offered him the job of training gladiators he refused. He had no desire to work for them. Marko wouldn’t be controlled by anyone.

Then Stefan offered him something he couldn’t refuse. A chance for Marko to fulfill his dream and have his own gladiators. He had spent years planning and thinking about how he’d set it up. He dreamed of having unbeatable gladiators and knew exactly how he’d go about training them. Marko knew his dream would be fulfilled when he met a scrawny little scrapper named Devin.

That is just a glimpse into the antagonist Marko. If you have any questions please feel free to ask.

Devin Andrew Steele

In the coming weeks I will be finishing my 2nd book of the “Soul Conquest” Series, “The Refiners Fire.” At the same time I will be reworking “The Ultimate Trial” and releasing a 2nd edition. During this process I thought I would create some posts about these two books and my journey in creating them. So here goes.

Devin Andrew Steel is the main character in “Soul Conquest.” His journey onto paper was a rough one. He is, I guess, my guinea pig for character development. I had tried to write down my stories prior to “Soul Conquest” and, being an avid reader I recognized poor writing when I saw it. So consigning myself to the stark fact that I could not write, I stuck with daydreaming. At least, until, one day my husband asked what it was I daydreamed about. At the time of the question, the story I had banging around inside my brain was this very story. After some insistence on my husband’s part, I sat out on the frustrating but rewarding journey of extracting a character and plot from a brain that had no idea how to translate such a project.

So in comes Devin. In my dreams he never had a name, or a childhood. He appeared at the most exciting part of the story. He was who he was. My mind automatically knew how he would act under any circumstance. Sometimes when I was daydreaming he would respond or act a certain way and I would backtrack because it wasn’t true to his character. How my mind does that . . . I don’t know.

So in comes the tricky part. How do I get readers to know him the same way I do. First I needed to give him a name. Names are a big deal to me, so I found a name that felt right and then did some research. If I like the name but not the meaning than It’s a no go. So . . . I named him, now the harder task was giving him a past, a journey, really, into the hearts of the readers.

That is truly one of the hardest and most exciting parts, for me, in writing. Think for a minute, about how you would describe all the different complex parts of your personality to a stranger. Complicated, right? I’ve had discussions with my children about Devin that got pretty deep. There is so much more to him than what is written in my book. I keep my stories pretty simple, and that much information on Devin would turn my books into something that belongs in a psychologist’s office. Which means, each reader will add their own depth to Devin’s character. He will always be Devin in my mind but the exciting thing about the imagination is you can create right along with me.

I love learning about how other people see Devin and why. If you would like to share your favorite things about him or just have specific questions, please comment. I would love to hear and respond.