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Cracking the Salienne Code

Despite having spent time with her through the many, many drafts of The Heir of Ariad, when it comes to Salienne (sah-lee-ENN) of the Rain Realm, I feel like I've barely scratched the surface.

Anyone familiar with Ariad will know Salienne as the fearless and unyielding Silver warrior who takes her role as a sister extremely seriously. If you're not familiar with the story (which *nudge, nudge* can be remedied here) allow me to sum up Salienne as a fierce, indomitable female character whose capacity for grudges almost outweighs her protective instincts toward her brother, Kyrian.

I enjoyed writing Salienne's part in The Heir, mostly because with every draft, she surprised me by growing more and more complex. There were so many facets of her personality that I had only seen on the surface to that point, and the more time I spent seeing the world through her eyes, the more I realized that Skies ablaze, I didn't know this girl at all.

Chapter 7 of The Flame of Ariad has been enlightening. Salienne's formerly 2-dimensional motives are infinitely more complex than I ever imagined, laden with hurts, vulnerabilities and ambitions that she's kept pretty hush-hush from her well-meaning pal, the author. She carries burdens that I, admittedly, have missed—pain she keeps buried, standards she's terrified to fall short of. The more I know about her, the more I want to know, and the more I want you, the reader, to see what I've come to see in her.

Over the summer, I had a conversation with Kyrian about his enigmatic twin. (And before you deem me crazy, I'll have you know that conversing with my character proved to be an unspeakably valuable writing exercise.) Knowing his sister better than anyone, he was able to fill me in on some details that honestly blew my mind.

For example, who knew that my most indecipherable character is actually, in many ways, a lot like me?

All this to say, I am so, so excited to explore Salienne in more depth, to do my best to capture the deep elements of who she is, and to let y'all in on the secrets of this character who has become so fascinating to me. Chapter 7 is underway and I've hardly cracked the code, but every page brings me that much closer to solving the mystery of Salienne.

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