Monday, July 20, 2009
When a new story starts to form, and I begin developing a book, the first thing I start with is the general feeling. Is it a futuristic Sci Fi? A whimsical fantasy? Is it comical? Tragic? One of my hobbies is collecting rare gemstones, so it’s not unusual for me to assign a gemstone to convey the feeling of a book or a character. For example, in Imperative: Missing You, much of the plot hinged on an aquamarine necklace. In Black Planet: Little Dragon, stolen topaz figured into the story. These are internal cues to myself, and to the reader as to the overall feeling of the book.
When I began to develop the sequel to Bad Angels: Falling, one color came to the front. Red.
Noemi is the heroine who has entered the series. She is ruby. She is fire. She is heat and fire and damnation. Thus the name of the book: Burn.
Rubies are all about their color. Yes, value is also derived by clarity, carat weight and cut, but the most important element to a ruby is its vivid, passionate coloring. The finest ruby should be a medium-dark, vivid red. Blood red.
What does red mean to you? Power, blood and anger, or passion, love and heat? In either case, the ruby is a strong stone, a strong color, and in this case the perfect symbol for a powerful, divided heroine.
Noemi Gastineau is of Native American background, she has black hair, dark skin and brilliant dark eyes. She’s smart and canny, but she’s also a tortured woman with many secrets. She is a doctor and a healer, but also a deadly warrior. She might have started the story as a victim, even as a villain, but her trials and suffering have made her stronger and heroic.
Like the color red, Noemi is passion and love, fire and anger. Red is about good fortune in some cultures, hatred and war in others. Noemi’s red is a wonderful compliment to the calm, celestial blue of Orion the fallen angel, and the earthy colors of Rex the sidhe. Noemi’s heat and fire has the potential to tear apart her lovers, or to bring them closer together.
Regardless of the association that you make with the ruby, and with the color red, you will most likely agree that there is nothing weak about the ruby, nothing passive or indecisive about the color or the gemstone.
Incidentally, the ruby is the birthstone for the month of July.
Bad Angels: Burn releases July 24 at Changeling Press.
Buy Link: http://www.changelingpress.com/product.php?&upt=book&ubid=1197
Belinda’s Homepage: www.belindamcbride.com