I originally planned this post for Mother’s Day, but things got hectic and I’ve been writing too much to concentrate on this blog (even though it’s a writing blog). But I thought it was still a good idea, so today I’m going to be sharing a little bit about the mothers in Vengeance Is Mine, as well as some snippets. Each mother is the mom of one of my main characters (although I didn’t plan it that way). I have roughly four main characters – Aaron, Nathan, Lily, and Dylan – but Dylan’s mom isn’t alive (I don’t think I ever even mention her), so she won’t be on this list. And now…to the list!
[I don’t have a character casting for this mom, since she just appears in the prologue of book 1]
Rebecca, or Becca as she’s commonly called, is Nathan’s mother. She only has a part in the first book’s prologue, as I mentioned above, and I can’t even say that she made an impact on her child’s life, since Nathan never knew her. However, she does drive the plot because, really, if Nathan hadn’t been born, there would’ve been no book, right? Becca’s words are the first sentence in the trilogy (although, by the time I’m done editing, that might not be the case) and I found her point-of-view very easy to write. It might have been because I was in the first fervour of NaNoWriMo where everything seemed fresh and new, but I was able to connect with both her fear and her faith on a personal level, and she’s one of my favorite minor characters. Five pages into book 1, and I was already crying, because page 5 was when Nathan was born and I was completely overwhelmed by the scope this trilogy would take on. And Becca started it.
Jase’s eyes widened and he nodded. He made as if to duck outside, making sure to check that no one was anywhere near when he did so, but he came back inside. “If you want me to take you back to the city, and your family until the baby comes, I can do that.”
Gratefulness welled up inside her, and even some hope, but she shook her head. “The journey would be too dangerous, and, besides, I want you with me. And they think we’re dead.” She had said and thought such a thing too often for it to have much effect on her anymore, but the thought still hurt her heart, no matter how little. To succeed in their mission, they had given up everything, even more than a normal Existent did. Their home, their families, their very identities. It was only in the privacy of their own little dwelling did they call each other Jase and Becca. To the rest of the world they were Ethan and Jannara.
“Still, we should have someone. A-a midwife, or something.”
“Jase, women have been doing this by themselves since time began,” she said with a faint smile on her face. “As long as I have you with me, I can manage. Truly.”
He hesitated, then gave a quick nod, as if assuring himself of the truth of her statement. “Well, then, I’ll be off.” She raised her hand a little in farewell, and then he left.
Reading over this snippet, I confess that I knew very little about my story world back then. And I wrote this in a flood of NaNo inspired words, so if it’s garbage, blame the 30 day writing challenge. It was the only passable snippet concerning her that I could find.
Okay, so I figured out that I couldn’t share who Lily’s mother is, because that would be a pretty big spoiler, so I’m going to share with you some things about Nathan’s other mom – Laii. She isn’t really his mom, of course, but she’s as close to it as anyone could get. She loves him and scolds him and makes sure he’s safe (no small task). And she has a mysterious past. Which isn’t really relevant to this post, but that’s always cool, right? Laii made some big mistakes when she was younger, and taking care of Nathan and the other boys under her charge in the facility is one way that she tries to atone for those mistakes. Laii is hard to write at times, because she’s flawed and I still don’t think I have all her motives and dreams down. She’s both strong and broken, all at the same time.
“Sneakers?” Laii asked, her voice filled with incredulity. “That’s what this was all about?” He nodded halfheartedly, much as Dylan had done. “Why?” she asked.
“He’s a bully,” Nathan said, and decided to leave it at that. He wouldn’t tell her the details, especially about the time Dylan had sneered at him and said that he didn’t really belong here at the facility. He was afraid that Laii would admit that Dylan was right, and that he would have to go. He had waited all his life for this day, and it would not be spoiled by a fight with Dylan. He wouldn’t allow it.
She nodded slowly, at least that’s what Nathan thought she did. The hood made it difficult to read head motions, and he suddenly wished that she didn’t wear that everlasting hood and cloak so he could read her eyes and facial expressions and body language as he did with the other boys. It would make everything so much easier.
She gave a frustrated sigh. “You’re too angry, Nathan. You let anger wipe away all your good sense far too often. Why?” Her tone of voice showed she genuinely wanted to know, but Nathan wasn’t about to give her what he knew was the reason. It was because at times he felt like he didn’t belong, that he was an outcast, and so he became angry and violent if anyone questioned his position here. Or even if he thought they had. He just shook his head.
She huffed again. “Go and apologize to Dylan right now.”
“What?” Nathan said, all anger and sullenness gone, replaced by amazement. That was all? No punishment, no- Then he realized exactly what she had said. Apologize to Dylan? Impossible. He would rather take a week without food than apologize to that low-down rat. Why wasn’t she giving him a proper punishment?
“Right now.” Her voice was firm, and devoid of emotion once again. “Or you will not go through the ceremony today. You will have to wait another year, and then be behind all the other boys.”
Again, I didn’t really have all that firm of a grasp on my story at this point, but I’ve always liked this little scene, mainly because I had no idea how things were going to play out. I was just discovering that Nathan wasn’t going to be a perfect hero, struggling against circumstances. I had no idea how important Dylan would be in the future (although the sympathetic way in which I handled the scene right after this might have told me something), and I knew nothing about Laii’s past. Of course, I’m still learning things about my characters (I doubt I’ll ever stop) but it’s fun to look back at some of my earlier writings.
Callie is one of my favorite characters ever. She’s Aaron’s mom, and she’s just plain wonderful. Besides her great skills as a mom, she always sticks behind her husband, David, through both the good times and the bad (and, believe me, sometimes it gets bad). She holds the Nonexistent’s community together when David is away (which is often) with the help of Matthew, an old family friend, and she welcomes her wayward son back into the family and their life, despite what he did earlier (*cue dramatic music*). I’m not done No Greater Love yet (the only book, so far, that she shows up in), but as the story continues, she’s going to be called upon to be even stronger than she has been before. There’s going to be a lot of stress and strain, but I know she can pull through it.
Monday’s early morning light brought him to the entrance of the community. He stared out across the landscape in front of him, Callie at his side. The ground looked as though it had been chewed up. There were cracks and lines everywhere, all over the ground. Already, he feared for his men’s safety.
“Feeling tired?” Callie asked.
David shook his head.
She put her arm into the crook of his arm and rested her head against his shoulder. “I would’ve thought you’d be exhausted. I don’t think you slept all last night.” She sighed. “It’s been a frightening time for all of us.”
“Looks like the outside got it worse than in here,” David commented, pointing his chin at the scene in front of them. “But we’ll rebuild in there, too. We always have. And the accident seems to be pulling everyone together better than any of my messages ever could.” He closed his eyes for a moment as the sun’s early glare hit him right on. “I should go.”
Her arm slipped out of his gently.
“Be safe,” she said.
He nodded. “I’ll see if we can get some supplies back to here.”
Callie smiled then. “That would be good.”
So there you have it! The mom’s (some of them, at least) of Vengeance Is Mine. Do you have any mothers in your book(s)? What are they like?