The Characters of Beyond the Gloaming Pass
Where did my character inspiration come from? Are they based on people from real life?
Yes and no. There is no one in the story who is intended to be recognizable as a real person from my own life or from popular culture. None of them are based on any one specific person I have known, although those who know me really well may look at my naming for some of these characters and be forgiven for thinking otherwise. What I did draw from in the real world are different types of interpersonal relationships, both positive and negative, and the effects and influence different people have on each other. I don’t think any author can write fiction and claim that none of their material is in any way influenced by their own experiences, because our experiences are the raw materials from which we create. That fact is inescapable. Having said that, most of my characters were inspired by a role that someone, or perhaps several people, played in my own story. They are crafted to have a similar influence over the world or people in the book.
Which character is most like me?
I think there are aspects of Rubriel that are somewhat similar to a much younger version of me. The roots of this book are old; the core ideas for this story first came into being ten years ago as of 2022 when I’m writing this post. Other times I think she is more like my mother than like me. She is also pushed to extremes and put in situations that bring a darker, uglier side of her to the surface. I don’t know if I would act that way or make those choices in a real life situation - and I hope I never have cause to find out! I also had quite a lot in common with Molindra when I was younger; that burning desire to find something bigger and better than what the world had planned for me, which is something I think a lot of people experience but not everyone acts on that feeling. I think it often seems easier to do what Rubriel chose to do prior to the start of the book and just keep on muddling through, doing the best you can with what you have.
Is there a love story in this book?
That depends how broadly you define a love story. Beyond the Gloaming Pass is not a romance novel. If you’re looking to escape into a world of muscular guys, impossibly gorgeous girls and steamy desire - as is commonly associated with the fantasy genre - you have come to entirely the wrong section of the infinite digital bookshelf. My main characters share a pure, deep friendship; a sisterly bond developed over many years before the story begins. Neither of them has ever had much in the way of marriage prospects, for reasons that will become obvious rather quickly in the first few chapters. There is honestly so much going on in this book already that it really doesn’t need the added complexity of romantic interests, in spite of the common trope that the hero and heroine should fall for one another before the end. Besides, he’s 30 years her junior and betrothed to someone else. But is Beyond the Gloaming Pass a love story at its core? Absolutely. Love, in its many forms, is an underlying theme throughout.