So I decided that my character Haden Lord (who was inspired by Hades) should also have a pet. And naturally his pet would be . . .
the world's smallest cat!
Brimstone, Haden's cat (or hellcat, to be more precise) is based on this picture of Mr. Peebles (the Guinness Book of World Records' holder for smallest living cat in the world) but she looks more like my blue kitty, Ava, when she was just a wee girl.
Brimstone is described as being "barely bigger than a guinea pig . . ."
But don't let her size fool you! Brim is a full-grown cat, and she hates being called a kitten. That's something you should keep in mind since Haden warns that you should never get a hellcat angry!
So why give Haden, a prince of the Underworld and a trained warrior, a pocket-sized feline for a pet?
First off, because it's unexpected. Secondly, if you follow me on Instagram, you've probably noticed that I like kittens. And thirdly, because I think it's important to find a way to show what makes a character--especially a character who might seem less-than-human or not all that emotionally available at first--lovable or redeemable. There are several ways of doing this, and in screen writing, showing this redeeming quality (or moment of compassion) is called "Save the Cat." Two of my favorite ways of creating a likable character is by showing something or someone that my character loves, or by showing who loves my character despite their flaws--even if that someone is a pet.
Here's an excerpt from THE SHADOW PRINCE about Brimstone:
"She's a tiny little thing, but a good deal bigger than the puff of fur she'd been when I rescued her from one of the owls' clutches when she was only a few days old. As a runty newborn, she'd been tossed out of the nest by her mother, left to die in the Wastelands. That's why I'd saved her--and that's why she rarely left my side and could always find me no matter where I was--we'd both been rejected by the only family we'd ever really known. That made us kin."
So Haden "saves the cat" by literally saving a (hell)cat. But Brimstone isn't just a plot device, she's an important character in the book. I think of her as the older sister that Haden always needed. She scolds him when he's being thoughtless, prods him to do the right thing, and even tries to help him out with the ladies on occasion. Brimstone is fiercely loyal and deeply bonded to Haden, and he to her--a connection that plays out in important, and hopefully unexpected, ways in the book.
For more Brim and Haden, be sure to check out THE SHADOW PRINCE on March 11th!
(BTW, I kind of dream of the day someone does some Haden and Brimstone fanart!)
Now for a giveaway!
Brimstone loves music so I am giving away one of my silver lyre necklaces. Brim also comes from a long line of ancient mythological creatures, so I am also giving away a signed copy of RELIC by Renee Collins, an exciting book about people who harness special powers from the bones of ancient magical creatures.
Enter to win using the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.
Last week's Teaser Tuesday winner is: Madeline Hale!
(Winner, if you didn't get my email, hit the contact button in the menu above and sen me your shipping address in order to claim your prize.)
a Rafflecopter giveaway