Friday, June 22, 2012

Creating a Half Human Hero: Senth




Senth is HalfKin, a half human, half catlike alien.


Welcome to the Science Fiction Romance Summer Blog Event!


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Senth Antonello, the hero of At the Mercy of Her Pleasure, is a HalfKin, half human and half Kin, a feline species. I wanted to introduce him in the book in such a way that you knew immediately he was different. I had him skulking around in shadows, which brought out some of his ultra senses. Here are the opening paragraphs.
SFR Brigade Midsummer Blog Hop

Sheathed in black, Senth checked left, then right before molding his body into the shadows near a brick wall. The human and feline Kin gangs in Crooktown hunted mixed breeds. At first glance he appeared human, but with his catlike eyes and fangs, no one could miss his feral nature. He tugged the hood of his cloak forward, concealing his eyes. In moonlight, they'd glow like a cat's.
Ffffftt this kkkhh!” The Kin cuss words hissed past his fangs. Where are you? Pressed against the wall, he slipped around a corner and into the alley.
Senth slid into the concealing darkness behind a barrel. His HalfKin senses caught the scent of his quarry before he saw him. He narrowed night-sensitive eyes.
Senth's human half brother leaned against the opposite wall of the rubble-strewn alley, silent and unaware of his presence. Khyffen's blond hair shone faintly in the muted light. A female pinned him, arms around his neck. She tore open Khyff's shirt and ran her hands over his chest, then went to her knees in front of him. Khyff opened his pants.
Yechh. Senth squatted at the base of the brick wall, folding himself into the tight space behind another barrel to guard his brother's back. Do you have to get your cock out now? If those gangs come down here… He leaned out from the barrel. Khyff had his fists clenched, eyes squeezed shut, and face lifted to the night sky, mouth open in a silent scream.
Hurry up, Bro. He rubbed the back of his gloved hand across his brow. Man, if I had to worry about a perpetual hard-on, I'd never get anything done. We've gotta get you off that drug. The one Senth's Sen'dai gave him had the opposite effect.
A scritch near his feet signaled rats. When one ran across the toes of his boots, Senth bared his fangs. He clamped down on a hiss before Khyff could hear it. From down the street the faint sound of a gang chant carried in the chill night air.
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In four paragraphs, we've learned a lot about this character.
He's wearing black
He knows how to be quiet
He's in a dangerous part of town
He looks human at first
He has catlike eyes and fangs
He has a feral nature
He's concealing his eyes because they glow
He knows how to curse in the Kin language
He's sneaking around in the dark
He has a half brother who's human
He's curious about what his brother is up to
He's oddly uninterested in sex
His master keeps him on drugs to suppress his sex drive
He's wearing gloves and a hooded cloak
He doesn't like rats
He has good hearing
He has good night vision
He has a master -- does that mean he's a slave or an apprentice?
None of this info is presented as a dump of details -- it's all incorporated into the story. Creating an alien hero (or any character) is more about making the character understandable and relatable than about making them different. The small mentions of the things about Senth that are different emphasize the things about him that are the same as us. Creating an alien hero is a challenge, but one that can be a great deal of fun.
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At the Mercy...

Antonello Brothers 1: At the Mercy of Her Pleasure (a Tarthian Empire Book)
Loose Id: http://www.loose-id.com/At-the-Mercy-of-Her-Pleasure.aspx
Nook: http://is.gd/atthemercy_bn
ARe: http://is.gd/atthemercy_are
Fictionwise: http://is.gd/atthemercy
Print: http://is.gd/atthemercy_amz
Kindle: http://is.gd/atthemercy_kin
Get an electronic autograph for the Kindle version of this book at Kindlegraph
Genre: Science Fiction Romance, Erotic Romance, Action Adventure
Warning: Contains half-feline thief who plays with what he steals, and a by-the-book military heroine whose passion he liberates. Author not liable for items missing once book is open, including hearts.

The sequel to At the Mercy is For Women Only. Learn more about the book on my website by clicking the title. It features Senth's older brother, Khyff.

59 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, Pippa! ^_^ I love Senth. He's a lot of fun to write.

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  2. Enjoyed seeing how you created your character.

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    1. Thank you, JC. I thought people might like a behind-the-scenes peek at what we do to create these characters.

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  3. I love when details are introduced gradually, that we the reader, get the chance to uncover the true natures of the characters. Thanks for sharing,
    Dawn

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    1. Thank you, Dawn. If it's done right, you can say a lot without telling the reader the story. That's not meant to be doublespeak... just that you can let people know more about a character by letting the details speak for him rather than telling them he sneaked around because he didn't want to get caught by gangs. ;)

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  4. Interesting post, the build up of a character shown so well and what a perfect picture to start.

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    1. Don't you love that image? It's perfect for Senth. He's a little bit kitten, and a lot manly man. What a fun hero he is to write. He surprises me now and then. I hadn't intended to write one scene, but it presented itself and just worked into the story. Senth is bored waiting for NarrAy, so he puts himself into his bagbot (a robotic suitcase) and tries to break out. The thing won't open and he's trapped in there, so NarrAy has to rescue him. Later, because his being inside it broke part of the weight mechanism, it messes up in the starport while they're trying to hide from police. Chaos ensues, and it was a hilarious moment. All of that came out because I thought "what would a cat do if he had to wait for his human partner?" LOL

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  5. Most interesting, Kayelle. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. You're welcome, Pauline. I'm excited to be part of SFRB!

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  6. Senth seems amazing hero!
    Thank you for the giveaway,
    Artemis

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    1. You're welcome. thank you for taking part.

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  7. Excellent writing. I enjoyed the snippet.

    liana.brooks1(at)gmail(dot)com

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  8. Great snippet. Love the book cover.
    Sue B
    katsrus(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Thank you, Sue! Anne Cain did the cover. She does amazing work. :)

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  9. Ooooo, where can I get one? (fans self) Nice excerpt!

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    1. You mean a "Senth"? ^_^ He's a rare one, that guy! LOL But I do have full blooded Kin in other stories, including Jawk, and Surrender Love. Senth is in several of my books as a secondary character. His master / aka Sen'dai (and his father) is Luc Saint-Cyr, who's in Surrender Love.

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  10. Oh, sounds good! Intriguing! I cant wait to read more! Thanks for sharing and for the fun hop!
    shadowluvs2read(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Hey, Shadow! Welcome back! I met you on a JustRomanceMe hop earlier this year. Thanks for dropping by.

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    2. Hi! How are you? I remember chatting with ya! I just seen ya again for justromanceme hop again. lol :)

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    3. Yep! I was scheduled to be on that hop, and ended up missing it. I had been ill and just didn't have the energy to do two hops in a row. I thought this one would be a little slower. ( *_* ) But I did donate a book to the prize giveaway so hopefully someone is very happy right now. ^_^

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    4. Yep, that was me. ^_^ I hope you had a good time on the solstice tour. That was a good idea, wasn't it?

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  11. Can i order one? maybe two? it's amazing how you can start witing and making a story come to life. I wish it was real. I guess i have a boring life lol. thanks Joannie jscddmj[at]aol[dot]com

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    1. I wish it was too. Likely why I spend so much time writing and planning! LOL ^_^

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  12. Oh wow! That was a great snippet. I love that HalfKins are so different from anything I've read before! Very cool. :)

    Thanks for sharing that!

    Pam
    vanillaorchids69(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Thank you Pam. HalfKin are the best of both worlds. As Senth's father describes him, he's 50% Kin, 50% human, and 50% trouble. LOL

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  13. He very much does feel like a cat in the way you show his movements. Great excerpt!

    Jess
    jessicasubject.writer at gmail dot com

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    1. Thanks, Jessica. I appreciate that. It takes time to figure out how to describe a catlike move without using the word catlike. *g* I love writing about the Kin and HalfKin. They're quite sensual.

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  14. Now that was interesting. Meow Kayelle. And I loved your warning! Great post.

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    1. LOL. Thank you Debra. Senth's brother Khyff ends up with a Kin female for a mate, and he asks her (in a teasing way) what "meow" means. She thinks he's serious and tries to figure out what word that could be. LOL! The females are the warriors in Kin society.

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  15. Thanks for the snippet --At the Mercy of Her Pleasure sounds like a fantastic read!


    Thanks for the amazing giveaway!
    elizabeth @ bookattict . com

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    1. You're welcome. Senth offers a lot of challenges to NarrAy, who is seven years older and a lot more experienced about life, love, and romance. ^_^ Letting them play together was fun.

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  16. I need to read all the books in this series, Loved the excerpt.
    linze_e at hotmail.com

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    1. I second that notion. LOL For Women Only takes place about two years after At the Mercy, and meets up when Senth and NarrAy are about to finally get married. All hell breaks loose when Khyff ends up with a Kin warrior of his own... which is a miracle, because until now, he has had a real hate-relationship with the feline race. His mother died because of the Kin, and he holds a serious grudge. Senth, NarrAy and Mehfawni Ruh, the female who wins his heart, have some work to do easing him through his issues.

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  17. Replies
    1. His master is actually visible in the background of the cover. It's Luc Saint-Cyr, who is in all the books set in the Tarthian Empire (six, so far). He's not only Senth's master (Sen'dai) he's also his adoptive father, and... unknown to Senth, Luc is immortal.

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  18. Good world-building. Very interesting characters.

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    1. Thank you! A high compliment. I appreciate you stopping by to chat.

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  19. I agree, creating a character through their actions. 'showing' rather than 'telling' is a challenge but a really enjoyable one.
    Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thank you, Hywela! I'm glad to see you today. ^_^

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  20. Oh, I have got to read this! That was a great excerpt, I love the way you discribe and not just tell. Thanks for the giveaway!
    suz2(at)cox(dot)net

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    1. Susan, thank you. ^_^ At the Mercy was my first book, and introduced a set of characters who've been developed in other books set in the Tarthian Empire. It's fun writing about them -- there are many, and each has his/her own foibles. Senth would easily fill the role of class clown, but he's all serious when it comes to loving his heroine.

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  21. Enjoyed the snippet. Thanks for sharing it!

    Cheryl
    cheryl(at)cherylcorbin(dot)com

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    1. Thank you for dropping by, Cheryl! ^_^

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  22. Yes, this was a wonderful job of building the character, but you left out one detail...does he purr???

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    1. Oh, he most definitely purrs. And unlike terran felines, Kin can both purr and roar. HalfKin get different qualities depending on the which traits are dominant in the parents. Senth is nearly fully human, but has the height of his Kin father (fully grown he'll be about 6'6"), fangs, and catlike eyes. But he has skin, a smooth chest (Kin have a pelt across their chests), and no claws.

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  23. Senth and his brother are really interesting. Like the halfkin term, too.

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    1. Thanks, Melisse! In one of the books, a HalfKin says they're called that because no one likes being called half human. That's a telling thought, isn't it?

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  24. Nice excerpt. The book sounds good.

    bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. Thank you! Hope you'll stop in again and read more about the various characters and worlds in the Tarthian Empire.

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  25. Great insight into how to enlighten readers without the dreaded infodump. I'll be adding this to the tbr. Lisacordes (at) yah00 (d0t) c0m

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    1. Music to my ears, Lisa. ;) I don't like info dumps either. If it's a prologue to explain a story, that's one thing, but even that doesn't have to be just data. Thanks for coming by today!

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  26. Book sounds great and I;m always curious how you come up with ideas and characters.
    dawn
    drmgrl99atyahoodotcom

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    1. Thank you, Dawn! Senth was fun to write, because he's so playful. I'm glad you liked him.

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  27. Enjoyed the excerpt very much! Thanks for the contest.

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    1. Thank you, and you're welcome! Happy to have found SFRB and become one of the gang. It's a great group to hang out with online. ^_^

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  28. Great excerpt, and I love the names "Senth" and "Khyffen." One small little detail that I love to see is the nickname "Khyff" too. Things like that just make the characters more personable. I'm intrigued. :) Sounds like you had a great time with creating Senth.

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  29. Thank you, Kyndra. Nicknames for these two were interesting. Khyff calls his brother Bro, and also Sen, as if Senth wasn't intimate enough. ;) Senth's master (his Sen'dai) would never permit him to use nicknames and always called him Senthys, his full name. It's not for a few books yet that Luc finally gives in on the diminutive. He's a stickler, but you gotta love him. He means well!

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