I'm here to do Beautiful People for the second month in a row, as I enjoyed the sibling edition so much back in April. This time around, I'm featuring two characters who I affectionately (yes, I love them, so there) term the "mean girls" of On the Midnight Streets, my WIP.
This is mainly by request of Alyssa, because HOW COULD I NOT:
@_christinaim YVETTE. PLEASE YVETTE. Or maybe Rowen. Or Finn, if we haven't seen him before.— Alyssa Carlier (@AlyssaC_HK) May 6, 2015
|zhenya katava as yvette scarleigh [via]|
Yvette Scarleigh is the daughter of Godfrey, Earl of Hightrill, and arguably the most socially canny nobleman's daughter in the city of Peralton—or the entirety of the Mendlands, for that matter. Anyone with even a passing knowledge of Upper City society has the good sense to respect her or fear her, depending on their circumstance. She's armed with a shining reputation and manners like you've never seen, and she is strictly not to be crossed, because she'll do whatever it takes to get you back tenfold. To someone who doesn't know better, it may seem like Yvette's sole goal in life is to snag a wealthy husband, and she certainly does spend much of her time and effort working toward that. But she's ambitious and clever and absolutely terrifying if provoked, and the social waters are her domain. She's determined to be the most successful Upper City wife Peralton has ever known, whatever that may come to mean for her.
|tian yi as rowen raveneye [via]|
Rowen Raveneye is an immigrant from Xianhai, a country on the opposite side of the continent only known to the Mendish for trade purposes, who leads an all-women Xianhaine crime ring in Peralton's Lower City, where the poorest people and the criminals live. She came to the Mendlands when she was very young, so she has little to no memories of her homeland (hence the more Mendish-sounding name, which she took for herself early on). Once she arrived in the capital, Peralton, she built her name from the ground up, working her way from petty thievery to more large-scale exploits. She has an underground network of wanted men and women under her thumb, and she's one of the most powerful criminals in all of the Lower City. The word Raveneye has almost the same effect in Peralton as the word Voldemort has in the Harry Potter universe. She's the main rival of the legendary Midnight Hatter aka Finn, and she vies against him for dominance all the time.
(The two have yet to duel it out, though. I won't say who would win, but it'd be a close match. But I don't think a physical fight between Finn and Rowen would happen, because they're kind of frenemies. They respect each other's skills but never acknowledge each other or work together because THEY'RE RIVALS.)
1. Do they get nightmares? If so, why or what of?
Rowen: Rowen's nightmares vary widely, and she gets them a lot (though she never tells a soul about them, because her fellow thieves don't need to see their leader showing such weakness), but one thing that always comes up: death. It's not so much the act of dying itself, or even the potential pain, that her subconscious keeps trying to pick apart; as a criminal, Rowen's had plenty of time to get used to the inevitability of that. It's more about a too-early death, a death that occurs without anything meaningful having led up to it. Rowen feels like she can't leave this earth without having made her mark on it first, and she doesn't want hers to be a random, senseless death. In all things, Rowen wants to matter, and so naturally her bad dreams make her feel like she doesn't.
2. What is their biggest guilty pleasure/secret shame?
3. Are they easily persuaded or do they need more proof?
Rowen: Rowen's probably the most street-smart character in the entire book. She's practically at the top of the Lower City food chain, and she didn't get there by putting her faith in the wrong people. (Or any people at all, really.) People are not going to persuade her of things easily, especially since she often sees people robbed or brutally murdered for being even a little too trusting—and she herself has manipulated gullible people many, many times. Like Yvette, she relies heavily on her personal judgment, with all its prejudices and petty fears and lethal strategies, to get things done, because she knows from experience that trusting one's own self is the most effective way to go in her world.
4. Do they suffer from any phobias? Does it affect their life in a big way?
Rowen: Like Yvette, Rowen doesn't have any medical phobias. The few worldly fears she has are quickly dismissed, because fear is something she cannot afford when she's holding so many deadly and morally ambiguous people under her command. She's always the first to head into danger, though not without first arming herself with weapons both tangible and abstract. But she is truly and terribly afraid of having everything she's worked so hard and paid in blood and tears for—her underground empire, her status, her power—taken away. This influences all of her day-to-day decisions.
5. What do they consider their “Achilles heel”?
6. How do they handle a crisis?
Rowen: Rowen's response to a crisis: eliminate all potential threats. This is true in both the short and long term. It is also true of both people and events. Anything or anyone that could potentially cause a problem or is currently causing a problem is immediately slashed out of the picture. Some document might return to haunt her later? It's gone. Someone's holding too much sensitive information? Goodbye. Rowen's method of handling a problem can be boiled down to ripping apart everything in her way until she's got a clear, straight path to the finish that she can take with maximum speed. A little primitive and paranoid when put that way, perhaps, but it works like nothing the Lower City has ever seen. It's efficient and pragmatic and has been known to involve a lot of blood.
7. Do they have a temper?
Rowen: Let's say that's an understatement. She always has ample amounts of festering anger against Alastair's corrupt government and those who are prejudiced against Xianhaines and women. Her temper inspires fear in the hearts of enemies and steadfast loyalty (with a healthy dose of fear?) from the girls and women she takes in. Her temper in and of itself is a force of nature. She's had plenty of time to learn that volatile and violent is a great combination of character traits when consolidating power, and she's perfected her anger, honed it into a wickedly sharp blade both literally and figuratively. Think of it this way—if you really tick her off, you'll know because the streets will be running red with your blood in about 2.5 seconds.
8. What are their core values and/or religious beliefs?
Rowen: Rowen's core value can be summed up as the freedom to establish identity. This is cultural identity, mental identity, emotional identity—you name it. She wants to be wholly her own, and the ability and room to do that is something that she holds close to her heart. She will not be bound or caged or subjugated when she still has so much to find out about herself, when so much of herself is still coming into being. She wants all the space in the sky she needs to throw her voice at, and all the space under the earth so she can better tread the ground beneath her feet. She can't imagine living with anything less, which is one reason why she's fought so hard to cling to her freedom in the Lower City.
9. What things do they value most in life?
Rowen: To be short about it: her life, her spirit, her wits, and her weapons. She's made a habit over the years of not forming dangerous attachments to much else, because anything—possessions, loved ones, you name it—can be lost in an instant. There's a kind of stark beauty in simplicity and utility that Rowen appreciates, so she tries to surround herself with that and sever ties to anything extraneous.