We are tabling my nonsense about mental health and picking up a different book, that may look the same since it's me writing it. Let's dive into the life and world of Redley Riker, our future's only hope.
Let's go back a few years, like a lot of year, we're talking 2014. I had an idea for a cute little shifter book with a lead named Redley and her pal Howl. It's much different than the story I'm writing now with characters that share the name.
Now, in true form, I got this book published through a vanity publisher, yes I know I've made this mistake before but this was the first time, I apparently do not learn quickly. Anyway, I had this book published, and it was a flop, who could have guess?? I'm not tell you the title of it because it's embarrassing and I'm trying to keep it locked in a vault in my brain.
Anyway, I wrote that story and it had very little depth and plot going for it. Years pass and I think about recycling the names and characters and doing something different with them. I think about hunters and vampires and the world ending and out came the first idea for The Last Huntress - originally called The Huntress on Wattpad.
It had basically the same premise, a girl left to save the world from vampires, but failing in the end. I wanted my MC to fail, and she's going to keep failing because her goals are too large, I didn't realize this until just recently. She learns that very slowly through the first book and even more in the second - even if I'm barely half way through.
I think the biggest reason I want Redley to fail is because there aren't enough heroes that fail, that give up, that don't reach their goals. Spoiler alert, Red isn't going to save the world. This new future she's living in isn't capable of going the way she wants.
Let's try to dissect Redley Riker.
Race: Human (mix ethnicity) Turns into a shifter near the end of book one
Height: 5'9" maybe taller if she'd stand up straight
Hair: Canary brown
Sexual orientation (if that matters to you): Bi
Gender: Female, but she'd knock you out if that made a difference in how you treat her
Now, looks and small things aside, Redley is a young woman that was born in the year 2347 to Raine and Randolph Riker, two members of the founding families of the old Chicago neighborhoods. They raised her along with her grandmother who lived outside the city limits and protected herself. She was given a small wolf pup to take care of when she was six. These are just a few of the starting blocks for Redley.
She's thrown into a life of training and torture at the hands of the Elders that her mother entrusted her care to after she "died". The Elders feared being taken over by the vampires so they sought out a plan to make a young girl the martyr of the human race. They pumped her full of a mysterious virus that is different from the original one that caused the vampires. They wipe her memory with each session and push her physical training to the point of exhaustion.
All of this is hidden from the other humans in the village. They go about their lives and live under the watchful eye of Redley, who thinks - believes - she's doing her best to keep them safe. Yet people keep dying and things keep slipping through her fingers.
Redley has a strong disposition and an attitude that barely anyone can endure, Grayson included some days. The only person that isn't a wolf that can go toe to toe with her used to be Comfrey. He would push her buttons and push her to be better but he never had good intentions when doing so. Grayson, on the other hand, was used to following her around like a lost puppy until he decided that he was going to be there for her when she needed, even when she didn't ask - sometimes especially when she didn't ask. He can see through her masks when Comfrey wanted to break them and break her.
Redley has a few close people and even she tries to push them away. The ones that have stuck around understand that she can be stubborn and obnoxious but that she has their best interest at heart, even if she won't admit it. Being the leader of a race that's dwindling takes a toll on her when she sees her plans fail and the people around her use and abuse her.
She finds more joy in killing vampires and freshly turned people than she does in a nice hot bath. The lines between good and bad seem so hard with her, but in reality, she's more of a grey character because of the thrill she gets in other demise, even if it's for the greater good. The people that stick around in her life bring her back to reality and give her the kick in the ass she needs to find her right path.
It takes her a long time to see who the real enemy is and that the bigger picture isn't always worth fighting for. I'm not sure why I wanted the MC to fail, I tell myself it's because it makes her more relatable but I think it's because most things I do, I fail at, and I wanted to relate to her more than my other characters.
I know we're supposed to dissect Redley but I think I wanted more to just talk about her and the stuff I've put her through. I'm not sure of her direct path - where she'll go after the second book - but I know she'll get a happy ending, even if the world around her doesn't.
Redley Riker is my favorite character and I am so happy I've gotten my head out of my ass to give her a better story to live in. Finding more elements and obstacles for her has improved things tenfold. Now, my goal is to make her mother a horrible villain that has no grey area. Their bloodline comes into play more in the sequel and the third doesn't have much of Redley in it at all, so far that I've planned (me planning? That sounds fake).
I really hope the next parts of this series is fun and turns into something I can be proud of. It isn't just enough that a few people like my writing, but I need to be proud in of my work and stop being so lazy. I need to be a little more like Red and kick more ass, figuratively, of course. I can't kick anyone's ass in real life, please don't come for me.
Until next time!