The semi-illicit thrill of discovery….

We’re working on getting the first two Sylvan Investigation stories ready for their general release (October, for those of you waiting), and part of that is proofing the digital formats (ALL the digital formats.  Dear Universe, all we want for our birthdays is One Universal e-Format, please?).  Which means I’m skimming for obvious typos and mis-formatting, not content.

But every now and again something jumps out and grabs my eye.  Like this, when Danny first meets Ellen:

She wrapped her hands around her coffee mug like it was the last source of warmth in a stone-cold winter.  She had long fingers, broad palms, the kind of hands that looked capable, like they could saw a body apart or sew it back together, whichever she had a mind to.

She looked, in fact, like a sturdy, well-built girl, the kind who took up wall climbing or hiking, something physical, was maybe too chunky as a teenager, and has been turning it to muscle ever since.

She didn’t look dangerous.

I’d heard enough to know better.


Those of you who’ve read DRAGON JUSTICE have already met Ellen, but for everyone else, this is their first glimpse of her.  And, in many ways, it’s MY first glimpse of her, too.  The girl she was still lingers, but the events of DJ threw her into an entirely new world, a new reality and wildly new expectations.  And every time she comes on-stage in the Sylvan Investigation stories, another facet of who she is and who she is becoming is revealed to me, as well as to Danny and the readers.

Mind, I’m used to characters who show me more of themselves as the book goes along, unveiling hint after hint to make up the entire person.  But with most of them, it’s more revealing what’s already there, and just hasn’t been brought up yet.  With Ellen, though?  For the first time I really feel as though a character is growing – and growing up – on each page, and not only do I have no idea who she’ll become, neither does she.

Except dangerous.  Danny’s dead-on right about that.

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