Backstory–It’s What’s For Dinner

A funny thing happened this week while researching medieval european history.  Besides coming across the picture of this horrific water fountain.  Seriously, what’s up with those ducks?file0002050879438

Up until now, I had a general idea of when, where and how Christopher Desollador–BLOOD TOY’s primary antaogist–became a vampire, but not so much the details.  Who was his Sire?  Who is the prince that betrayed him?  In Book 2, I want to reveal those things, so I needed to more thoroughly flesh out his back story.

In order to do this, I first emptied my county library’s medieval history shelf of every 70’s era hardback on the time period.  Seriously, any middle school students with a report due on the Spanish Reconquista will be relegated to Googling for their dinner.  On second thought, who am I kidding?  Middle school students don’t research things in the library anymore.

After popping an antihistamine to combat dust allergies, I started combing through prominent and just plain interesting characters of the period.  It did not take long to come across a one-line mention of a historical anti-hero I could easily turn into a vampire…a bad-ass vampire who might even make Desollador seem warm and fuzzy by comparison.  Only he didn’t quite live where I needed him to live in order to be who I wanted him to be.  So I had to come up with a plausible reason for their paths to cross. 

For this stage of my research, I studied the allies of this historical anti-hero whose life story I am twisting all to hell and back for the sake of my fiction.  After narrowing those alliances to one particular king, I looked for an heir that lived in the vicinity of Desollador during his life and, much to my delight, there was one.

After nailing down all the major players in my antagonist’s unfortunate journey to become a monster, I then started looking at the major events in their lives for places history does not have them intersecting, but where imagination could force a connection.  These are secondary characters in my antagonists own story, so I want them to be as three dimensional as possible before I fictionalize them.

Now, about that funny thing I mentioned earlier that happened while I was researching….

While I was reading into the bland facts of their life stories, I found myself thinking things like ‘Oh that happened because of his betrayal’ and ‘He really had to send his sister off to the monastery because Desollador was trying to seduce her’ and  ‘Desollador sewed the discord that started that civil war by turning his heir into a vampire.’  I know I have it right when I start seeing history as if my character actually affected the way sh*t went down. 

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